There are four major components to our curriculum:

  1. required and elective coursework, including 5 courses from other disciplines
  2. a comprehensive examination following completion of core HRLR courses
  3. an independent research paper demonstrating scholarly competence
  4. a dissertation that offers novel theoretical and empirical contributions to our field



Achieving the following scholarly competencies is emphasized in our multidisciplinary curriculum:

  • comprehensive knowledge of the relevant HR and labor relations literatures
  • deep understanding of theory and formulation of hypotheses
  • mastery of research methodologies and statistical methods
  • capacity to independently conduct and publish research analyses


Required Courses in HRLR:

Two "Applied Research Seminars" designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of key substantive issues and broad analytical concepts within both the HR and labor relations literatures.

Two "Theory Seminars" designed to cover the prominent theoretical foundations and modeling in the literature by addressing underlying assumptions, general propositions and specific hypotheses, and inferred causal relationships within both the HR and labor relations literatures.


Elective Courses:

Three doctoral level research methods courses taken in psychology, management, economics, sociology or other approved social science discipline.

Five doctoral level courses in disciplines such as psychology, economics, management, sociology or other approved social science disciplines, to demonstrate strong scholarly expertise.


Dissertation Requirement:

Following completion of all required and elective coursework, students enroll in 24 credit hours to complete our dissertation requirement. The underlying purpose of having students write dissertations is to demonstrate their capabilities to independently conduct original research that makes important contributions to the literature. To demonstrate these competencies, one’s dissertation may focus either exclusively on one selected extensive inquiry or on three distinct and less extensive inquiries. In consultation with his/her dissertation committee, a student’s choice of either alternative will depend on his/her primary topic(s) of interests and, in turn, how best to make a significant contribution to the existing literature.


PhD Handbook:

For more information, please see our PhD Handbook.

Download PhD Handbook