Online PhD in Human Resources

  • Published August 31, 2018
  • Last Updated January 22, 2023

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This article features the top 15 Online Ph.D. Programs in Human Resources.

An online Ph.D. in human resources is ideal for professionals in the field. On-campus doctoral degree programs require a significant time commitment. And in many cases, candidates need to relocate. However, an online Ph.D. is much more flexible. These programs are still quite rigorous. However, they allow busy working professionals to schedule their human resource studies around prior commitments. 

Human resources is a growing field, and those in HR management can expect to make an average of $126,230 annually. However, management and leadership positions require high-level training. And that’s where an online doctorate comes in. 

In this post, we’ve ranked 15 of the best online PhD programs in human resources. You will note that these programs are affordable. And they offer the same academic experience you would get on campus. Most take three to five years to complete. 

We’ve highlighted a range of online degrees. Some are entirely asynchronous and allow for maximum flexibility. Other programs are more structured and require a few campus visits each year. And a few are hybrid programs combining online and on-campus instruction. 

If you’re considering pursuing an online Ph.D. program in human resources, check out this list. 

You may also like: Top 20 PhD in Human Resources Programs (Online and On-campus)

Top 10 Online PhD Programs in Human Resources

Online Ph.D. Human Resources Methodology

To identify the top 15 online Ph.D. human resources programs, we started with a search on NCES College Navigator. From there, we created a list of colleges offering online doctoral programs in human resources.

From our list, we created a rating system (seen below) to select the best Ph.D. in human resources online programs. Where there were ties, we favored the doctoral programs with the lower graduate tuition rate. Please note that the tuition rates listed are based on in-state costs per academic year. The costs for non-residents or for online doctorate degree students may differ.

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 Point

Overall Graduation Rate

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

Below are 15 schools that offer the best Phd in human resources online

Summary of Top 15 Ph.D. Human Resource Online Programs:

Ranking the top online ph.d. programs in human resources , #15 – regent university – virginia beach, virginia .

Regent University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Online Doctorate in Human Resources:

Ph.d. in organizational leadership-human resource development .

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,590 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Doctorate in Human Resources Score:  5

Regent University offers an online Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. There are five concentrations. This allows students to personalize the program to meet their goals and interests. They include: 

  • Ecclesial Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Human Resource Development
  • Individualized Studies
  • Organizational Leadership

This human resources program requires 60 credit hours of graduate studies. This degree prepares students to influence their organizations as teachers, scholars, and leaders. They will learn to analyze the impact of cultural, political, and religious trends. And they will become influential human resource managers in the human resources field. This is a research-based terminal degree that is taught from a Christian worldview. Some of the core courses include: 

  • Organizational Theory & Design 
  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Design of Adult Learning Communities 
  • Ethical Human Resource Development 
  • Trends in Organizational Leadership Research 

After completing all coursework successfully, students of this Regent University online Phd will have comprehensive exams. They will then begin work on their dissertations. 

#14 – Sullivan University – Louisville, Kentucky 

Sullivan University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. in Management – Human Resource Leadership 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,840 

Doctorate in Human Resources Score:  7

Sullivan University features an innovative online PhD in Management Program. And students can further customize the program with a Human Resource Leadership concentration. It is ideal for students planning to work in human resources departments or as human resource managers.

Sullivan uses a scholar-practitioner model. This prepares students to become both leaders and scholars in their organizations. No GRE or GMAT is required for admission. And it can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, allowing for maximum flexibility. Students will take core management courses plus human-resource-related courses. Some of these may include: 

  • Workforce Analytics and Technology 
  • Organizations and External Environments 
  • Proposal Development
  • Human Capital Management 
  • Human Capital Effectiveness

This PhD in hr management online program is excellent for students who are currently working. And it is also ideal for those with too many commitments to attend a Ph.D. program in person. There are no residencies or on-campus visits required. So it can be completed from anywhere with an internet connection. It is also one of the few doctoral human resource programs that can be completed full or part-time. 

Sullivan features a professional and dedicated faculty that mentors students throughout the human resources program. The school has the lowest student to faculty ratio on our list. And candidates will work with peers from all over the world on research projects. 

#13 – Capella University – Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Capella University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management Specialization-PhD in Business Management 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,784 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 

Capella University offers an online PhD in Business Management. Students can further customize this program with a concentration in Human Resource Management. This Ph.D. in human resource management online program focuses on the practical applications of HR. Students will learn about emerging trends and new technology from diverse perspectives. And the rigorous curriculum will teach candidates to become effective human resources managers.

This top PhD in human resources features a flexible course load. This allows students to take between one and three courses each quarter. Some of the courses in this 90-credit program include: 

  • Foundations of Human Resource Theory and Practice 
  • Creating Adaptive, Innovative Workplaces 
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent 
  • Human Resource Practices for Developing Talent 

Students will complete core coursework, electives, exams, and a dissertation. There is no need to go to the Minneapolis campus. Instead, the required residencies can be completed virtually. The program is also ACBSP-accredited. Some of the skills candidates will learn in this program include: 

  • Hiring the best staff 
  • Staying current with HR trends 
  • Evaluating HR practices 
  • Using research-backed strategies in the workplace

Capella uses a GuidedPath format for this program. This format allows students to interact with their peers and faculty. There is a set schedule, and students are required to meet the deadlines. This makes it an ideal program for those who need a structured format. Online students benefit from the same rigorous curriculum as their on-campus counterparts. And they earn the same human resource management degree.

#12 – Bellevue University – Bellevue, Nebraska 

Bellevue University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. in Human Capital Management 

For more information: Bellevue University  

Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $10,980 

Bellevue University features an online PhD in Human Capital Management. This executive-level program is focused on the latest knowledge in the hr management field. Students will need to complete 51 credit hours to meet the major requirements. And the HR coursework at Bellevue University is divided into easy-to-follow modules.

Students in this human capital management Bellevue program learn the skills to treat employees as valuable assets. This unique approach provides them with a deeper understanding of organizational dynamics. Additionally, candidates at Bellevue University develop strong research and analytical skills. And they collaborate with other PhD human capital management students and faculty throughout the program. This allows them to network with human resource professionals all over the country. Some of the courses in this human resource management online program include: 

  • Human Learning and Decision Making
  • Economics of Human Capital Valuation Issues
  • Research in Organizations
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Performance Management
  • Strategic Human Capital Management
  • Assessing Human Capital Effectiveness

This top online human resource management degree program also requires a dissertation and a comprehensive exam. The dissertation involves an extensive research project around human capital management. Students will address and solve a real-world HR program in an organization.

#11 – Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado 

Colorado State University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies 

For more information: Colorado State University  

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,834 

This top HR online PhD from Colorado State University is focused on organizational performance and change. This is a hybrid human resource management degree program designed for working human resource professionals. Students will complete some work online. However, the program also requires candidates to meet biweekly on Saturday mornings. This takes place at the Colorado State University Denver campus.

Faculty are all industry experts with extensive research experience in the hr management field. And they specialize in areas like: 

  • Socialization and onboarding 
  • Constructivist inquiry 
  • Workplace learning systems 
  • Leadership scenario planning 
  • Political, social, and relational aspects of the workplace 

The curriculum features a blend of coursework. And it is designed to focus on research skills and applied expertise. Students take two courses each semester and move through the program as a cohort. This allows them to develop professional relationships with colleagues in the hr management field. Some of the courses in the online doctorate degree program include: 

  • Theory and Practice of Change 
  • Organizational Learning, Performance, Change
  • Scenario Planning in Organizations
  • Social, Cultural, and Political Foundations of the Workplace 

Candidates in this program will work on growth-oriented practical activities. This allows them to walk away with knowledge they can immediately apply to their work. This highly selective program is open to only a few applicants each year.

#10– Old Dominion University – Norfolk, Virginia 

Old Dominion University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. Occupational and Technical Studies Concentration, Human Resources Training Emphasis 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,207 

ODU offers one of the top online PhD in Human Resources programs. This degree has an occupation and technical studies concentration with an HR training emphasis. And it is designed to prepare students for government, industry, and business leadership positions. Through this program, students will develop skills aligned with the following: 

  • The Association for Talent Development Standards 
  • The International Society for Performance Improvement Standards 

Candidates will need to complete a minimum of 60 credit hours. There are two residencies that require students to be on the Norfolk campus. These are each two weeks long and take place during the summer. Other than these two experiences, no additional campus visits are required. Students will complete core research, HR, and elective courses. They will also need to complete a dissertation. Some of the online courses include for this human resource management degree include:

  • Principles and Practices of Human Performance 
  • Human Performance Assessment 
  • Trends and Issues of Economic and Workforce Development 
  • Instructional Systems Design 
  • Research Design and Analysis 

Some courses meet at specific times online. However, students can complete much of the coursework on their own schedule. All students have an expert faculty mentor to guide them throughout the program. And they also have access to many online resources. This includes tutoring, the library, a writing center, career coaching, and more. 

See Also: 5 Careers for a Human Resources Ph.D. Graduate  

#9 – Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, Indiana 

Indiana Wesleyan University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

For more information: Indiana Wesleyan University 

Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $9,715 

Indiana Wesleyan University offers an excellent online PhD degree in Organizational Leadership. This hybrid program is delivered through a blend of onsite and online classes. IWU is a Christian university providing a Christ-centered doctoral program. And it is based on the latest research and best practices in the field. Students can earn their degrees in just 40 months. And all candidates move through the program as a cohort. 

Online PhD students complete three week-long summer institutes in person. During this time, they will attend workshops and events. And they will have plenty of networking opportunities with other human resources managers. Some of the core courses for this popular human resources online PhD program include: 

  • Organization Theory and Design 
  • Change, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship 
  • Organizational and Adult Learning 
  • Advanced Research Design 
  • Global Perspectives on Leadership 
  • Ethics and Leadership 

This program offers a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions. As a result, it is highly flexible. It emphasizes leadership through a multicultural and global lens. And it is specifically focused on integrity, inclusion, and international perspectives. The program is ideal for candidates who want to develop their skills for work in human resources departments, leadership, consulting, and more.

At under $10,000 per academic year, IWU offers one of the best online doctorate programs for affordability. The school has regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

#8 – University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, Mississippi 

University of Southern Mississippi: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Capital Development 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,094 

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a hybrid Ph.D. in Human Capital Development. This internationally-recognized program combines on-campus learning with online instruction. So students will need to live near the campus to be eligible. Faculty are all experts in the field. And they bring their experience into the classroom. As a result, candidates gain a broad understanding of topics such as: 

  • Workforce Development 
  • Performance Improvement 
  • Human Capital Analytics 
  • Organizational Culture 
  • Change Leadership 
  • Strategic Planning 

To complete the program, students must complete a minimum of 54 hours of graduate study. This includes core, elective, and research courses. Additionally, all candidates are required to complete a comprehensive examination and research dissertation. Some of the courses in this hybrid program may include: 

  • Research in Human Capital Development 
  • Change Leadership in Human Capital Development 
  • Emerging Technologies for Human Capital Development 

The partially online PhD program is offered through the USM School of Leadership. At just over $9,000 per academic year, it’s one of the best online doctorate programs for affordability. Additionally, financial assistance is available. For example, the university has over 900 assistantships available for graduate students. Assistants receive full tuition waivers and stipends. Federal financial aid, scholarships, and grants are also available for this doctoral program. 

Related: Online Master’s in Human Resources in Mississippi  

#7 – Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, Ohio

Bowling Green State University: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

Ph.D. in Technology Management-Human Resource Development and Training 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,017 

BGSU offers a high-quality education with it’s online PhD in Technology Management. This program features several concentrations, including one in Human Resource Development and Training. This online degree is delivered in cooperation with five other nationally-accredited universities. And it is designed to teach leadership skills to today’s technical HR professionals.

Students in this program will be equipped for high level roles as training and development managers. The curriculum is rigorous, and the program requires 66 credit hours for completion. Some of the courses include: 

  • Internet Research Methods 
  • Legal and Ethical Dimensions of HRD Practitioners 
  • Management and Coordination of Training and Development 
  • Improving Human Performance in Organizations 
  • Evaluation of Human Resource Development Programs 

Candidates will also complete nine credit hours of professional studies. These can be independent study courses or electives. Or they may be projects or internships that relate to their specialization. Students will work with their instructors to design the coursework. Internships can also be designed to provide doctoral students with practical experience.

This program is unique, with students participating from all over the country. And it is ideal for students who want to earn a Ph.D. but cannot relocate due to prior commitments. Additionally, at just over $8,000 per academic year, it is one of the best online doctorate programs in terms of affordability.

Related: 10 Best Internships for Human Resource Majors

#6 – University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Arkansas 

University of Arkansas: Ph.D. Human Resource Management

EdD in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,875 

UARK offers an EdD in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. The university has provided this top online HR doctorate degree for over seven years. As a result, the curriculum has evolved to meet current HR trends. In addition, students can complete the program 100 percent online. And there are no on-campus residency requirements. This makes it an excellent choice for busy working HR professionals and training and development specialists.

New students are admitted each fall, spring, and summer semester. Students must complete at least 96 total semester hours of graduate studies. Some of the courses in this online program include: 

  • Qualitative Research Design and Analysis 
  • Quantitative Research Design and Analysis 
  • Project and Program Evaluation 
  • History and Foundations of Human Resources
  • Organization Development 
  • Human Resource Training & Development 
  • Entrepreneurial Development 

Exceptionally promising new students to the doctoral program may qualify for financial assistance. This includes tuition waivers, assistantships, and fellowships. Additionally, some students may be eligible for a stipend. However, this is one of the most affordable human resources doctoral programs online.

