Skip to content

Eligibility For PhD In Human Resource Management

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

A PhD in human resources management prepares people for careers in research, higher education teaching, and high-level management and consulting. Graduates of these schools act as thought leaders in human resources topics such as leadership and teams, employee selection, and workplace equity through their research.

Read more on this post to learn further details about phd in human resource management through distance education, phd in human resource management in uk, phd in hr online, and phd in human resource management scholarships.

10 Best PhD in Human Resources Online Programs

Eligibility For PhD In Human Resource Management

CourseDoctor of Philosophy in Human Resource management
Duration3 years to 5 years
Type of ExaminationSemester-wise
EligibilityCompleted Master’s in the relevant discipline with at least 55% marks from recognized Indian or foreign university (UGC)

The job market looks good for educated and high-level HR professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights a 2017 median pay of $110,120 for HR managers, with a job growth projected to rise 9% by 2026. Learners who specialize in an area such as compensation and benefits can expect wages of $119,120 and a projected 5% job growth. A significant number of people who hold doctorates in HR pursue careers as college faculty. Their prospects also look good, with a median pay of $76,000 and a 15% projected job growth — much higher than the national average.

Ph.D. programs in human resource management are designed for students who wish to become professors, research associates and research fellows. Candidates design and implement self-directed courses of study and present their findings in academic journals. A typical program takes 4-5 years to complete and consists of core courses, seminars and research for a dissertation. Most coursework is completed during the first year; the remaining years are devoted to research and writing the dissertation. Candidates must defend their dissertation at a public examination to earn the degree.

Human resource management degrees are also available at the bachelor’s and master’s level. Most Ph.D. programs in human resource management require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study. Some programs also require courses in higher level mathematics, such as calculus or linear algebra. Although a master’s degree isn’t required, applicants with a master’s will have better prospects for acceptance.

Ph.D. in Human Resource Management

The coursework in a Ph.D. program in human resource management consists of detailed analysis of theories and research in the field. Some of the courses may include:

  • Leadership & organizational theory
  • Communications theory
  • Industrial relations theory
  • Collective bargaining and labor economics
  • Labor and management perspectives
  • Public policy and labor law

Can you get a PhD in Human Resources?

Some working professionals with an advanced business degree leave the workplace to pursue a doctorate in human resource management on a full-time basis. Students should evaluate their personal circumstances to decide whether they want to earn the degree full-time on campus or to take advantage of online flexibility to earn their Ph.D. in human resources. Some learners may pursue the degree right after completing a master’s. In this case, many choose an on-campus program.

Once in the program, learners study subjects such as organizational behavior, human resource management, and measuring human capital. Research plays an important role in the doctoral HR curriculum, as faculty groom students for roles as researchers and educators. Learners take courses in areas such as qualitative reasoning and analysis, research methods application, and advanced research design. They also participate in significant research as part of the program.

The on-campus program provides other tangible benefits, like networking opportunities with peers and face-to-face discussions with faculty and advisers. Near graduation, learners can take advantage of the school’s job placement or career services to dive into the job-hunting process. New Ph.D. holders enter the workforce with terminal degrees that often enhance their competitiveness and long-term career earnings.

Human Resource Management, BBA

What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Human Resources?

Getting a doctorate in human resources management represents a significant investment in time and money. While some doctoral programs in HR groom learners specifically for teaching positions, many pathways await professionals with this degree. Some choose to work as human resources managers within large organizations such as Fortune 500 companies. Other HR professionals specialize in particular areas such as training and development and compensation and benefits. Many with a Ph.D. in human resources embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and work as consultants, lending their expertise to companies both large and small.

PhD in HRM Eligibility

Students should expect to go through the same admissions process for either an online or on-campus doctorate in human resources. Applicants typically need the same documents, even if deadlines differ. Students should apply to six schools offering advanced human resource management degrees. Keeping their list of options at a reasonable number saves money and helps learners concentrate on putting together a comprehensive and polished application packet for each. Students should make sure that each program meets their personal, educational, and career objectives in terms of costs, course offerings, degree completion flexibility, and specializations they may need. Below, we provide a concise list of prerequisites and admission materials students should consider.


  • Degree: In general, students need a master’s degree in human resources, management, business administration, or a related field for admission to a doctorate in human resources program. A select number of schools may offer a dual master’s and doctoral program.
  • Professional Experience: Some schools design their doctoral programs with working professionals in mind, expecting students to incorporate their hands-on experience into the program and apply what they learn in their work. Many others do not require work experience or require minimal experience. Students should make this requirement a factor in their decision-making process.
  • Minimum GPA: Most graduate business/management programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission, including doctoral programs. The admissions committee may consider other qualities the applicant brings to the table, such as HR or management work experience or a strong GMAT score.
  • License: Students seeking to enter a doctoral program in human resource management do not need to meet any licensure requirements.

Admission Materials

  • Application: Applicants should plan for a one-year process beginning in April and ending in April of the following year, at which point schools send out letters of notification. Most doctoral programs accept applications once or twice a year. Each school lists its own guidelines and deadlines that students should follow.
  • Transcripts: Departments require transcripts for all prior colleges, paying particular attention to the students master’s degree. Learners order transcripts online, in-person, or in writing. Some schools charge a fee and others provide the service at no charge.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Students need between two and four letters of recommendation from professors, employers, and advisers. Give each writer about six to eight weeks to fulfill the request.
  • Test Scores: Many schools require the GMAT, but some programs do accept the GRE. Schools vary in what grade range they accept for doctoral students, and it may even differ between departments. Applicants should find out the department’s average GMAT/GRE score for accepted students by going online or asking the department.
  • Application Fee: Applicants should expect to pay between $50 and $100 for each application. They should take advantage of any fee waivers to save on costs.

PhD in Human Resource Management Salary


Human resources professionals with a bachelor’s degree and limited professional experience can enter the field as human resources specialists. The median human resources salary for HR specialists is nearly $62,000 per year, with the top 10% earning over six figures, according to the BLS. With experience or a graduate degree, human resources specialists can move into supervisory and managerial positions.

Lowest 10%Median SalaryHighest 10%
Less than $37,180$61,920More than $105,930

Source: BLS


By moving to the management level, human resources specialists can increase their earning potential. In 2019, HR managers earned a median annual salary of nearly $117,000, according to the BLS. Typically, HR managers bring several years of experience in human resources or a graduate degree in their field. Titles like HR director also fall into this category.

How to Become a Human Resources Manager
Lowest 10%Median SalaryHighest 10%
Less than $68,300$116,720More than $205,720

Source: BLS

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *