Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

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By The BestColleges Rankings Team

Published on April 6, 2021

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While many students pursue an online doctorate in human resources to pursue research and postsecondary teaching positions, the degree can also lead to some of the top positions in business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management positions pay the highest median annual wages of all the major occupational groups.

The demand for human resources professionals should continue to grow. The BLS projects that human resource managers will likely see 6% job growth between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the average growth across all occupations (4%).

Below, we examine the best online doctorate in human resources programs in greater detail, highlight career options for graduates, and answer frequently asked questions about the field.

Check out our doctorate in human resources program guide for additional information.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Accredited Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty has not increased its tuition rates over the previous five years. The school offers a 60-credit doctor of business administration in human resources that can be completed online and requires an average of three years to finish. Students must complete an applied research project. Some core classes include:

  • Workforce planning and employment
  • Compensation management
  • Human resource development
  • Quality management and productivity

Asynchronous classes follow eight-week terms with eight start dates throughout the year. Applicants must hold a master's in business or a related field from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students may transfer up to 15 credits toward their doctorate in human resources.

Liberty holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The University of Texas at Tyler View School Profile Tyler, TX

UT Tyler belongs to the University of Texas System and offers more than 80 degree programs. The school features a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

The 60-credit doctorate in human resource development at UT Tyler is delivered using a hybrid format. Participants must visit campus five times per semester to take on-site classes. Students must also complete a dissertation focusing on an original human resource development research topic.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a master's in human resource development, business administration, management, or a related field from a regionally accredited university. Students hoping to earn this online doctoral degree in human resources must also submit GMAT scores.

UT Tyler holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Arkansas View School Profile Fayetteville, AR

Based in Fayetteville, UA offers more than 200 academic programs and enrolls over 27,000 students. The school also hosts many online programs to serve distance learners.

The fully online doctor of education in human resources and workforce development education at UA requires participants to pass a candidacy exam and complete a written dissertation. Students have up to seven years to complete degree requirements.

Applicants seeking to earn an online doctorate in human resources must submit GRE scores, an autobiographical sketch, and a resume. Students can begin taking classes in the fall, spring, or summer. In-state and out-of-state students in this program pay the same tuition rate.

UA holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign View School Profile Champaign, IL

Based in Champaign, 89% of U of I graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation. The school's online doctor of education in diversity and equity in education offers a human resource development emphasis. Students take 64 credits of courses, including core classes like:

  • Diversity, leadership, and policy
  • Historical and social barriers
  • Race, gender, and sexuality issues
  • Methods of educational inquiry

Students pursuing this online doctoral degree must complete an independent research project culminating in a dissertation.

This program does not require standardized test scores for admission . However, applicants do need a 3.0 minimum GPA. The university charges different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. U of I holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

What Can I Expect From an Online Doctorate in Human Resources Program?

Degree-seekers advance scholarship in various areas of the field, take seminars in complementary subjects, conduct substantial amounts of research, and attend and present at conferences.

An online doctorate in human resources offers students a great deal of flexibility. These programs typically feature few required courses, as students primarily select their courses based on their research interests and backgrounds. As a result, program structures vary considerably. Most programs require 60-96 credits and take students 3-7 years to complete.

In the typical Ph.D. program in human resources, students spend most of their time preparing for their dissertation. Degree-seekers advance scholarship in various areas of the field, take seminars in complementary subjects, conduct substantial amounts of research, and attend and present at conferences.

Many Ph.D. students also teach during their studies, either as a mandatory requirement of the program or an optional method to earn graduate stipends. Additional internships and lab requirements may be required in some programs. Prospective online learners should also investigate whether the program they are interested in includes any on-campus requirements.

While students primarily set their course of study through their research interests, some programs offer formal emphases and specializations. Specializing in a concentration like organizational behavior, organizational leadership, or human resources management may impact which courses students take during the program and the career options available after graduation.

Admission Requirements for Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

Admission requirements for an online doctorate in human resources differ by program, but applicants usually need a bachelor's degree at minimum. Many programs require a master's degree, along with GMAT or GRE scores.