Although the program is remote, it requires a significant time commitment. The university allows candidates seven years to complete the doctoral degree. An exam and dissertation are required. Additionally, students must take the GRE to be considered for admission to this workforce development education program.

Related: Online Master’s in Human Resources in Arkansas

#5 – Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia 

Liberty University: Human Resources Online

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Human Resources 

For more information: Liberty University

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,847 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges 

The HR Business Administration program at Liberty University is a fully remote. And it takes just three-and-a-half years to complete. HR courses are delivered in a convenient online format with optional intensives. And because the coursework is asynchronous, you can complete the human resources degree at your own pace. For flexibility, Liberty University has one of the best online HR management doctoral programs on our list. 

Students in the Liberty University program gain practical, real-world knowledge. And this knowledge is designed to carry over from the classroom to the workplace. As a result, candidates will learn to solve complex HR problems in their organizations. Some of the featured HR business administration courses may include: 

  • Workforce Planning
  • Employment Compensation Management 
  • Human Resource Development 
  • Strategic Thinking for Decision-Making 

This rigorous and challenging online doctorate human resources degree program sets candidates apart and prepares them for advanced roles in human resources departments. As with most business schools, students will gain specialized knowledge in leadership, finance, accounting, and many other areas. Graduates of this HR business administration program have found satisfying careers as: 

  • Recruitment Specialists 
  • Development Specialists 
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers 
  • Human Resources Directors

Professors keep students engaged through hands-on case studies and experiential exercises. All these experiences are designed to prepare students for high-level leadership positions. Liberty University is a leader in providing high-quality education online. As a result, the school has many support resources to help HR business administration students succeed. Liberty also offers a master’s degree in HR.

#4 – University of Texas at Tyler – Tyler, Texas 

University of Texas at Tyler: Human Resources Online

Ph.D. in Human Resource Development 

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,264 

The University of Texas at Tyler features a hybrid Ph.D. in Human Resource Development. This program requires students to come to campus just five times each semester. And candidates can earn their doctoral human resources degree in only two-and-a-half years of study. Faculty includes Dr. Jerry Gilley, the author of the first textbook on HR development principles. 

Students will work alongside expert professors on a range of research projects in HR. It is offered through the Soules College of Business, one of the best business schools in the country. To be considered, applicants need a master’s degree in HR or a related field. Additionally, they should have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale on previous master’s degree coursework. Some of the online coursework includes: 

  • Talent Management and Development 
  • Proposal Development 
  • Foundations of Qualitative Research 
  • Leadership Theory and Practice 
  • Advanced Theoretical Foundations of HRD 
  • Advanced Quantitative Research in HRD 

An exam is required after completing all coursework. Then, students will work on a dissertation of original research. Candidates have five years to complete the program after admission. Transfer coursework is not accepted.

At just over $6,000 per academic year, UT Tyler offers one of the best online doctorate programs for affordability. Financial support for this human resources management online program is available. This includes scholarships, grants, loans, and Federal financial aid. Additionally, students may apply for various fellowships and assistantships. 

See also: Online Master’s in Human Resources in Texas

#3 – Johnson & Wales University – Providence, Rhode Island 

Johnson & Wales University: Human Resources Online

Doctor of Business Administration – Organization Development 

For more information: Johnson & Wales University

Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,706 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education Doctorate in Doctorate in Human Resources Doctorate in Human Resources Score:  9

Johnson & Wales offers a DBA with a concentration in Organizational Development. This is a fully remote program with no on-campus residencies. Online students will work with a small group of cohorts, generally under 18 participants. And they will have the opportunity to collaborate on various projects with faculty and other human resources professionals. The curriculum teaches students to solve complex business challenges. And it gives them the practical skills to become innovators within the human resources field. 

Online students work on one eight-week course at a time. And most courses in the human resources management online program are asynchronous. This means there are no set class times. Instead, students can complete their studies on their own schedule. This flexibility is excellent for those who are currently working. Some of the courses in this business administration HR management program include: 

  • Innovation and Change 
  • Organizational Strategy and Design 
  • Leading and Managing Large-Scale Transformation 
  • Contemporary Leadership Issues 
  • Research Design 
  • Executive Decision-Making 

The entire HR business administration program can be completed in three years. Students will also need to complete a dissertation and oral defense. However, Johnson & Wales has a unique lock-step dissertation process. This model guides students methodically through the dissertation. 

The student to faculty ratio at the school is an impressive 15:1. And all faculty at Johnson & Wales hold terminal degrees in their fields. And students will develop relationships with faculty mentors. These instructors will guide them throughout the HR business administration program. Additionally, they will develop a network of HR professionals and colleagues. And this will assist them long after they have completed the program. The college also offers a master’s degree in human resource management.

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

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Human Resources Online

EdD in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a concentration in HR Development 

Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $14,635 

Doctorate in Human Resources Score:  9

The University of Illinois College of Education features an online EdD program. This program offers a unique concentration in HR Development. The program is designed to improve individual learning and workplace development in organizations. This top online doctorate in HR management includes courses like: 

  • Principles in Human Resource Education
  • Instructional and Training System Design
  • Learning Technologies
  • Organization Development
  • Advanced Theories in Human Resource Development

Students in this program will receive a offers a high-quality education from one of the most popular colleges in the country. They will learn to design, implement, and evaluate HR programs. And they will learn to become innovative training and development managers. This online doctorate degree is ideal for those who want to pursue an academic career in employee relations. But graduates of this online education program have also found employment in health care, financial services, and more.

#1 – Northcentral University – San Diego, California 

Northcentral University: Human Resources Online

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Management 

Average Graduation Tuition Rate: $10,260 

Our top choice for a PhD in Human Resources online is Northcentral University. This program is designed for individuals seeking leadership positions or work in academia. And it is one of the most flexible doctoral programs to make our list. Students can earn their degrees from anywhere in the world. There are no group assignments, scheduled lectures, or semester start dates. Faculty have all earned their doctorate degrees. And they are eager to share their knowledge and experience with their students. As a result, candidates receive one-on-one mentoring. Some of the courses include: 

  • Labor Relations
  • Human Resources Management in the 21st Century
  • Organizational Behavior in Human Resources Management
  • Legal Issues in Human Resources Management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Compensation Management

The program requires 60 credit hours and takes an average of 49 months to complete. However, some students finish in as little as 38 months. In addition, the school offers six full-tuition scholarships to incoming Ph.D. students. Federal financial aid, loans, grants, and other scholarships are also available for this online learning program.

This is a research-based degree human resources program. And it prepares students to contribute their knowledge to the HR field. The unique one-on-one learning model ensures that all students get personalized attention. Northcentral further supports its online students with a wealth of virtual resources.

The school also offers a master’s degree in human resource management.

Online Doctorate in Human Resources

The work of HR may constitute the most varied “to-do list” among all occupations. It includes a wide range of administrative tasks such as benefits and payroll. But it also involves interacting with personnel, development, and training. 

There has been strong global competition and technological advancements in the field. As a result, organizations have made allowances for inevitable changes. This planning is the backbone of human resources management. And it forms the basis for modern HR management doctoral degree programs.

Online vs. On-Campus Doctorate

Online learning provides a flexible option for professionals in the field. These programs offer the same courses of study and are taught with the same rigor. As a result, they lead to the same professional opportunities after graduation. PhD human resources online programs are ideal for students who have family or other obligations. And they are more hassle-free in regard to commuting or scheduling.

What Courses Will I Take for an Online HR Ph.D. Program?

Prospective students pursuing a Ph.D. in HR management can expect to take a range of courses. Generally, these will be online human resource courses that teach the following objectives: 

  • Global Conceptions of Leadership
  • Leadership and Individual Development
  • Application of Research Methods
  • Organizational and Adult Learning
  • Team Building

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the top professional organization in the field. And it lists these disciplines within the industry:

  • Health, Safety, and Security of Employees
  • Employee Relations
  • Rewards, Compensations, and Benefits
  • Organizational Development

These topics will likely be covered in online doctorate in human resources programs. Additionally, some colleges and universities offer an array of concentrations. As a result, prospective online students can choose an online learning program that most closely aligns with their goals.

What Is an Accelerated Online Human Resources Ph.D. Degree Program?

An accelerated online Ph.D. program uses shorter teaching sessions. For example, instead of the traditional 16 weeks, students take online education courses in seven, eight, or ten-week increments. If you take extra credits each semester, you can earn your degree faster. Accelerated programs are ideal if your goal is to earn your Ph.D. quickly. However, additional stress accompanies such accelerated programs. So you should consider your strengths and weaknesses before enrolling in an accelerated online phd program.

Can I Still Work While Pursuing My Ph.D. in Human Resources Online?

For many students, undertaking a Ph.D. in human resources is a full-time job. However, sometimes necessity requires that you continue working while earning your Ph.D. in HR management. Ideally, you will find employment in the field. This way, you will see the day-to-day applications of your studies. The workload of traditional vs. online Ph.D. programs is the same. A good rule of thumb is to plan on spending around 40 hours a week studying for your degree. This guideline can help you determine if it will still be feasible to work while pursuing an online education.

What Are the Graduation Requirements for an Online Ph.D. in HR?

Generally, the doctorate degree requirements are between 58 and 66 credit hours. And there is typically a minimum of 20 courses. You must also pass a comprehensive examination and produce your dissertation to earn your degree in HR management.

This concludes our ranking of the best online phd programs human resources

Online Doctorate Degree in Human Resources

online phd human resource management

Online Human Resources Doctorate Degree: An Overview

Jobs for human resources degree holders, degree requirements, prerequisites for an online human resources doctorate degree, online coursework.

  • Human resources management in the 21st century.
  • Compensation and benefits.
  • Labor relations.
  • Legal issues in human resources management.
  • Technology systems in human resources and workforce development.
  • Career theory and decision-making.
  • Organizational behavior performance and evaluation.
  • Human resources talent management.

How long does an online doctorate in human resources take to complete?

Cost and return on investment (roi), how much does a doctorate in human resources cost , how to estimate the roi of your degree, job outlook and salary, example courses.

  • Advanced theoretical foundations of human resources development
  • Human resources and workforce development ethical and legal issues
  • Quality management and productivity
  • Quantitative research techniques
  • Contemporary perspectives in organizational leadership theory

What Online Human Resources Doctorate Degree Holders Have to Say

“I apply what I learned in school in everything I do at work. For example, one of the committees I’m on now is charged with a large implementation project. At the forefront of my mind are the tenets of change management and the ingredients for sustainable change. The coursework provided me the confidence and knowledge to contribute in ways that would have never been possible otherwise. I’m better at thinking through concepts and specific steps that are crucial in exacting sustainable change. I feel like I’m more valuable in teams because I bring a different perspective.“I learned a great deal about change management and theory, the importance of adequately preparing an environment and its stakeholders for change, and ways to exact healthy change. We live in a state of flux, and navigating change can be difficult. A monumental thing that stood out as I got deeper into the program was how successful change can be when organizations and their leadership teams make commitments to effectively communicate, practice transparency and honor stakeholders…not just in words, but in actions. In the real world these things don’t always happen or there wouldn’t be entire programs teaching the subject matter, but think of the possibilities if they did.”
“The business and industry training coursework was very helpful for me especially as I pursued new leadership positions in the training space at work. However, the most significant learning came through the dissertation process. From topic selection, learning and applying research practices, recognizing the value of academic writing, and ‘"owning’" my expertise, I had no other option but to pull from my own motivation and efficacy. I routinely use all of the skills gleaned from this process today - post graduation: initiative, composure, persistence, confidence, and empathy.”
“A piece of advice I would have for prospective students would be to select a research topic before starting the program so you can focus on that topic throughout the program.“Something I learned in school that applies to my work today is the importance of understanding what I am attempting to solve when designing programs or creating strategies.”

Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

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Updated October 23, 2023

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Human Resources Departments are Crucial to the Success of Companies

These departments attract talent and ensure employees receive proper training and are satisfied in their roles. They handle payroll and benefits, mediate issues between employees and management, and ensure organizations comply with regulations and laws. Companies need human resources professionals who are well-versed in the field.

A doctorate in human resource management provides knowledge and skills necessary to secure high-paying positions in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), top executives -- including chief human resources officers -- can earn median salaries exceeding $100,090. Earning a Ph.D. in human resources online is a convenient way for current professionals in the field to hone their skills or transition into academia.

The Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

#1 Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, NE
  • Online + Campus

The human capital management Ph.D. program at Bellevue University offers a flexible route to a doctorate. With its online format, the private university makes a doctorate more accessible. Doctoral students receive research support throughout the program.

The online HR program requires doctoral coursework. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates conduct research for their dissertation. As the terminal degree in human resources, the program leads to career opportunities in academia, research, and industry.

At the accredited institution, doctoral students can use fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid to pay for their degree. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about research support, financial aid opportunities, and admission requirements.

Bellevue University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 11,008

Online Master's Programs: 24

Online Doctoral Programs: 1

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,530

#2 Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA

The online DBA in human resources program at Liberty University ranks among the best in the field. Degree-seekers benefit from flexible course options through the private institution. Doctoral students engage in advanced research and benefit from support services.

Learners take 60 credits of doctoral classes in the HR program. Doctoral candidates pass comprehensive examinations and conduct research for their dissertation. Graduates with a doctorate in human resources can work in academic, research, and industry positions.

Online doctoral students can pay for their degree with scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid. Contact the human resources program for more information about doctoral admissions.

Liberty University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 78,511

Online Master's Programs: 67

Online Doctoral Programs: 9

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,980

Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted

#3 Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

National University

  • San Diego, CA

National University offers an online Ph.D. in human resource management for doctoral students. With its flexible format, the private university helps degree-seekers complete a doctorate. Doctoral students work closely with faculty mentors and career advisors.

