HRMBA Top Degree ProgramsBy SMD Staff
October 2018

A PhD in human resources is a professional degree sought after by educators, human resource leaders, and industrial-organ organizational psychologists. A PhD in HR is heavily focused on research and students can expect to work closely with faculty to create and publish their own unique research.  PhD programs can take anywhere from four to five years to complete and tuition is often waived.    Coursework covers advanced topics in human resources and hands on activities designed to prepare students for a career in academics or research.

Methodology

To identify the top 10 PhD programs in HR, we started with a search on College Navigator to find out which schools offered doctoral programs. We compared student to faculty ratios, graduate tuition rate, and accreditations. We reviewed each school’s website and chose schools featuring highly educated faculty, mentoring, research opportunities, and academic rigor. Where there are ties, we favored the school with the lower graduate tuition rate. From our list, we created a rating system as seen below to select our top 10 PhD in human resource programs.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 3 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $15,000 per year= 5 Points
  • Between $15,000 and $20,000 per year= 3 Point
  • More than $20,000 per year= 1 Points

Overall Graduation Rate

  • Greater than 80%= 3 Point
  • 80% or Less= 1 Points

Below are 10 schools that offer the best human resources PhD degree programs.

Ranking the Top 10 PhD Programs in Human Resources 2018

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#10 – Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

PhD in Human Resources and Labor Relations

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $17,436/year in-state and $34,260/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 79%
Points: 5
The School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University features a dynamic PhD in Human Resources and Labor Relations focused on complex HR and labor issues. Students work alongside faculty and peers to conduct research, publish their work, and participate in major conferences and workshops. PhD students can receive up to five full years of stipends and insurance coverage regardless of whether they are in-state or out-of-state. Upon completion of required coursework, students will work on their dissertation by conducting original research making meaningful contributions to the field.

#9 – University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ph.D. in OLPD Human Resource Development

Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,728/year in-state and $25,884/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 80%
Points: 5
The University of Minnesota features a PhD program in Human Resources Development that prepares students for a career in research or consulting. Students complete original research that contributes to the field in areas like equitable workforce environments and workforce support. Through a comprehensive curriculum, PhD students are prepared to teach human resource development courses, serve in a consultant capacity, resolve complex HR issues, and conduct research. Students can earn their degree in three to five years of full-time study.

#8 – University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

PhD in Organizational Behavior & Human Resource Management

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $22,290/year in-state and $36,980/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Overall Graduation Rate: 82%
Points: 7
The Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and HR Management from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh is a 72 credit hour doctoral program that takes four to five years to complete. Students can choose from concentrations in strategic management, accounting, marketing, finance, organizational behavior and HR management, information systems and technology management, or business analytics and operations. This full-time, top PhD in human resources offers tuition waivers and up to five full years of funding. Students benefit from small class size and mentorship relationships with doctorate level faculty.

#7 – Rutgers University – New Brunswick, New Jersey

Ph.D. in Industrial Relations & Human Resources

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,848/year in-state and $28,656/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Overall Graduation Rate: 80%
Points: 7
The PhD in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from Rutgers University is designed specifically for students who want to work with and become leading scholars in the field of human resources. Students will gain an advanced understanding of employment relations and how they affect organizations, employees, and the world we live in. There are two areas of emphasis to choose from in this doctoral program including Human Resources or Labor, Work, and Society. One of the highlights of this PhD program is the level of research involvement. Students are assigned a research advisor upon admission and are actively engaged in research throughout the entire five year program.

#6 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

Human Resources Ph.D.

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $15,186/year in-state and $28,773/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Points: 7
The cutting edge PhD in HR from the University of Illinois is a comprehensive program taught by some of the top labor economists, organizational psychologists, organizational sociologists, and legal scholars. All doctoral students benefit from a generous financial aid package that includes monetary support for travel to professional conferences and events. Three areas of specialization are available to choose from including Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations Systems and Public Policy, and Wages, Labor and Market Behavior and Income Security. PhD graduates have found success working at some of the most prestigious universities in the country including Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan.

#5 – University of Illinois at Chicago- Chicago, Illinois

PhD in Business Administration: Human Resource Management

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,502/year in-state and $23,742/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 57%
Points: 7
The PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from the UIC School of Business is a full-time doctoral program that takes four to five years to complete. This small, interactive PhD program is highly customized with plenty of individualized attention. Highly focused on research, students form research partnerships with faculty and almost all students graduate having been published in peer reviewed journals.

#4 – Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management (OBHRM)

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,956/year in-state and $30,125/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 77%
Points: 7
The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University features a dynamic Ph.D. program in Organizational Behavior and HR Management with coursework across both disciplines. Students have unique research opportunities in areas like job engagement, employee-driven innovation, and individual differences. Faculty has received awards from the Academy of Management and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. At IU, doctoral students are actively engaged in research from their first semester in the program. PhD graduates have produced significant research and contributions to the field of HR.

#3 – The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

PhD in Management and Human Resources

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,560/year in-state and $33,032/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 83%
Points: 9
The PhD in Management and Human Resources offered by The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business is a highly innovative doctoral degree program with specializations in entrepreneurship, HR management, international business, organizational behavior and strategic management. Students choosing the PhD in HR specialization conduct important research in human resource areas like learning, training, total rewards, and strategic HR management. Successful doctoral students have a strong academic background, research aptitude, and high degree of motivation. This four year PhD program includes an assistantship in each of the first two years, exams, papers, independent teaching and a dissertation.

#2 – University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

PhD in Management and Human Resources

 

 

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,728/year in-state and $24,054/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 87%
Points: 9
The Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison features a PhD in Management and Human Resources that prepares students for a career in research and education. Students have five areas of research to choose from in this top PhD program including organizational behavior, human resources, organization theory, entrepreneurship, and strategy. Admission to the program is highly competitive with the best candidates having a strong academic background. This AACSB accredited top PhD in HR is comprised of two years of coursework, seminars, preliminary exams, and finally a dissertation.

#1 – Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

Organizational Behavior & Human Resources PhD

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,208/year in-state and $28,010/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Overall Graduation Rate: 78%
Points: 9
Our top choice for a PhD in HR is offered through the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. The Organizational Behavior and Human Resources (OBHR) PhD program features a rigorous curriculum and personalized mentorship that provides students with the tools they need for success. Faculty work side by side with students on projects in areas like stress and burnout, employee selection, and workplace fairness. Faculty members are leaders in the field of OBHR, frequently publishing work in academic journals. All students receive a full tuition waiver and financial support throughout this PhD program.

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