Best Online Doctorate in Human Resources
Updated September 27, 2022
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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 $180,000. 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
|Percent Online Enrollment||
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
|Percent Online Enrollment||
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
|Location||La Jolla, California|
Northcentral 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.
Northcentral 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
Accepts Transfer Credits: Accepted
|Location||Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
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
University of Arkansas Fort Smith
|Location||Fort Smith, Arkansas|
|Percent Online Enrollment||
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
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1
Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,092
Online Doctorate in Human Resources Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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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.
|Job Title||Entry-Level Employees||Mid-Career Employees||Late-Career Employees|
|Chief Human Resource Officer||$88,000||$122,336||$152,326|
|Human Resources Manager||$55,309||$64,693||$71,824|
|Training and Development Manager||$61,009||$72,984||$84,586|
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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