The 48-credit doctoral program incorporates advanced human resources coursework. After completing coursework, doctoral candidates conduct research for their dissertation or doctoral project. A doctorate in human resources prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, and leadership.

Doctoral students can pay for the program with federal financial aid, fellowships, and scholarships. Contact the human resources program to learn more about the enrollment process and start dates.

National University at a Glance:

Online Master's Programs: 26

Online Doctoral Programs: 15

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 3-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,983

#4 Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

Regent University

  • Virginia Beach, VA

The human resource development Ph.D. program at Regent University delivers a doctorate in an online learning format. The private university offers flexible enrollment options for degree-seekers. Doctoral students meet with career advisors and faculty mentors.

Learners take doctoral classes in the HR program. After meeting coursework requirements, doctoral candidates pass a comprehensive examination and conduct research for an original dissertation or project. As the terminal degree in human resources, a Ph.D. often leads to career opportunities in academia, research, and industry.

The accredited institution meets federal requirements for financial aid support. Prospective applicants can contact the program to learn more about financial aid opportunities and the admission process.

Regent University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 9,507

Online Master's Programs: 37

Online Doctoral Programs: 12

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 29-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,552

#5 Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources

University of Arkansas Fort Smith

  • Fort Smith, AR

The doctor of education in human resource and workforce development education program at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith uses an online learning format. At the public institution, degree-seekers take doctoral classes in a flexible format. Doctoral students conduct research and participate in academic conferences.

The doctoral program includes a rigorous curriculum in human resources. After passing comprehensive examinations, doctoral candidates spend 1-2 years researching and writing their dissertation. A doctorate in human resources trains graduates for roles in research, academia, and leadership.

At the accredited institution, doctoral students can qualify for several forms of financial aid. Reach out to the program to learn more about transfer credit policies, research support, and admission requirements.

University of Arkansas Fort Smith at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,417

Online Master's Programs: 1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,092

Best Online Doctorate

Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools  cannot buy better rankings  at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The  Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System  (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's  National Center for Education Statistics  (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the  College Navigator .

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from  AcademicInfluence.com , subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About our ranking factors.

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

  • Collapse All

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%, online enrollment - 10%.

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through  contact page .

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

What else can i expect from an online doctorate in human resources program.

Earning an online Ph.D. in human resources prepares students to fill HR management roles. While coursework varies by program, classes typically cover the laws and regulations that govern employment issues, unions, employee recruitment and retainment, and compensation and benefits. Most programs require students to complete a dissertation, which involves extensive research into a human resources topic or issue.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Human Resources

  • Labor Relations: Students learn about unions, including their history, politics, processes, and relationships with businesses. Learners explore how unions affect the attitudes and behaviors of management and employees. This class prepares students for HR positions within unionized organizations.
  • Attracting and Retaining Talent: One of the most important duties of an HR leader is recruiting top employees and keeping them satisfied. This class discusses how diversity, succession planning, and competition for talent help create an appealing work environment.
  • Laws, Ethics, and Culture: Companies must adhere to laws and regulations to ensure the welfare of employees; HR managers are responsible for understanding these rules. This course examines the regulatory environment in which human resource professionals operate, their role in communications, and how to manage diversity and inclusion within an organization.
  • Organizational Performance and Behavior: This class discusses the principles and practices of improving employee performance. Students learn how to establish organizational performance requirements, create performance improvement proposals, and assess the results of performance improvement interventions.
  • Compensation Management: HR managers must know how to create, implement, and manage a compensation and benefits program. This class reviews the components of compensation systems, bases for pay, and legally required and discretionary employee benefits.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Doctorate Degree in Human Resources?

Most full-time students take at least four years to earn a Ph.D. in human resources online. Programs typically require about 60 credits and a dissertation. Along with program requirements, factors such as enrollment status and program structure affect degree completion time. Students with personal or professional responsibilities may complete fewer credits per term, increasing the time necessary to graduate. Schools generally require students to complete their Ph.D. within ten years.

Some programs use a cohort model in which students complete coursework in a prescribed sequence with a small group of peers. Individually paced programs allow students to move through the curriculum at their own speed, providing learners the opportunity to graduate more quickly. Before pursuing a Ph.D. in human resources online, you should determine your ideal learning style. Students who thrive in a community-based environment may benefit more from a cohort structure, whereas those who require scheduling flexibility generally opt for individually paced programs.

Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Human Resources Degrees

Students planning to earn a Ph.D in human resources online should only consider accredited programs. Accreditation ensures schools provide quality educational programs and gives students access to federal financial aid. Accrediting agencies are private entities that hold institutions to academic and professional standards.

The two main types of accreditation in the U.S. are regional and national. Regional accreditation is the most common and the most highly regarded. Many employers require job candidates to hold a degree from a regionally accredited institution, and credits earned from regionally accredited schools transfer easily. Trade, vocational, and online schools often hold national accreditation. Programs may also hold specialized accreditation from a field-specific agency. Some online human resources programs receive accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Although the U.S. Department of Education (ED) does not accredit institutions, the department oversees the accreditation system and recognizes accrediting agencies. Federal financial aid is only available to students at institutions with accreditation from an ED-recognized agency . The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a nonprofit organization that recognizes accrediting agencies and works to ensure the quality of U.S. education. CHEA member institutions include 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities. CHEA recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations and maintains a searchable online database of institutions and programs accredited by recognized agencies.

Employment Outlook for Doctorate in Human Resources Graduates

Doctorate in human resources careers.

After earning a Ph.D. in human resources online, graduates often pursue managerial positions within HR departments or teaching careers at the college level. These high-level roles require leadership, communication, and critical-thinking skills, and HR professionals commonly work more than 40 hours per week.

Business Postsecondary Teacher

Business postsecondary teachers specialize in a certain subject, such as human resources. They teach courses and sometimes conduct research. Business professors at four-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Community and technical colleges generally prefer applicants with a doctorate.

Chief Human Resources Officer

These top executives direct human resources departments. They manage the department's operations, create and execute policies, and work closely with other leaders in the organization. Top executives typically hold a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration. Professionals often advance to this role after serving in lower-level management or supervisory positions. Chief executives generally have extensive managerial experience.

Human Resource Managers

Human resource managers direct the administrative functions of human resources departments. They oversee recruitment, interviewing, and hiring processes. They also manage employee relations and ensure regulatory compliance. These managers may hold specific titles, such as labor relations director, payroll manager, or recruiting manager. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree, but some positions require a master's degree in human resources, labor relations, or business administration.

Training and Development Manager

These managers oversee an organization's training programs, staff, and budgets. They supervise training and development specialists and consult with top executives and financial officers to ensure training priorities align with the company's goals. Training and development managers typically need a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field, though some positions require a master's degree.

Doctorate in Human Resources Degree Salary

Professionals who earned a Ph.D. in human resources online can earn increased salaries throughout their careers. The median salary for late-career training and development officers is about $20,000 higher than the median salary for entry-level officers. Similarly, human resources managers with more experience tend to earn higher salaries. The table below highlights median salaries for human resources professionals at various career stages.

Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Human Resources

Students earning a doctorate in human resource management have a variety of options for saving money and financing their degree. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, work-study programs, and loans. Students can complete the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year beginning October 1. The federal due date for the FAFSA is June 30, but schools often set their own deadlines.

Many schools and outside organizations, such as professional associations, award scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. Some schools, states, and employers also offer tuition assistance reimbursement programs to students who meet certain criteria. If you want to earn an online Ph.D. in human resources, contact your school's admissions office for information about available scholarships.

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Top 20 PhD Human Resources Management Programs Online 2024

Find your perfect school.

In this article, we profile the top 20 online PhD in HR management degree programs.

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for human resources managers will grow nine percent over the next several years. This is a slight increase over the average of all other occupations (7 percent). As new companies form and businesses and organizations expand, the need for human resources managers will increase. To accommodate demand to fill these roles, colleges and universities now offer PhD in HR management programs online via distance education technology.

Featured Programs

Top 20 online phd in human resource management degree programs methodology.

We conducted a program evaluation of approximately 55 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. These were schools that offered at least one PhD in HR management online or degree programs in a closely related discipline such as organizational leadership or HR development. We narrowed our original pool of human resources programs by applying the following criteria: regional or national accreditation, online or hybrid degree completion pathways, and school rankings with a major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the PhD programs and schools according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the top 20 PhD in human resources programs in management online.

#20 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Online phd in organizational leadership, chicago, illinois.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - logo

Though not an online PhD program in HR management, Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers a PhD in organizational management with human resources applicable concentrations via distance education. Focus areas for the prospective graduate student include human diversity and ethics, interpersonal dynamics, organizational interventions, strategic change management, and team-building. The doctorate in human resources online is fully online and takes three years to complete. Admission requirements include three or more years of work experience and a 500-750-word essay. Other requirements include a statement of research and official transcripts. U.S. News recognizes the institution among top ranked schools and PhD programs. This coupled with affordable tuition earns the Chicago School of Professional Psychology a spot on our list. Moreover, federal grants and loans may be available to eligible students.

Online PhD Programs in Psychology

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $22,554

#19 – University of Illinois

Online edd in hr development, champaign, illinois.

University of Illinois - logo

A public university founded in 1867, the University of Illinois offers an EdD program similar to PhD in HR management online programs. Successful completion of the online education degree earns an EdD in Diversity and Equity in Education with an emphasis in HR development. The program may be completed fully online and requires 64 credit hours. Courses for the online doctorate in human resources include diversity in the workplace, educational statistics and research methods, ethnographic methods in education, historical and social barriers, learning technologies, and organizational and workforce development education. A thesis and dissertation must also be completed for HR development programs. U.S. News ranks University of Illinois #46 in best national universities. Also, the online graduate education programs rank #16 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Grad Tuition/Online Cost : $14,635

#18 – Northcentral University

Online phd in hrm, san diego, california.

Northcentral University -logo

One of the top online human resource PhD programs for working professionals can be completed 100% online. Northcentral University’s online doctorate degree explores human resources leadership, workforce development education, and interrelationships within an organization. A total of 20 courses that span 45 months make earning a doctoral degree via online education convenient and rigorous. The accelerated pace is ideal for working students, and classes are taught by distinguished faculty members. Online coursework offers complete flexibility and encourage critical thinking. Students enrolled in the program benefit from no scheduled times, no group assignments, and weekly course start dates. U.S. News recognizes Northcentral University among the top unranked national universities. Also, several online graduate programs have earned top 200 and top 300 rankings out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $16,881

#17 – Sullivan University

Online doctoral degree in management – human resources leadership, louisville, kentucky.

Sullivan University - logo

Sullivan University offers an affordable online doctorate degree in HR management. Admission to the PhD program requires no GRE or GMAT testing. The school is considered a teaching university, though research is required for online programs. Curriculum is broken into different cores, including the management core, research core, and concentration area. A total of 16 hours is required for primary concentration, which includes HR leadership. Near the end of the human resources online program, a comprehensive exam is offered, and credits awarded on a pass-fail basis. A minimum of twelve credits are awarded for dissertation research conducted by prospective training and development managers. U.S. News ranks Sullivan University among the pool of top regional universities in the South.

Grad Tuition/Online Cost : $15,840

#16 – California Baptist University

Riverside, california.

California Baptist University - logo

Though not an online doctorate in management for human resources, California Baptist University offers an online DBA with courses applicable to the HRM field. The 50-unit program offers an eight-week online course format and follows a cohort model. This model allows students to progress together through coursework and the dissertation process. Courses run eight weeks in length, and residency participation may be required. Some of the courses that appeal to individuals interested in human resources online include ethics in organization and management, succession planning, foundations of organization and management, and topics in human capital and management. U.S. News ranks CBU #32 in best regional universities in the West and #20 in best value schools. Also, the online graduate business programs rank #86 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $13,590

#15 – Regent University

Virginia beach, virginia.

Regent University - logo

Regent University is one of the few colleges or universities to offer online Ph.D. in human resources programs for working professionals. The PhD in organizational leadership offers an emphasis in human resource development designed to prepare students to join the leadership ranks in human resources. This ACBSP-accredited PhD consists of 60 credits, two four-day residencies, and can be completed entirely online. Online human resource classes encourage critical thinking skills and include advanced analysis, autonomous learning and human resource development, design of adult learning communities, organizational learning, and ethical human resource development. Applicants to human resource development programs must hold a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. U.S. News ranks Regent #201 in best national universities.

Grad Tuition/Online Cost : $15,590

#14 – Johnson & Wales University

Online dba in org. development, providence, rhode island.

Johnson & Wales University -logo

Johnson & Wales University offers a DBA that is ideal for those seeking online human resources PhD programs. The online DBA offers a concentration in organizational development focusing on advancing employee and organizational performance. Flexible online classes run eight weeks in length and are taught by business professors. Students focus on one course at a time and are able to finish the program in three years. To graduate, human resources online students must complete all coursework, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0, and complete dissertation requirements. U.S. News ranks Johnson & Wales #74 in best regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $14,706

#13 – Atlantic International University

Online phd hrm, honolulu, hawaii.

Atlantic International University - logo

Atlantic International University’s online PhD HR management boasts flexibility and affordability. This fully online PhD program helps students consult, lead, and teach in the field of human resources within a global business environment. Courses include adult learning and motivation, cross-cultural management, diversity in the workplace, strategic management, leadership and communication, managing and organizing people, and theories of leadership. At the culmination of online learning, each PhD candidate completes, or is encouraged to complete, a doctoral dissertation. AIU is accredited by the Accrediting Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC). AIU offers one of the most affordable web-based programs on our list, and federal financial aid may be available.