Additionally, many programs ask applicants to meet a GPA cutoff and submit a statement of purpose. Prospective students may also need prerequisite coursework in areas like business and mathematics.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Doctorate in Human Resources Program?

Courses in an online doctorate in human resources program depend on a student's selections and research interests. Nevertheless, the following section looks at common courses that often appear in these programs. Readers should note that descriptions and titles may vary.

Organizational Behavior

In this course, students look at individual and group behavior dynamics and the influence they can have on an organization. Coursework may explore conflict resolution, motivational tactics, and negotiation strategies. Graduates can employ this knowledge to improve organizational effectiveness and cultures.

Human Resource Management

Human resource management courses build on training from previous education levels, delving into the latest research in management strategies and labor relations. Students observe the biggest challenges and issues in the field and learn how to apply management theories when developing their own organizational practices.

Industrial Relations

Students in industrial relations courses research the various theories that influence labor relations. They may study labor economics, supply and demand, wages, and discrimination. Some courses also cover labor policies and regulations, and leadership tactics to improve relations.

Labor Law

These courses provide students with a thorough review of labor laws, along with an in-depth look at the scholarship in this field. Learners look at the major influences on labor laws, the institutions in charge of setting labor policy, and trends in this area.

Workplace Diversity

In workplace diversity courses, students explore how globalization and increasingly diverse workplaces have changed professions and industries. Learners may examine historical movements, trends, and impacts of greater diversity in the workplace.

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

Professionals with a doctorate in human resources enjoy plenty of job prospects. Many organizations need human resources managers, and graduates can apply their skills to other business and management professions as well.

The BLS projects the addition of more than 505,000 new jobs in management occupations between 2019 and 2029. The field's 5% projected growth exceeds the average rate for all occupations and contributes to a promising outlook for human resources graduates.

See where an online doctorate in human resources can take you. Learn more about human resources careers.

true Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers handle employee and management relations within an organization. They manage staffing, training, and compensation, along with handling any conflicts and organizational culture issues. According to BLS data, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $116,720 in 2019.

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers design and supervise employee payment programs for organizations. They ensure wages accurately reflect market conditions and adhere to labor laws and organizational budgets. According to BLS data, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $122,270 in 2019.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers train the next generation of human resources and business professionals. In addition to designing a curriculum, postsecondary teachers may perform their own research and publish scholarly works. According to BLS data, business teachers are the third-largest group in higher education. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $79,540 in 2019, according to the BLS.

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers design and run training programs for an organization's employees. They may create programs that cater to an organization's specific goals or teach other professionals how to run their own training programs. According to BLS data, these managers earned a median income of $113,350 in 2019.

Top Executives

Top executives oversee high-level operational goals for organizations. They often manage financing, productivity, management staffing, and communication with board members. According to the BLS, in 2019 top executives earned a median salary of $104,690 per year.

Human Resources Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Business Administration Careers Organizational Psychology Careers Business Management Careers

Frequently Asked Questions About Doctorate in Human Resources Programs

Is a doctorate in human resources worth it?

A doctorate in human resources allows learners to study the area of the field that interests them most. This doctorate degree can lead to some of the most rewarding careers in human resources management. Graduates can also pursue postsecondary teaching positions.

What can I do with a doctorate in human resources?

A doctorate in human resources prepares students for careers in academia. Nevertheless, graduates can also work as human resources professionals in various industries. They can also pursue other management careers using their business training.

Is human resources a good career?

Human resources professionals can greatly influence organizational culture and labor relations, which can improve mental health and job satisfaction among employees and management. The field also boasts strong salaries and growth potential, according to BLS data.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in human resources?

Salary potential for professionals with a doctorate in human resources depends on their location and employer. According to the BLS, human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $116,720 in 2019. The top 10% of professionals in the field made more than $205,720 that year.

What are the highest paying jobs with a doctorate in human resources?

The highest paying jobs for professionals with a doctorate in human resources are management occupations. According to the BLS, compensation and benefits managers earned a median annual salary of $122,270 in 2019, and the top 10% of earners in that occupation made more than $208,000 that year.

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BestColleges.com 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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