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: January 10, 2023

  • Final: February 1, 2023



  • Research

    Doctoral students work closely with faculty to gain research 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. Major topics include staffing, performance management, compensation, training and development and labor relations.


  • Teaching

    Students will teach an undergraduate class usually in their second or third year of the program. Students typically teach three undergraduate classes before graduating.

Program details

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

Area Concentration courses

MGMT 952: Special Topics in HR

MGMT 998: Independent Study

Statistics/research methods courses

At least six courses with advisor approval (some suggestions are below):

BSAN 920: Probability for Business Research

BSAN 921: Statistics for Business Research

PSYC 790: Statistical Methods in Psychology

PSYC 791: Statistical Methods in Psychology II

PSYC 893: Multivariate Analysis

Additional information

Students may substitute an equivalent statistics or methods course as an elective with faculty advisor approval.

Area of concentration

Most students typically will select the specific area to which they are admitted (human resources) as their concentration. However, an aspirant, with the assistance of his or her faculty advisor and the area faculty, may propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that is a combination of the traditional business disciplines of accounting, analytics, information, and operations, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, and strategic management. An aspirant may also propose an interdisciplinary area of concentration that includes emphases such as international business, law, and economics. The aspirant must take at least five advanced courses in the area of concentration. These courses may include those offered outside the School of Business.

Supporting areas

Coursework in the area of concentration is supplemented and strengthened by study in one or two supporting areas. A supporting area is one that supplements and complements the area of concentration.

The aspirant will satisfy the supporting area requirement by taking advanced courses in the supporting areas. Courses recommended for preparation for the qualifiers may not be included in satisfying the supporting area requirement.

Research methodology

For successful qualifier assessment, the student’s program of study should include adequate preparation in research methodology. A sound research is always grounded on sound methodology. A doctoral student in human resources management has the opportunity to develop methodological skill in probability and statistics, optimization, uncertain reasoning, game theory, and econometrics. A typical doctoral dissertation often utilizes one or more of the following research methodology: empirical, analytical, behavioral, and computational.

Year 1

Coursework and research

Year 2

Coursework and research

Year 3

Comprehensive exams and research

Year 4

Dissertation proposal and job market

Year 5

Dissertation defense

Note: Some students complete the program in four years.

Program faculty

Human Resource Management doctoral students


Contact Charly Edmonds, doctoral program director.