Grad Tuition/Online Cost : $13,000

#12 – Wayland Baptist University

Online doctor of management (dmgt), plainview, texas.

Wayland Baptist University -logo

One of the best online doctorate in HRM programs on our list is the online doctor of management program (DMGT) at Wayland Baptist University, a non profit university located in Plainview, Texas.. This totally online degree consists of 60 semester hours of coursework in areas of management theory, organizational behavior, and HR practices and management. The program uses a cohort model where students take courses as they are offered. Courses are available in an online format and often run in 11-week terms. Students engage in coursework for this doctorate in human resources that includes group and team processes, human resource development, HR strategy, strategic management, and theories of employee and labor relations. Admission to the program requires that prospective graduate students submit official GMAT or GRE scores and three professional or academic recommendations. U.S. News ranks Wayland Baptist #96-#127 in best regional universities in the West.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $13,896

#11 – Colorado State University

Online doctorate in human resources studies, fort collins, colorado.

Colorado State University - logo

Colorado State University’s online human resources PhD program pushes students to become leaders and researchers in the field through coursework and professional experience. The program takes 3.75 years to complete with most classes offered online and is considered one of the best online doctorate options in the field. Students take two courses per semester, and each course meets eight Saturdays per semester at the Denver Learning Center. Some of the required courses include evaluation and assessment in organizational learning, performance, and change (OLPC); foundations of educational research; scenario planning in organizations; systems leadership; and human capital development. Admission requires GRE or GMAT scores and ten to twelve years of advanced experience in a related discipline. In terms of quality education, U.S. News ranks Colorado State University #140 in best national universities and #141 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $10,834

#10 – Old Dominion University

Online edd in occupational and technical studies – human resources, norfolk, virginia.

Old Dominion University -logo

Old Dominion University’s online PhD in HR management is a sixty-hour EdD program. This fully online program focuses on occupational / technical studies and human resources training. Students complete core courses, advanced topics electives, human resources concentration classes, and research projects. Two 2-week summer intensives are required at the main campus in Norfolk, Virginia. Courses include foundations of distance education, foundations of adult education and training, readings in occupational and technical studies, and trends and issues in training – modeling and simulation. U.S. News ranks Old Dominion University as a top national university and public institution offering a quality education in the field. Also, several online graduate programs have received top 50 and top 75 rankings out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

Graduate Tuition/Online Cost : $10,207

#9 – Removed By Editor

#8 – bellevue university, online ph.d. in human capital management, bellevue, nebraska.

Bellevue University - logo

Bellevue University offers an accredited type of online doctorate in human resources degree for HR professionals. The Ph.D. in human capital management online degree equips graduates to be effective leaders in designing human capital development programs. Courses are delivered online and include advance analysis and presentation methods, economics of human derived capital valuation issues, human capital productivity, and research in organizations. An 18-credit dissertation in human resources is also required for the human capital doctorate from Bellevue University. Admission requirements for business schools like this one include a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA or better, five years of professional experience, and statement of interest. There is no GRE or GMAT requirement for this Ph.D. in human capital management. U.S. News ranks Bellevue University among the top regional universities in the Midwest.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $10,980

#7 – Bowling Green State University

Online phd in technology management, bowling green, ohio.

Bowling Green State University -logo

Another alternative to the online doctorate in human resource management is the technology management degree at Bowling Green State University. Students begin by choosing one of five specializations for HR professionals, including human resources development and training. Eighteen hours of specialization courses in HRD & T are required. These courses are offered fully online and include career development theories and techniques in human resource development (HRD), evaluation of HR development programs, performance management and evaluation of learner performance improvement, legal and ethical dimensions in HRD practitioners, and management and coordination of training and development. To apply, the school requires a master’s degree in a relevant field with a strong GPA of at least 3.5. GRE or GMAT scores are also required. Federal financial aid is available to qualified applicants to business schools like this one. U.S. News ranks Bowling Green #215 in best national universities and #121 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $8,017

#6 – Liberty University

Online dba in human resources, lynchburg, virginia.

Liberty University - logo

Liberty University’s PhD in HRM online degree program requires 60 credits and takes three years to complete. The online Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in HR is a 100% online business education program designed to prepare individuals for high leadership roles in HR and business management. Classes are delivered online and include 48 hours of core courses and 12 hours of human resources cognate courses. Transfer credits may be accepted. Some of the courses for the doctorate in human resources include compensation management, contemporary issues in HR management, human capital development, strategic thinking and decision-making, labor relations, and workforce planning and employment. Admission requirements for prospective students include a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Once admitted, students may qualify for financial aid from the federal government. U.S. News ranks Liberty University #230-#301 in best national universities. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $7,847

#5 – University of Arkansas

Online edd in human resource studies and workplace development education, fayetteville, arkansas.

University of Arkansas - logo

One alternative to the doctorate in human resources management online degree, like the one University of Arkansas offers, is the online EdD in human resources. This fully online program prepares doctoral students in fields like organizational psychology, organizational behavior, consulting, and the human resources field. Prospective students must take the GRE exam to be considered for admission to online PhD programs like this one. Also, admission requires a complete application, autobiographical sketch, and resumé. Human resource professionals have up to seven years to complete the online doctoral program. To graduate, individuals must also successfully demonstrate skills developed through a candidacy exam and dissertation based on qualitative research skills. In terms of quality education, U.S. News & World Report ranks University of Arkansas #152 in best national universities and #78 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $7,875

#4 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online ph.d. human capital development, hattiesburg, mississippi.

University of Southern Mississippi -logo

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a type of online doctorate in human resource management degree known as the Ph.D. in human capital development. Through research and practice, the program prepares students to position themselves as leaders in human capital and organizational strategy and be successful in assessing human capital effectiveness and human capital valuation issues. Classes are delivered mostly online through web-based instruction. Minimal face-to-face meetings or courses may also be required for online students. The human resource leadership coursework you can expect to complete in online PhD programs like this one include advanced workforce analysis, organizational performance, foundations of human capital development, research in human capital development, survey design and administration, strategic human capital management, and workforce development models. U.S. News ranks the school #230-#301 in best national universities. The university holds its regional accreditation from the SACSCOC.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $9,094

#3 – Indiana State University

Terre haute, indiana.

Indiana State University - logo

Indiana State University is one of our top affordable picks for an online doctorate in human resources, PhD, or related doctoral programs. The PhD in technology management is a 66-credit hour program that offers the option of earning a specialization in a particular area of interest. If HRM is an area you want to pursue, the degree may be personalized to include courses in human resource management or development. Courses are delivered online and include 12 credits in general technology, a minimum of 27 credits in research and dissertation, and a minimum of 18 credits in a technical specialization like HR development, human capital management, or organizational dynamics. Students also take at least nine credits of electives, and a comprehensive examination may be required. U.S. News ranks Indiana State #230-#301 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $7,776

#2 – The University of Texas

Online phd in hrd, tyler, texas.

The University of Texas - logo

The University of Texas offers an accredited online PhD human resource management degree intended primarily as one of the few executive-based doctoral programs. While the program is not fully online, an executive format is used whereby students only meet five times each semester. The curriculum covers topics in human capital management and business administration. Most classes will be delivered online. To apply to the program, certain requirements must be met. Admission requires unofficial transcripts from all universities from which you earned a degree, three letters of recommendation, a master’s degree in human resource development or closely related field, and satisfactory GMAT scores. Federal financial aid is available to qualified applicants. U.S. News ranks UT-Tyler #81 in best regional universities in the West and #27 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $6,264

#1 – California Miramar University

California Miramar University - logo

A Doctor of Business Administration or DBA, like the one offered at California Miramar University, may provide an alternative route for individuals seeking online PhD HR management programs. The online DBA program offers an affordable education as well as various business management specializations that incorporate topics in human resources and organizational development. For example, the international business administration specialization offers courses in leadership theory and international HR management. This program is ideal for those interested in both business and HRM as well as human capital management. The program requires the completion of 66 graduate semester credits beyond the master’s degree. Also, degree candidates must conduct research and pass a comprehensive exam prior to approval of the dissertation proposal. California Miramar is the #1 most affordable school to offer an online doctoral program in HR.

Graduate Tuition/Fees : $7,020

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can i do with an online phd in hr management.

Human resource management professionals work in a variety of business administration settings and HR departments to ensure the organization and workplace is safe and respectful. In the human resources field, HR managers use their advanced skills to implement policies that provide support, recruit new job candidates, and fill vacant positions. With a Ph.D. in human resource management online, leadership roles in HR are available.

Duties of human resources managers vary based on organizational mission, but most oversee the recruiting process, manage human resources personnel, and conduct interviews when hiring new staff. Human resource managers often work closely with top organization executives to coordinate the work of a team of specialists. They serve as consultants to department heads and other organization managers and advise them on issues specific to human resources. Issues involving sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity are typically handled by the human resource manager.

Other function of human resources management focuses on structuring competitive compensation packages. To remain competitive as an organization and attract qualified candidates, an equally attractive compensation package must be offered. HR managers who complete a doctoral program make recommendations on potential policy changes, benefits modifications, and pay scale structures.

With an online PhD in HR management and human resource training, teaching is also an option. Colleges and universities hire qualified instructors and professors to teach students within the human resources program. Some candidates may qualify for the position of labor relations director, benefits managers, or training and development specialists.

What is the career outlook for individuals with an online doctorate degree in HR management?

The United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment of managers in HR is projected to grow nine percent through the year 2026. This is a slightly faster growth rate than the average for all other occupations.

Employment growth depends largely on the expansion of companies and organizations over the next several years. As new companies form and businesses expand their services and operations, more human resource services will be needed to oversee hiring and recruitment, as well as day-to-day administrative HR duties.

Also, human resource managers will be in demand as policy changes occur within organizations. Complex employment laws, equal employment opportunities, and changes to retirement plans and healthcare will impact the need for qualified specialists. Candidates with adequate training and education, such as an online PhD in human resources management, will be sought after to fill leadership roles.

Candidates with a master’s degree or PhD should have the best job prospects, as education is highly valued in this field. Although job opportunities are expected, they will vary among industry. Healthcare, education, and tech companies should present the highest demand for HR personnel. Top level HR positions will face the strongest competition. Qualified candidates will be vying for few available positions, thus adequate education and experience are a must. Career services are available to human resource professionals through the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) as well as other professional associations.

What will I earn with a PhD in human resources online management degree?

The median annual wage for managers in the field, according to the BLS, was $126,230 in 2021. Today, the earnings for an individual with a Ph.D. in human resource management may be slightly higher.

PayScale, a global compensation research organization dedicated to gathering data and calculating average salaries, reports the average salary of an individual with a PhD or doctorate in human resources management earns $81,000 per year. The maximum salary reported for an individual with a doctorate in HRM is $117,000.

Education and years of experience impact compensation. The more educated and the more experience an individual has, the higher the earning potential. PayScale reports an experienced HR manager with employees and ten to twenty years of experience earns an average total compensation of $74,990.

Location also impacts earnings. Managers in large cities and urban locations generally earn more than their peers working in small and rural towns. The difference in pay may be offset by cost of living expenses. For example, San Francisco offers one of the highest earning potentials for HR managers but also has one of the highest cost of living indexes in the country.

How long does it take to earn a PhD in human resource management online?

Plan on taking time to earn the proper education needed to land a top-level HR management job. Candidates need a bachelor’s, master’s, and in some cases a PhD to secure management roles. Due to competition for the highest leadership positions in HR management, a PhD will add value to your resumé.

Earning a doctorate in human resources management online takes time. There are no shortcuts to earning a PhD, but online programs generally offer a work-at-your-own pace environment. Many of the PhD in HR management programs on our list take two to four years to complete on average.

Completion time varies with enrollment. If you plan to enroll in a full-time program, you may shave months off your completion time. A full load of classes means you will not take as long to complete your degree as a person taking few classes each year in a part-time program. However, there are benefits to enrolling part-time. Less class time, more freedom to balance outside obligations, and more time to focus on research adds value to a part-time program. This is something you must consider before enrolling in a PhD in HR management program online.

What are the admission requirements for a PhD in HR management online?

As with all PhD and doctoral programs, qualified individuals with academic promise are considered for admission. Programs vary in terms of requirements for admission, but for doctoral degrees in human resources management online, similar criteria apply.

The majority of programs look for the basics. Does the applicant have the required education for admission? Programs may ask for an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, while others ask for a master’s degree. Not all programs require an undergraduate or graduate degree in human resources. Programs select candidates from all academic backgrounds. This means an applicant for a PhD in human resource management online program may hold an undergraduate degree in business or related field, not just a degree in human resources.

GRE or GMAT test scores are often required by top ranked programs and highly ranked institutions. If a program asks for GRE scores or other graduate examination scores, an average may be required. Most programs publish the average GRE or GMAT scores of accepted applicants, though not always. Also, some programs may offer a range or give no indication of qualifying test scores. Most programs do review the application as a whole.

Additional requirements vary among programs. Letters of recommendation from individuals at a professional organization who can attest to your academic and research potential, a statement of purpose, writing sample, and official transcripts are among the most common application requirements.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator
  • US News & World Report: Best Colleges

Related Resources

  • Online Graduate Degrees
  • Cheapest Online Colleges
  • Highest Paying PhD
  • Doctorate Organizational Leadership Online
  • Cheapest Online PhD in Finance
  • Online PhD Programs in Management Information Systems

This concludes our list of the top 20 PhD in human resource management programs online.

