The Ph.D. program in management and human resources is intended to develop competence in management studies, research methods, and an external minor. Entering students may have already satisfied some of these requirements. Following completion of required coursework, students must pass a preliminary examination. Finally, they must write and successfully defend a dissertation.

Background Requirements

  • Students must have an undergraduate or graduate degree in business or take four graduate-level courses, with the approval of their major advisor, in at least two areas outside the major area from among accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations and information management, or economics.
  • One calculus course and one course in linear and matrix algebra or demonstrated mastery of these topics through approved proficiency testing
  • One intermediate-level microeconomics course (may be satisfied in the first point above)

Management Studies

Primary Concentration

Students select a primary concentration in either human resource management, organizational behavior, or organizational theory/strategy.

Secondary Concentration

Students select a secondary concentration in either human resource management, organizational behavior, or organizational theory/strategy.

Course Work in Management Studies

  • Foundation courses include one course in each of human resource management, organizational behavior, and organizational theory/strategy.
  • Concentration courses include four courses in two areas of concentration; two must be Ph.D. seminars.

Ph.D. Seminars

The MHR Department offers a slate of Ph.D. seminars across the group's core areas of research.  The seminar offerings vary from year to year.  The expectation is that students will take all Ph.D. seminars offered by the MHR Department.

Advanced Research Methods and Statistics 

A minimum of 18 credits in research methods and statistics consisting of two courses in statistics, two in research methodology, and two depth courses. Courses are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.


The minor program is required of all Ph.D. students and consists of either 10 credits of coursework from one department outside the Wisconsin School of Business (departmental minor – Option A), or 12 credits of coursework from two or more departments outside the Wisconsin School of Business (distributed minor – Option B).