Online Doctorate in Human Resources

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Updated January 26, 2023 · 5 Min Read

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Senior leaders in human resources need exceptional decision-making, organizational, and interpersonal skills. Students who plan to conduct research or teach in this field must develop strong analytical, critical-thinking, and communication skills.

Earning a Ph.D. in human resources can help learners develop either of these skill sets and prepares candidates to fill a variety of professional roles. This guide provides an overview of online doctoral programs in human resources, including information about admissions requirements, curricula, and potential career paths for graduates. The guide also explains the importance of earning a human resource management degree from an accredited program.

Should I Earn an Online Doctorate in Human Resources?

Students pursuing a Ph.D. in human resources online can deepen their knowledge in areas such as the creation of innovative workplaces, the nature of 21st century organizations, or methods for attracting and retaining talent. As the highest degree available, a doctorate demonstrates expertise in the field.

Earning a Ph.D. can help current professionals advance their career. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS), some leadership roles in human resources require an advanced degree. While master's degree holders may qualify for these positions, a doctorate can give candidates a competitive edge. Earning a doctorate may also allow professionals to negotiate a higher salary in their current position.

Doctoral studies can also help individuals hone their research skills. Especially in programs that require a dissertation, students take extensive coursework in quantitative research techniques, applied research methods, and program evaluation. Students may work closely with a faculty adviser to shape and strengthen their research.

Many Ph.D. candidates aspire to train the next generation of human resources leaders and researchers. Most colleges and universities require teaching candidates to hold doctoral degrees.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Human Resources?

An online doctorate in human resources can lead to a variety of careers. Many students earn a doctorate to qualify for leadership roles in the private sector, such as director of human resources at a large company. Some learners specialize in an area of personnel management, such as talent development or recruitment. Ph.D. holders may also apply their human resources expertise to broad leadership positions, such as chief operating officer.

Graduates may also pursue government positions. Public agencies need qualified human resources professionals to help them attract and retain talented public servants. According to the BLS, about 10% of all human resources managers work for local, state, or federal governments.A doctorate also qualifies candidates for teaching and research roles in academia. Roughly

104,000 postsecondary business teachers work at colleges and universities across the country, instructing students on subjects such as human resources theories and strategic management practices. Additionally, some graduates of online Ph.D. programs serve as consultants, who may work independently or for a consulting firm.

Career Profiles

  • Collapse All

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan and direct an organization's administrative functions. They may hire and onboard new staff, create professional development programs, or mediate employee disputes. Managers at larger organizations often supervise a team of specialists.

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,120

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers oversee an organization's pay structure, work with outside vendors and service providers, and ensure that salaries and benefits comply with government regulations. These professionals may specialize in areas such as initial salary negotiation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $119,120

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers help an organization's employees enhance their skills and knowledge. They assess professional development needs, design appropriate training programs, and conduct employee evaluations.

  • Median Annual Salary: $108,250

Chief Operating Officers

Chief operating officers manage the administrative functions within an organization. They often oversee multiple departments and must possess a deep understanding of the principles of effective personnel and organizational management.

  • Median Annual Salary: $183,270

Postsecondary Teachers, Business

Postsecondary teachers at colleges and universities instruct students and conduct research. They may advise doctoral students working on their dissertations and perform various administrative duties, such as screening candidates for open faculty positions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $80,300

Featured Online PhD HR Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Human Resources Ph.D. Program Overview

Requirements for an online Ph.D. in human resources vary by program. For example, more practice-oriented programs may require a capstone project in lieu of a dissertation. Some programs require applicants to submit scores from an entrance exam, such as the Graduate Management Admission Test, and some programs feature concentrations or particular courses not available at other institutions. Learners should choose a program that fits their interests and needs.

Types of Doctorate Degrees in Human Resources

Learners can pursue many types of doctoral degrees in human resources. For example, students aspiring to careers in academia often pursue a Ph.D. in human resources. Ph.D. students complete rigorous coursework and write a dissertation to prepare for roles in higher education, such as research associate or assistant professor.

Students can also pursue a practice-oriented degree, such as a doctorate of education in human resources and workforce development.  Rather than requiring a dissertation, these programs provide opportunities for students to develop skills and apply knowledge in practical contexts. Professionals with an Ed.D. in human resources and workforce development often secure leader positions in the public and private sectors, such as director of personnel management.

Learners earning a doctorate in business may specialize in human resources.  In addition to classes in career planning and performance improvement, students in these programs complete general business coursework in areas such as finance, economics, and organizational development. Graduates often pursue top executive roles, such as chief operating officer or chief human resources officer.

Full-time students generally complete practice-oriented programs in about three years, including a capstone project.  Learners pursuing a Ph.D. or another research-focused doctorate often need up to seven years to complete program requirements, including a dissertation.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Applicants to doctorate in human resource management programs must typically hold an advanced degree in a related field. Some programs, however, allow students to earn their master's as they work toward a Ph.D.

Most programs require applicants to meet certain academic standards, such as a minimum 3.0 master's GPA. Other schools require applicants to submit results from an entrance exam, like the GRE or GMAT.

Doctoral applicants must typically submit a professional resume, a brief essay outlining their qualifications and professional goals, and up to three letters of recommendation. Applicants may also participate in an interview with admission officers or faculty members. These interviews help schools make admissions decisions and pair each admitted student with an appropriate faculty adviser.

Doctoral programs in human resources typically begin with advanced coursework in areas such as organizational development, global economics, and strategic management. Students can take elective classes in topics such as human resources analytics and employment law.

In addition to developing content knowledge, students complete a series of courses to prepare for their dissertation. These courses cover topics such as designing a research question, applying quantitative and qualitative research methods, and writing academically.

After completing required coursework, students must pass a comprehensive doctoral examination. After passing this exam, students can formally begin work on their dissertation. At many schools, students who fail the comprehensive examination twice can no longer seek a Ph.D.

Doctoral students work closely with faculty advisers to choose a research topic, collect data, and write their dissertation. To graduate, students must successfully defend their completed dissertation's methods and conclusions before a faculty committee. The dissertation process typically takes 1-3 years.

Students in practice-oriented doctoral programs complete a capstone project rather than a dissertation. Generally, these programs do not require a comprehensive examination.

Program Outcomes

Students in these programs develop a variety of skills and competencies. They learn how to assess employees' professional development needs through interviews and surveys and prepare to design appropriate training programs.

Students also learn how to resolve disputes among employees and those between an employee and management. Learners gain an understanding of relevant laws and regulations and the ability to manage difficult conversations.

Doctoral students also develop a strategic mindset, which provides context for their work of hiring and training employees and helps them counsel organizational leaders on staffing-related matters.

Students pursuing a Ph.D. in human resources online receive in-depth training in collecting and analyzing data. These research skills can improve their effectiveness in professional settings and can qualify them for roles in academia.

Accreditation for Online Human Resources Doctorate Programs

Learners should choose an accredited online doctoral program in human resources. The accreditation process ensures that schools meet set academic standards and adequately prepare students for careers. Prospective employers may not recognize a degree from an unaccredited school.

Three kinds of accreditation exist: regional, national, and programmatic. Most nonprofit and public universities hold regional accreditation. For-profit and vocational institutions often hold national accreditation. Programmatic accreditation agencies evaluate programs within a particular discipline. For example, online Ph.D. in human resources programs often receive programmatic accreditation from the  Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs  (ACBSP).

To confirm a program holds regional, national, or ACBSP accreditation, check the  online directory  from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

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Courses Human Resource Management

Doctor of philosophy in business management.

  • PhD in Business Management
  • Human Resource Management

PhD in Business Management, Human Resource Management

School of business, technology, and health care administration.

The PhD Human Resource Management specialization focuses on knowledge and skills needed to teach, consult, lead, practice, and conduct research in the field of human resource management. Learners evaluate multidisciplinary theories and human resource management strategies and practices for creating flexible and innovative settings in the 21st century’s global workplace. The specialization focuses on key issues related to attracting, developing, and retaining a global workforce. The coursework addresses diverse demographic and cultural perspectives, the influence of new technologies on the workplace, and the impact of the dynamic external work environment on human resource management practices.

Core courses:

In addition, choose one of the following two categories:

For quantitative research:

For qualitative research:

Specialization courses: 

Upon completion of all required coursework:

Learners must register for GBUS9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. 

One Elective Course

At least 4 quarter credits

Choose any business management (BMGT) course(s).

At least 90 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

What Can I Expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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10 Best PhD in Human Resources Online Programs

Are you interested in discovering how obtaining a PhD in Human Resources online could open up new and prestigious doors in your career?

PhD in Human Resources Online

Let’s explore how doctorate-level credentials could get you to the top of your field.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Professionals with a doctorate in Human Resources earn an average of between $60,000 and $180,000 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in a variety of roles.

Online PhD in Human Resources Programs

Pursuing a PhD in Human Resources offers room to focus on a specialty that you find engaging. The fact that you’re pursuing a specialty at a doctorate level means that you should be considered a true expert in your area of focus.

Click on the area that interests you to jump to that part of the page.

  • Human Resources

Compensation and Benefits

Employee relations.

  • Human Capital Management

Organizational Effectiveness

Organizational leadership.

What does that mean for your career? You could become one of a very select handful of people to be considered for certain roles in organizations.

Be prepared to tackle law, psychology, negotiations, math, and pure business studies!

  • PhD in Human Resources

human resource manager talking to a colleague in an office

General human resources covers all of the aspects of managing talent within an organization. This includes everything from bringing in workers who are the right fit to creating pay scales that keep an organization competitive.

Having a doctorate-level specialty in general human resources can help position you to become a vice president of human resources operating at an executive level within an organization.

In particular, it can help equip you to lead the full scope of human resources for major corporations, institutions, and universities.

human resource managers having a meeting regarding company's employee benefits

Compensation and benefits is a very relevant specialty because companies and organizations need to have smart strategies for offering fair and competitive pay and benefits.

Additionally, a company’s benefits package must be managed impeccably to ensure that resources are being used optimally. Becoming an expert can help you become a valuable asset to companies as they seek out ways to balance the need to offer generous perks with the realities of cost.

human resource manager meeting with company's employees

Optimizing talent is all about managing talent. This is why a specialist in employee relations is such an asset to an organization. Your PhD is can help equip you with the negotiating and strategizing skills to create satisfied, productive employees.

It can also help you become an expert at handling contracts, keeping up with compliance regulations, and developing key internal points that will be communicated across a workforce.

Human Capital Management (HCM)

human resource managers in a meeting

Human capital management is an emerging specialty that is attracting the attention of more and more employers.

What exactly is human capital management? Obtaining a PhD in this specialty can help you become a master of a comprehensive set of organizational practices that are designed to maximize the business value of employees.

However, the focus is far from seeing employees as impersonal “assets.” The focus of this specialty is actually on recruiting and developing talent through incentives, training, and other value-building strategies.

human resources consultants sharing their ideas during a meeting

Do you want to be the one who organizations turn to when they want a fixer? A PhD in organization effectiveness can help you become the go-to person for strategizing how to motivate, optimize, and enhance organizations.

The true skill set for this specialty revolves around achieving the outcomes that organizations want to produce.

Organizational effectiveness may be an ideal specialty if you’re focused on how to become a human resources consultant. The big perk of this is that you’ll likely be brought in when corporations need guidance regarding how to reorient toward specific outcomes.

team of professional employees meeting in a modern office

A specialty in organizational leadership can help you become the person that leaders of corporations and organizations turn to when they want guidance and motivation for how to do what they do better.

Obtaining a PhD can help you become something of a guru to the powerful decision-makers of the corporate world.

Organizational leaders are expected to have the tools to help leaders set strategic goals that impact every level of an organization. They are also expected to bring insights and motivation to the table that will help leaders put new ideas in motion.

Experts in organizational leadership have the unique distinction of being able to guide management approaches that work for both individuals and groups. Expect to be brought in during transitions and growth points.

Common Courses for PhD Human Resources Programs

PhD in Human Resources student studying online

The path to getting a PhD in Human Resources is often paved with some of the most interesting courses a student can take. You will likely dabble in everything from high-level business theory to motivational psychology by the time you emerge as an expert in your field.

Everything you study will probably have a distinct people-oriented angle! Here’s a look at some of the courses you may take as a Human Resources PhD student:

  • Compensation and Benefits cover in-depth how to build and manage full-scale compensation and benefits with considerations given to legal requirements and accounting principles.
  • Conflict Resolution covers effective ways to communicate and bring forth resolutions when people within a workplace come to the table.
  • Workplace Ethics dives into the legal and ethical requirements in workplace settings.
  • Employment Law is designed to equip students with the right tools to walk into situations that require action or mediation.

You should have well-rounded expertise that covers core topics like management, compensation models, and employee relations when finished with your program.

PhD in Human Resources student studying at home

Your courses will also help you gain familiarity with important workplace topics, such as sexual harassment in the workplace, employee theft, union regulations, employee morale, bonuses, and retirement.

Dissertation seminars are also included in most PhD in Human Resources curriculums. You can work toward doing independent, cutting-edge research that may ultimately contribute to the human resources field!

PhD in Human Resources Careers

PhD in Human Resources Careers and Salary

A PhD in Human Resources is a particularly robust area of study because it opens up possibilities in both the corporate and academic worlds. Many people who pursue this path do so because they want to reach executive-level positions.

Others would like to teach business classes on an academic track.

Being a vice president of human resources on the executive team of a large corporation is typically the goal that people have in mind when they pursue a PhD in human resources.

human resource manager talking to a job applicant

Roles as a human resources leader for a school district, hospital, university, or municipal government are all on the table.

A PhD in Human Resources may also be attractive to those who are interested in providing executive and leadership training on a consulting basis. You might start your own consulting practice, publish books, and host workshops.

Additionally, a PhD can qualify you to pursue teaching positions within the business departments at colleges and universities.

PhD in Human Resources Salary

human resource manager talking to her colleague

Let’s discuss what salaries can look like for those who reach the upper echelons on the human resources profession. Yes, the pay can be generous once you get to this level.

Here’s a look at average salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Chief Human Resources Officer: $185,950
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager: $125,130
  • Human Resources Manager: $121,220
  • Training and Development Manager: $115,640
  • Professor of Business Administration: $88,010
  • Human Resources Specialist: $63,490

Those who chose to parlay their expertise into careers focused on teaching or consulting may earn income through published works and paid workshops.

Professional Organizations for Those With an HR Doctorate Degree

Professional Organizations for Those With an HR Doctorate Degree

As a leader in your profession, you’ll probably want to become engaged with other professionals through professional organizations. The field of human resources has some of the most robust professional organizations around.

Here’s a look at groups to consider for everything from personal development to networking:

  • The Academy of Human Resources Development (AHRD) serves thousands of HR professionals around the world by fostering the development and study of theories, practices, techniques, and processes in the field of human resources.
  • The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest organization for professionals tasked with seeking and fostering workplace talent. Members have access to valuable resources that can be practically applied in their workplaces.
  • HR People + Strategy is a network of executives and HR thought leaders that offers access to exchanges, research, and publications.
  • The International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) is a resource-rich organization that provides members with access to educational and certification programs. Additionally, members can access a professional community and invitations to conferences.
  • The National Human Resources Association (NHRA) is a volunteer-based organization that offers community and career services.
  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) promotes and lobbies on behalf of the HR profession. Additionally, this organization provides members with networking and certification opportunities.

Becoming connected with a professional organization is vital for those seeking prominent roles within the HR industry. One of the big perks of professional membership is that you will be invited to attend regional and national events. You may even be rewarded and recognized by an organization!

The certifications that are offered by highly recognized and regarded HR organizations can demonstrate the practical skills that accompany your PhD in human resources.

Certification and Licensure Following a Doctorate in Human Resources

Human Resource manager receiving a certificate

Is it necessary to pursue certification and licensure after completing a human resources PhD program? Doing so can certainly make your online degree in human resources more valuable by demonstrating practical knowledge to accompany your academic pursuits.

Here’s a look at the certifications that are considered to be the most relevant:

  • A Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) demonstrates one’s ability to develop strategies, lead groups, build influence, analyze performance metrics, and match HR goals to organizational goals upon receiving a passing score on the SHRM-SCP exam.
  • A Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) showcases a proficiency in strategy and policymaking upon receiving a passing score on the SPHR exam.
  • A Senior Professional in Human Resources — International (SPHRi) showcases a mastery of high-level policymaking upon receiving a passing score on the SPHRi exam.

These certifications are considered to be résumé boosters for applicants applying to high-level HR leadership positions. Preparing for certification can be a very useful experience for adding very relevant and actionable skills and knowledge to your professional toolkit.

Accreditation for a Doctorate in Human Resources

Accreditation for a Doctorate in Human Resources

Many people seeking HR PhDs focus exclusively on schools and programs with regional accreditation. You may be wondering if this is what you should also be doing if you’re about to pursue a degree that will position you to be an HR leader.

There’s no denying that a school with regional accreditation offers benefits that could help your degree to appear more impressive to employers. Regional accreditation requires very strict evaluation guidelines. This generally makes your degree more valuable by default.

Don’t forget that regional accreditation could be very important if you end up switching schools! That’s because your credits will transfer more easily if you begin your studies at a regionally accredited institution.

A school’s federal accreditation is all that’s necessary to participate in federal financial aid programs that are available to students.

Financial Aid for an Online PhD in Human Resources

Financial Aid for an Online PhD in Human Resources

You’re probably looking into ways to pay for a PhD in Human Resources if you feel that completing this level of education is what’s necessary to help you reach your career goals. PhD programs can be more expensive per course than other programs like a master’s in human resources online degree program .

Fortunately, PhD students have a wide variety of funding resources beyond what’s available for undergraduate students to look into. This includes things like fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and grants.

A student studying for a PhD in Human Resources may have access to federal grants, federal loans, private loans, and institution-provided tuition assistance. There is a good chance that you will pay much less than what a college or university lists as its full-time tuition cost.

Can You Get a PhD in HR?

human resource manager studying at home

Yes, several colleges and universities offer PhD programs in HR. The human resources programs of most schools are closely aligned with business and management programs.

There’s a good chance that you will be taking the majority of your courses through a school’s business department. Additionally, psychology and finance courses may be a part of your full curriculum.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Human Resources?

human resource manager studying at a cafe

Most PhD programs for HR require students to complete between 60 and 90 credits. The length of time it takes to finish your program will depend on your full-time or part-time status.

Most students are able to complete a PhD in Human Resources within five years. Keep in mind that you will probably be required to complete research for a lengthy, involved dissertation. Due to this, traditional or online accelerated human resources degree programs aren’t an option for students who are pursuing a PhD.

If completion speed is a primary focus for you, then you may want to consider pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration in Human Resources instead. DBA programs are professional doctorates and in many cases they don’t require a dissertation .

Universities Offering a Doctorate in Human Resources Online

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bellevue University campus

Bellevue University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Capital Management. Students must complete 51 credit hours, including 2 residencies and a dissertation, to graduate. Those interested in the program must have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience and a graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • PhD in Human Capital Management

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado State University campus

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University was founded in 1870.

The 60-credit PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies – Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change program is offered in cohort format by the university’s School of Education. The program can be completed in 3.75 years. Classes are held in Denver and use online tools as well.

  • PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies – Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change

Colorado State  is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University campus

Established in 1971, Liberty University is a Christian Evangelical institution located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is ranked among the top online universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The 60 credit-hour, 100% online DBA in the Human Resources program can be completed in 3 years, with no set log in times. Students can complete coursework at their own pace.

  • DBA in Human Resources

Liberty University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

National University campus

Founded in 1971, National University is a network of nonprofit educational institutions headquartered in San Diego, California. NU offers a Doctor of Business Administration in Human Resources Management and a PhD in Human Resources Management.

The DBA requires the completion of 16 courses for a total of 48 credit hours. It can typically be completed in 64 months. The PhD requires the completion of 20 courses for a total of 60 credit hours. It can typically be completed in 38 months.

  • DBA in Human Resources Management
  • PhD in Human Resource Management

National University  is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Regent University campus

Founded in 1977, Regent University is a Christian institution located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The 60 credit-hour online PhD in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Human Resource Development program has two 4-day residency requirements.

The program consists of core and concentration courses, a capstone project, comprehensive exam, and dissertation, with some face-to-face components.

  • PhD in Organizational Leadership – Human Resource Development

Regent University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Arkansas campus

Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the University of Arkansas was established in 1871.

The online Doctor of Education in Human Resource & Workforce Development Education (HRW DEd) program, offered by the College of Education & Health Professions, requires students to take the GRE. Students are allowed to take up to 7 years to complete the doctoral degree.

  • EdD in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education

The  U of A is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus

Established in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign.

The Ph. in Human Resources program is offered by the School of Labor and Employment Relations. Students must complete 48-64 hours of coursework, a non-credit faculty-student workshop, exams, and a dissertation for graduation.

The  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Texas at Tyler campus

Located in Tyler, Texas, the University of Texas at Tyler was established in 1971.

The PhD in Human Resource Development program is offered by the university’s Soules College of Business. Students are required to complete 60 credit hours, and GMAT scores are necessary for admission. Coursework can be completed in 2.5 years.

  • PhD in Human Resource Development

The University of Texas at Tyler is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Walden University campus

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walden University is an online university established in 1971.

The online DBA in Human Resource Management program has a 49-credit-hour requirement for completing the degree, with two face-to-face academic residencies. The program must be completed within 8 years unless the student’s petition for an extension.

  • DBA in Human Resource Management

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Wayland Baptist University campus

Located in Plainview, Texas, Wayland Baptist University is affiliated with the Stalked Plains Baptist Association. It was established in 1906,

The Doctor of Management in Human Resource Management program has a 60-credit-hour requirement consisting of 57 hours of coursework and 3 credit hours of research project work, comprehensive exams, and successful completion of an applied research project.

  • Doctor of Management in Human Resource Management

Wayland Baptist University  is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Is a PhD in Human Resources Worth It?

human resource manager giving the contract to a new employee to be signed

Yes, a PhD in human resources is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 5% job growth in management occupations over the next 10 years. Common careers in this field include business professor, training and development manager, human resources manager, compensation and benefits manager, and chief human resources officer.

If you’re researching a PhD in Human Resources, you may have decided this is the field where you can build a career on your talent and skills.

It’s true that a PhD in Human Resources isn’t for everyone who works in the HR field. This degree often attracts those who want to be at the top of the industry.

Yes, a PhD in human resources may be worth it for someone who would like to pursue high-level HR roles within operations. This degree can help equip you to be a decision-maker and makes pursuing your PhD an especially worthwhile adventure!

online phd human resource management

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Online Doctorate in Management and Organization

Pursue the pinnacle of your career with a phd in organization and management degree online.

Are you a business professional seeking a terminal degree? Do you want to hone your management skills and become equipped for various leadership and teaching roles? If so, Liberty University’s 100% online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organization and Management may be for you! Our doctorate in management and organization provides an in-depth examination of theoretical and practical business concepts. Whether you enjoy teaching at the college level or leading teams of people within companies, our online program can help you prepare for the next step in your career.

Throughout this doctoral program, you can learn how to conduct effective research in the field of organization and management. If you don’t have a business-related master’s degree, you can still apply to this program and gain a firm foundation in business that can help you pursue roles in consulting, executive leadership, and more. With a median salary of $107,680 for top executives in 2020,* you can be confident that our program can help you explore rewarding career opportunities.

Partner with us and learn how to lead with integrity in your organization!

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, at Top Executives, 2020 (viewed online July 7, 2021). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Why Choose Liberty’s Online Organization and Management Doctorate?

As a pioneer in distance education since 1985, Liberty knows what it takes to create online programs that blend accessibility, affordability, and high-quality academics. Our organization and management doctorate is offered 100% online, and most of the courses are only 8 weeks long. With our flexible format, you can earn your management degree online from the comfort of your home while staying invested in your family, job, and community.

At Liberty, you won’t have to sacrifice quality for flexibility. We are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges ( SACSCOC ). By choosing Liberty, you’re choosing a top-notch education from a university that is committed to excellence. All of our courses are taught by industry experts, so you can pursue your degree with confidence.

While pursuing the PhD program in management and organization, you’ll be able to personalize your degree by selecting a specialization. That way, you can focus your studies on the topics that align with your interests and goals. Whether you are looking to advance your career or explore new job opportunities in business, our online doctorate in management and organization can help you become a Champion for Christ in your field.

Military Tuition Discount We want to help you find the doctoral degree you want — at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers eligible current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only  $300/credit hour .  Find out  how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity as you work towards your goal of reaching the pinnacle of your profession — for less.

Specializations for the Online Doctorate in Management and Organization

At Liberty, you can customize your doctorate in management and organization by selecting a specialization in the area that interests you the most! That way, you can further hone your skill set and become equipped to pursue your unique career goals. Check out our specialization options below.

Entrepreneurship

Liberty’s online PhD in Organization and Management – Entrepreneurship can help you gain an advanced understanding of how to start and run your own business — all while strengthening your research and leadership skills. You’ll explore startup and exit strategies, small business management, methods for raising capital for business startups, and more.

Potential Career Options

  • Business strategist
  • Executive business leader
  • Private business consultant
  • Risk assessor
  • University professor

View the Degree Completion Plan . View the Graduate Business Course Guides (login required) .

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Executive Coaching

Liberty’s online PhD in Organization and Management – Executive Coaching can help you learn how to mentor other business professionals so they can develop their leadership skills and lead their organizations to success. You’ll explore coaching theory and practice, theories and research in industrial and organizational psychology, techniques for leveraging data for decision-making, and more.

  • Executive coach
  • Leadership development consultant

Liberty’s online PhD in Organization and Management – Leadership can help enhance your leadership skills as you learn how to manage highly effective teams, foster innovation, and navigate ethical dilemmas in business. You’ll explore topics like leadership theory, ethical leadership, and more.

  • Executive officer
  • Human resources manager
  • Management analyst
  • Training and development manager

What Will You Learn in Our Doctorate in Management Online?

Throughout this online PhD program in organizational management, you’ll have the opportunity to develop research and leadership skills that can help you pursue top-level roles in industry and academia. Your core organization and management courses offer an in-depth look at risk management, human resource management, strategy formulation, and strategic thinking. You can also learn how to lead your company through change — equipping you to make a difference in private, public, and nonprofit organizations.

At Liberty, we’ve designed our online PhD in organizational management to offer you maximum flexibility. In addition to completing core management courses, you’ll be able to select a specialization in a subject that interests you. From entrepreneurship to executive coaching, you can explore the area of study that best matches your career goals.

Additionally, you will complete a sequence of research courses designed to help prepare you for the dissertation process. Our research courses cover a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and applied research methods. The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to contribute your scholarly work to the current base of knowledge in your field. By conducting original research, you can become better equipped to pursue roles in academia or to implement needed changes in your organization.

Featured Courses

  • BMAL 703 – Managing the Contemporary Organization
  • BMAL 704 – Leading Organizational Change
  • BMAL 714 – Risk Management Process and Practice
  • BUSI 770 – Strategy Formulation and Strategic Thinking

Potential Career Opportunities for Graduates of Liberty’s PhD in Organizational Management Program

Highlights of our phd program in management and organization.

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility . Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America . Earning your online degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
  • Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges ( SACSCOC ).
  • You can earn your PhD in Organization and Management degree online in as little as 3 years.
  • Most of our PhD courses are available in an 8-week format.
  • As an online student, you can access a wealth of resources through our top-notch library portal.
  • Even if you don’t have a business-related master’s degree, our PhD in Organization and Management degree online can help prepare you for a career as a manager, business leader, consultant, or academic.

Online PhD Program in Organizational Management Information

  • This program falls under the School of Business .
  • View the Graduate Business Course Guides (login required) .
  • View the PhD in Organization and Management Handbook for additional program information.

Admission Requirements for the Online Organization and Management Doctorate

A regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a 3.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our  admission requirements page  for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

If you have further questions about admission requirements for this program, please contact [email protected] .

* There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.

Transfer Policies

At Liberty, we want to help you make the most of your prior education by allowing you to transfer in previously earned college credit. That’s why you can transfer in up to 50% of your total credits for a master’s or doctoral program!

Some restrictions apply. Please visit our Transfer Policy page for more information.

*Some restrictions may occur for this promotion to apply. This promotion also excludes active faculty and staff, military, Non-Degree Seeking, DGIA, Continuing Education, WSB, and Certificates.

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Additional program fees may apply. See program page for details.

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Ph.D. in Human Resource Management

Program information.

The doctoral program in human resource management (HRM) prepares students for success in research universities as faculty members specializing in human resources. Doctoral students work closely with faculty to gain research and teaching expertise in the various functions and activities carried out as part of HRM, including the relationship between these practices and organizational strategies, cultures, and performance.

Many HRM scholars specialize or focus on more micro-level work, such as researching the impact of specific HR practices (e.g., selection or training techniques) on individual-level measures of satisfaction or performance. Alternatively, macro-level HR (i.e., “strategic HRM”) scholars study the effects of systems of HR policies and practices on organizational-level outcomes. KU faculty have expertise at both levels, as evidenced by publications in prestigious outlets.

Application deadlines

Priority: December 15, 2023

Final: January 10, 2024

  • Application requirements

Doctoral students work closely with faculty to gain research expertise in the various functions and activities carried out as part of HRM with a focus on the attraction, selection, retention, development, motivation, and utilization of individuals in organizations.

Part of our mission is to develop effective teachers. To that end, all doctoral students are required to teach at least two sections as independent instructors. The school and university prepare and reward doctoral students for excellence in teaching through various programs and awards.

Program details

Human resource managment core courses.

A graduate course in economics: BE 701: Business Economics OR BE 917: Advanced Managerial Economics OR ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics

Note: BE 917: Business Economics, is preferred. Students coming into the program directly from an undergraduate degree may consider substituting BE 701: Business Economics, or ECON 700: Survey of Microeconomics. In the event a student has taken a graduate economics course prior to enrolling as a KU doctoral student, she/he may waive the requirement and substitute either an elective doctoral content course or a statistics/research methods course for this requirement.

MGMT 905:  Management Research Methods

MGMT 916: Major Management Theories

MGMT 950: Seminar in Human Resource Management I

MGMT 951: Seminar in Human Resource Management II

MGMT 953: Seminar in Organizational Behavior I OR         MGMT 954: Seminar in Organizational Behavior II

MGMT 956: Seminar in Strategic Management I OR      MGMT 957: Seminar in Strategic Management II

MGMT 998: Independent Study

MGMT 952: Special Topics in Human Resource Management (offered and required when there are 3 or more students in years 1 & 2 of the program)

Statistics/Research Methods Courses

At least four courses with advisor approval

At least two or more courses with advisor approval

For more information, view a detailed list of courses in the academic catalog.

  • Comprehensive exams
  • Dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation defense

Some students can complete the program in four years.

Program faculty

Clint Chadwick

  • Howard Fitch/Fred Ball Professor
  • Management and Entrepreneurship academic area

Patrick E. Downes

  • Associate Professor

Jill Ellingson

  • Neeli Bendapudi Professor of Management

Human Resource Management doctoral students

Kylie Hershey

  • Ph.D. Student

Ella Lee

  • Ph.D. Candidate

Mengwei Li

Top 10 PhD Programs in Human Resources

Human resources is one of the most critical roles in any company. The people responsible for keeping employees happy, productive, and in the know are sometimes the only thing standing between management and mutiny. In recent years, business schools and other higher education institutions have begun taking human resources seriously as a field of study and education, developing degree programs dedicated to the theory and practice of human resources. For those reaching for the higher rungs of the ladder in human resources, or who are interested in researching, teaching, and consulting in the field, a doctorate in human resources is the way to go.

Finding an Online Human Resources Doctorate

Finding a PhD in human resource management through distance education has become much easier than it ever was before, thanks to universities developing human resources doctorates in all sorts of different forms. Some programs offer a PhD in Human Resources, while others offer an  online Doctor of Business Administration with a Human Resources focus; there are also online Doctor of Education (EdD) programs specializing in human resource training, while online Leadership Doctorate programs may also offer human resources expertise.

Whatever the letters on the diploma, the top PhD programs in Human Resources have the same things in common: a focus on training human resources managers and professionals to offer the best staff support, the highest level of integrity and ethical responsibility, and complete confidence and capability using modern technology. All of these are the essential elements that make for leaders in the human resources field, and that is what a Human Resources doctorate is all about.

Ranking the Top PhD Programs in Human Resources

Online PhD Programs has developed our ranking of the best PhD programs in human resources by combing the higher education landscape for fully online, hybrid, or low-residency human resources programs. With our pool of qualified institutions – all regionally accredited and known for quality – we ranked programs by three criteria:

  • Cost (from IPEDs data)
  • Reputation (from Niche scores)
  • ROI (from College Scorecard)

Any professional working in human resources who wants to go to the highest level can trust the top PhD in Human Resources programs to provide the foundation of expertise and experience to conquer that next mountain in their career.

1. University of Arkansas

Located in Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas is the premier doctoral institution in Arkansas. Since 1871, the U of A specializes in offering high-quality education to its student population. Despite its prestigious status, the University of Arkansas charges tuition on a pay per credit basis for all its online-based programs. This university enjoys good ratings from institutions such as Forbes, Times Higher Education, the Washington Monthly, and U.S News & World Report for its dedication in providing quality academic instruction, commitment to research, and program affordability. Besides offering doctoral programs in human resource management, U of A has over 200 online programs in different disciplines, including one of the top PhD programs in human resources.

Launched in 2001, the University of Arkansas’ online Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education doctoral program is a 96 credit program delivering instruction asynchronously (with a onetime campus residency). For admission, students need to have at least a GRE score of 153 in verbal skills, 150 in quantitative skills, and a 4.0 rating in writing. Also, potential candidates need to have prior work experience to enroll in this program. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, students are assured of strong support. By providing this PhD in human resource management through distance education, students require less than four years to complete the online program. Besides that, students can attend summer classes upon request.

Format: Online Cost: $ $$$$

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Operating from the outskirts of Urbana and Champaign, the University of Illinois Champaign is Illinois’ flagship campus that provides a 100% online PhD in human resource management through distance education, a unique selling point for busy professionals. To deliver the curriculum’s coursework, the university combines a synchronous model with asynchronous learning for forum posts. This makes its program unique as it exposes students to principles of teamwork, leadership, system design, and work analysis. By enrolling in this university, candidates access world-class education resources in human resource management and development.

Offered as a 64 credit program, UI’s online PhD in Human Resources program focuses on topics like consultancy, human capital development, e-learning, and program evaluation. Prospective students require to present an up to date CV, three letters of reference, and a GPA score of 3.0 for admission into the program. ts Doctor of Education in Education Policy: Organizational Leadership program is unique in integrating subjects such as sexual orientation, diversity, and race and gender equality. Primarily, this program favors working professionals and allows candidates to complete the entire PhD in human resource management through distance education within 3.5 years.

Format: Online Cost: $$ $$$

3. Colorado State University Online

Established in 1870, the Colorado State University is a land grant learning institution located in Fort Collins. It enjoys popularity for its demanding programs and curricula. CSU is the flagship university in the state’s university system with eight constituent colleges and 55 faculties delivering over 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. In 2017, CSU was ranked one of the top 20 institutions for online learning by U.S. News & World Report. Distinctively, it’s the only fully online, regionally accredited, independent public university in the US. Given that, it is a popular option for busy graduates who desire a self-paced doctorate education.

Colorado State University’s online Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies equips students with advanced skills in leadership, communication, and effective teaching techniques. CSU doctoral program has three specializations including Education, Equity and Transformation, Organizational Learning, Performance and Change, and Higher Education Leadership. Via these specializations, postgraduate candidates become competent, effective, and responsible business and community leaders. Pursuing a CSU doctoral program online improves a graduate’s earning potential. Remarkably, CSU relies on the same faculty that delivers its on-campus curriculum to provide its PhD in human resource management through distance education coursework.

4. University of Connecticut

Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut is a public higher learning institution located in Storrs, CT. UConn is well-known for its excellent and internationally acclaimed academic programs, as well as one of the most respected public universities in New England. Improvements in the quality of its programs have occasioned an influx of student enrollment in recent years. UConn depends on a culture of innovation to accomplish its academic mission. Its commitment to quality education ensures that UConn is a favorite destination for a vast number of international students. Given that, UConn’s human resource management doctoral program combines a distinctive blend of on-campus and online instruction. In this way, UConn maximizes a graduate’s learning experience.

UConn’s Advanced Business Management Certificate in Human Resource Management targets graduates and other professionals looking to advance their skills and knowledge in human resources management. This program has four core subjects with one course being mandatory. Students study for a year to complete this program. UConn’s graduate program targets students who need to balance family, career, and personal commitments. In pursuing this program, candidates gain high-level quantitative skills and practical knowledge leading to enhanced performance. Besides, this program serves as a stepping stone towards a Master’s degree. Successfully completing this course demonstrates a candidate’s skills in advanced human resource management concepts.

5. Bellevue University

Founded in the 1960s, Bellevue University is a non-profit university located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Since its inception, Bellevue University’s mission has been to provide students with quality and affordable education. Interestingly, more than 80% of its campus fraternity comprises of students above 25 years of age. Each year, Bellevue University caters for approximately 10,000 students in its 15 campuses offering over 70-degree programs. Recently, the US News and World Report included Bellevue University in its list of institutions providing top PhD programs in human resources. The Higher National Learning Commission accredits Bellevue University in conjunction with the U.S Department of Education.

Bellevue’s online PhD in Human Capital Management program offers specializations such as Recruitment, Foundations for Professional Success, and Benefits Administration. Coursework for this degree relies on the Professional Human Resource (PHR) body of knowledge. Also, the curriculum focuses on topics such as Equal Opportunity compliance, human capital development, labor relations, compensation, and benefits management. To graduate, candidates must attain 40 credits in business and administration studies and forty electives. Bellevue University’s human resource doctoral program is unique because of its focus on hands-on learning that relates theory to real-world scenarios. Besides, students at Bellevue University benefit from its Kirkpatrick Signature Series program, which engages candidates in active citizenship activities.

6. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University is a public university founded in 1930 as a division of the College of William and Mary. Today, however, ODU is a full-fledged university located in Norfolk, Virginia. ODU is committed to scientific research in fields such as simulation, modeling, accelerator science, and situational analysis. In particular, ODU stands out from its peers because of its entrepreneurship-oriented doctoral research student population. Also, it has a highly rigorous campus resident community which contributes some $2.6 billion in revenue to Virginia’s economy. ODU’s online program in human resource produces high-level HR management professionals, as graduates leave ODU with an entrepreneurial mindset.

ODU’s PhD in Education: Occupational and Technical Studies – Human Resource Training specialization is available as an online graduate program. This program equips industry and business professionals with practical leadership skills in the assessment, design, and delivery of productive workforces in a globalized economy. ODU doctorate program comprises of core units in occupational and technical studies, research, electives, a dissertation, and human resources training. Graduates taking this program rely on the university’s online portal to access instructional material and other resources. Even though ODU offers this as an online program, students must attend a 2-week Summer Institute at its main campus in Norfolk. With this program, ODU hopes to achieve its goal of providing world-class PhD in human resource management through distance education.

7. Liberty University

Liberty University is a private Christian institution located in Lynchburg, VA. It’s the nation’s second largest private university, with an overall student population of more than 100,000. It’s widely recognized for its student code, The Liberty Way, which emphasizes evangelical Christian values. LU’s mission is to develop morally upright professionals through the inculcation of Christian morals and values. At LU, students engage with a curriculum grounded upon rigorous training and structured learning. Similarly, LU’s online programs incorporate thorough training, minus on-site campus residency. All of LU’s online programs sharpen an HR professional’s grasp of core HR concepts in preparation for leadership roles.

Liberty University’s Doctor of Business Administration: Human Resources targets students who desire to attain leadership positions. Its unique DBA program delivers learning using experiential learning, hands-on case studies, organizational coaching, and secondary research. LU’s DBA students cover its 60 credit curriculum 100% online unless one needs to attend an onsite interview. Most importantly, each of the program’s specializations lets students create a degree track that suits their unique needs. This university’s DBA program conveniently facilitates better interaction between students and lecturers through its WebEx portal. As a result, students build long-lasting relationships with both their peers and faculty members. In this way, LU achieves its mission of delivering top PhD programs in human resources.

8. Capella University

Founded in 1993, Capella University is a young institution designed for the convenience of working adults and other non-traditional students. As a primarily online university, CU’s mission is to provide top class profession-oriented education for students who want to see results. From its homebase in Minneapolis, MN, Capella has earned regional accreditation, and has made a name for itself based on its pioneering competency-based learning strategy, which has been widely incorporated by other online educators. Capella uses asynchronous classes, practical learning, and value-added expertise that students can apply right away to their current professions.

Capella University offers two of the top phd programs in human resources available online. These include Capella’s DBA in Business Management and Ph.D. in Business Management . Its Ph.D. in human resource track equips graduates with relevant skills in teaching, consultancy, and organizational leadership. Also, it features a curriculum based on ethics, leadership, research, and strategic management skills. Then again, its DBA in human resources management expands a candidate’s capabilities in the control of organizational performance. In this track, students focus on acquiring, managing, and retaining a workforce that is global in outlook. Besides, both tracks provide graduates with the opportunity to interact with diverse cultural and demographic factors.

9. University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler is a young university that became a member of the Texas State University system in the year of its founding, 1979. Its mission is to provide expertise in the management of organizations through the training of individuals a corporate human capital. Its online home resource management program prepares students to solve the pressing issues that business organizations confront in the 21st century. Although its human resource program is a 100% online, it allows students to congregate five times a week. In this way, graduates benefit from interactions with professionals in the same career. As a result, enrolling in its online program allows some level of flexibility that you can’t find elsewhere.

The University of Texas at Tyler’s hybrid PhD in Human Resource Development is a 24-month long program that blends theory and practical application of human resource concepts. Skills obtained in this program distinguish UT’s graduates as highly flexible professionals. For the program, doctoral candidates must complete a training regimen comprising of 60 credits in human resources management, statistics, a dissertation, and a research core. However, for admission, one needs to have a Master’s degree in a relevant area, a 3.0 GPA, and a 500 GMAT score. Additionally, students enrolled at the University of Texas’s online program concentrate on research and organizational project development skills in one of the nation’s top PhD programs in human resources.

10. Northcentral University

Northcentral University was founded in 1996 as one of the first fully online colleges ever. For more than two decades, Northcentral has been building a reputation for diversity, accessibility, and convenience, helping working adults, career-changing professionals, and other nontraditional students earn their degrees. While Northcentral is a for-profit institution, it has also earned regional accreditation and provides fully online programs all the way up to the doctoral level. Northcentral developed one of the first fully online Schools of Business and Technology to earn ACBSP accreditation.

Northcentral’s online PhD in Human Resources Management degree program provides students with a full view of contemporary human capital development, from diversity to technological innovation to labor relations. Students learn the most current human resource management theory and focus on the work of building trusting relationships within a company or organization. All coursework is fully online, and all faculty have terminal degrees in their field, providing full support and mentorship for online students.

Embrace the convenience of online learning and shape your own path to success.

Explore schools offering programs and courses tailored to your interests, and start your learning journey today.

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SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Graduate Programs in Human Resource Management

Graduate programs in human resource management.

Flexible, customizable, top-ranked HRM masters degree and certificate programs offered online or in-person.

Career Uplift

$121,222 (Median HR Manager)

Lifelong Network

The University of Connecticut (UConn) offers a broad range of top-tier online and hybrid master's (33 credits) degrees and graduate certificates (12 credits) in human resource management. UConn's Master’s (MS) in Human Resource Management is a 20-month professional graduate degree that has a supportive cohort-based community, and a part-time program delivered 100% online or in a hybrid format (Hartford, Connecticut). UConn's Graduate Certificate in Human Resources is held 100% online or in a hybrid format enabling students to accelerate their careers, develop their business acumen and strategic thinking skills.

Best Online Master’s in Human Resources - Best Colleges 2022

Faculty Research Productivity - TAMUGA 2022

Public University - U.S. and World News Report, 2023

Choose the Program Format That Fits Your Work/Life Balance

Hybrid master's in hrm.

  • Online and In-Person
  • Collaborate, Engage, Network

Online Master's in HRM

  • 100% Online
  • Connect from across the nation

Graduate Certificate in HRM

  • UConn Community
  • Flexible, Customizable, and Focused

Hear from HRM Students

"[The UConn HRM program] really is a place where you can draw unique insights and ideas based on other individuals' experiences that you can leverage in your own problem solving and strategic planning." –Karolina LaFlamme '23 MSHRM

The UConn Master of Science (MS) in Human Resource Management delivers the knowledge and skills you need to lead human capital in a dynamic global environment.

  • Championing Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mastering Employment and Compliance Law
  • Enhancing Cutting Edge Talent Analytics Skills
  • Developing Human Capital and Workforce Capability
  • Leading Innovation and Managing Organizational Change
  • Accessing and Mitigating Risk in the Workplace
  • Dealing with difficult conversations and interpersonal conflict in organizational settings
  • Identifying alignment between Human Resource activities and competitive strategy
  • Selecting and onboarding high potential employees
  • Managing and leveraging high performance teams
  • Developing and managing effective performance management systems

Kimberly Melvin, a woman with dark hair, is pictured in her red graduation gown adjusting a red mortarboard on her young daughter.

Education that fits.

Accredited online programs designed to fit your goals, your schedule, YOU. 

Whether you're coming back or transferring in, you've found the right place to chart your course to a relevant, respected degree. 

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Prospective Student

Current student, faculty member, why choose ul lafayette online:.

Whether you're looking for the right fit to finish your bachelor's online or the accelerant to propel your career forward through an online graduate program, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers a top-tier education for wherever you are in your life and career.

Flat-Rate Tuition

As an online student, you'll have access to flat-rate tuition whether you're down the bayou or across the country!

Accelerated Courses

Set a pace that works for you with 8-week and 16-week course options — all offered 100% online.

One-on-One Support

From the moment you request information or apply to an online degree program, you'll be connected with an enrollment specialist who will see you through to graduation.

Dean Bobbie Decuir confers Bachelor of General Studies degrees to two online graduates.

Undergraduate Degrees

UL Lafayette is ranked as the top University in Louisiana for online bachelor's degree programs with six options to take you wherever you want to go next.

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Graduate Degrees

Prepare for the next phase of your career by earning a respected graduate degree from UL Lafayette. Develop the in-depth knowledge you need to stand out while balancing your professional and personal priorities through online graduate courses.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette holds a Carnegie R1 designation for its investment and contributions to academic research.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Specialize your skillset in as little as six months through certificate programs designed to be flexible and relevant. 

Online Student Stories

Health Promotion & Wellness degree online alumna Terri Roberts smiles across a conference table in the Foundation for Wellness offices.

Health Promotion & Wellness Connects Grad to Meaningful Career

“With Health Promotion and Wellness, you can go into nonprofit, you can go into for-profit, you can focus on disease prevention, or you can focus on disease maintenance. It's just so broad of a field."

She Believed She Could, So She Did: Single Mother Earns MBA Online While Working Full-Time

Climbing the ladder: jade calais uses m.ed. online to propel career, affect greater change for her students, online courses make college work for working management student.

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Title Human Resource Management Certificate

Human Resource Management Certificate

On this page:

Online human resource management certificate overview.

The Human Resource Management certificate offers students the opportunity to create strategic human resource plans, initiatives, and activities to meet organizational needs and significantly impact the success of an organization. Key topic areas include creating and implementing strategic human resources initiatives; evaluating the effectiveness and financial impact of human resource activities; talent recruitment, training, development, management, reward and retention strategies; effective labor relations practices; and creating healthy, safe, and compliant work environments.

As an added perk, once you apply for a certificate you are accepted into Ashland University's MBA program and can continue taking courses toward your MBA degree.

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Required Courses

Grow your career with an ashland graduate business certificate.

Whether you are a new student looking to start graduate coursework with a micro-credential or an MBA alumnus looking to enhance your marketability, a graduate business certificate is a great addition to your academic and professional development.

Pursue a standalone certificate or integrate it into a full MBA degree.

If you already have an MBA degree, a certificate program provides in-depth coursework in a specific business content area.

If you’re interested in completing professional development or continuing education hours, completing a certificate program is a short-term goal with immediate ROI.

Expert Faculty

You’ll learn from world-renowned faculty. Seventy percent of our full-time faculty have doctoral degrees. They also have an average of 17.5 years of service at AU and they lead more than 11 different student organizations.

They are members in 25 different professional organizations, from the American Council on Consumer Interests to the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning and everything in between!

Our faculty have earned a variety of specialized certifications, such as Senior Professional in Human Resources and Quality Matters. 

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Career Support

The university offers placement support, internships and career-oriented services to students who complete a graduate business certificate through the Career Center for Life Calling .

Career day

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take.

It takes two semesters to complete a graduate business certificate. You may choose to continue your studies, right away or later, with no additional credits required to finish the MBA.

How much does it cost?

The cost per course in the certificate program is $955/credit hour plus $44 fee = $2,997. The total number of courses depends on your knowledge and experience. There are financing options available through the Financial Aid Office .

Is the program accredited?

Yes the graduate business certificates are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

What are the admission requirements?

You must have an undergraduate degree and most of the graduate business certificate programs have prerequisites.

How are courses delivered?

The Blackboard Learning Management System is used for all courses. It includes videos, syllabi, assignments, communication options and a multitude of tools to help you be successful.

Contact Information

Graduate Admissions 800-882-1548 x5738 [email protected] 419-289-5738

Chris Schwan Assistant Director of MBA Recruitment; Admissions Representative for the College of Business & Economics [email protected] 419-207-4580

online phd human resource management

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Human Resource Management Bachelor’s Degree

National American University’s online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree program will help you develop the specialized skills you need to work with business leaders and employees.

human resources professional

Online Human Resource Management Bachelor’s Degree Overview

Human Resources Managers are critical to teams across industries and organizations. Working in this rewarding field, you would recruit, interview, hire, train, and develop an effective workforce, while meticulously complying with local, state, and federal rules and regulations. The online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree program prepares to meet this challenge by providing you with the skills, knowledge, technical savvy, and social awareness you’ll need to excel in the field.

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Analyze how concepts in the principal areas of business guide organizational decision-making.
  • Use current business technologies in support of organizational continuity.
  • Show the leadership skills required to achieve strategic business objectives.
  • Apply appropriate ethical perspectives in a global business environment.
  • Demonstrate effective communication strategies across multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Employ productive collaboration methods in a professional business setting.

Click here for program outcomes.

National American University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11960 Quivira Road, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS, 66213, USA. The list of accredited business programs can be found on the IACBE website: http://iacbe.org/memberpdf/NationalAmericanUniversity.pdf .

Online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree Classes and Curriculum

The online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree program consists of  180 total credits . You will take major core, option core, open electives, and general education core courses.

All academic courses are 100% online and subject to minimum class size requirements.

Major and Support Core

82.5 credits

Open Electives

40.5 credits

General Education

Course availability is subject to minimum class size requirements.

Human Resources Management Online Bachelor’s Degree Tuition and Fees

Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree Tuition and Fees

Learn more about our undergraduate tuition schedule .

Human Resources Management Online Bachelor’s Degree Career Outcomes

The online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree program prepares you for an entry-level career in this fast-paced field. You’ll develop skills to work in a variety of roles including:

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Employee Education Consultant
  • Benefits Coordinator
  • Risk Management
  • Employee and Labor Relations

Who Is a Good Candidate for the Online Human Resources Management Bachelor’s Degree?

  • Entry-level job seekers:  The Human Resources Management Online Bachelor’s degree is a first step if you plan to begin a career in the competitive human resources field.  You gain the knowledge and skill base required to build your career.
  • Professionals:  A Human Resources Management degree can help you stay current, demonstrate your dedication to your supervisors and set you apart from other job candidates.

Ready for a career change? A human resources management degree can help established business professionals transition into human resources from another field.

Course Listing (180 Credits)

Human resource management major core (31.5 credits).

MT3050 – Human Resource Management OR MT6300DC – Managing Human Resources

MT3080 – Compensation and Benefits MT3100 – Employee and Labor Relations

MT3230/PL3230 – Employment Law OR LA6570DC – Human Resource Law

MT4050 – Training and Development MT4420 – Strategic Human Resource Management

MT4501 – Human Resource Management Internship OR MT4505 – Human Resource Management Action Research Project

Support Core (51)

AC2760 – Financial Accounting for Managers

FN3000 – Business Finance I OR FN6200DC – Accounting and Finance for Managers

MG3000 – Marketing OR MG6200DC – Marketing and Sales Management OR MG6500DC – Marketing Administration

MT1050 – Introduction to Business MT2050 – Principles of Management

MT3300 – Supervision OR MT6255DC – Introduction to Leadership and Quality

MT3500 – Managing Information Systems MT4200 – Business Ethics

MT4300 – Management Across Cultures OR MT6580DC – International Management

MT4444 – Management Review Lab MT4450 – Strategic Management OM3000 – Operations Management

OPEN ELECTIVES (40.5)

Elective OR FN6350DC – Financial Management

GENERAL EDUCATION CORE (57 Credits)

General education (22.5) available for block transfer, communications.

EN1150 – Composition I

SC – Science Elective

HU2000 – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Behavioral/Social Science

Behavioral/Social Science Elective

General Education Elective

General Education (34.5) Course-by-Course Transfer

EN1300 – Composition II

EN2100 – Speech OR EN2150 – Interpersonal Professional Communication

EN3070 – Advanced Research and Writing

Mathematics

MA2000 – Quantitative Reasoning MA3000 – Business Statistics

Behavioral/ Social Science

EC2050 – Macroeconomics OR EC6100DC – Economic Analysis

EC2100 – Microeconomics OR EC6150DC – Managerial Economics

CS2080 – Career Management

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