Dear Prospective Doctoral Student:
Welcome. At MSU, we are deeply committed to training the next generation of human resource and labor relations scholars. Our doctoral program is a key part of our mission to be a global leader in the creation, teaching, and dissemination of knowledge about managing human resources, work, and the employment relationship.
As described more fully herein, as a doctoral student in our program you will:
- engage in multidisciplinary analyses of complex HRM and labor relations issues
- be part of a vibrant culture of community and teamwork among faculty and students conducting meaningful, cutting-edge research
- be closely mentored by highly talented faculty members that match your research interests
- receive full funding that covers tuition, health insurance, an annual stipend, and research support for up to 5 years
After reviewing our program and application procedures, please feel free to contact me or other faculty with any questions you might have.
School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
Our Focus on Research & Scholarship
As a doctoral student in our program, you will engage in multidisciplinary analyses of complex HR and labor relations issues, learning to:
- integrate theoretical foundations across disciplines in novel ways
- employ the full range of scientific methodologies, statistical methods and research designs in testing new theoretical contributions
- conduct research spanning local to global inquiries, ranging from micro-level individual and organizational analyses to macro-level organizational and policy analyses
- analyze the broader environmental contexts of organizations and the multi-level behaviors and decision-making of multiple stakeholders and actors
- evaluate the effects of alternative strategies, policies and practices on behavior and real-world outcomes
Our Vibrant Scholarly Culture
Towards fostering an environment in which our doctoral students are able to maximize their potential and enjoy outstanding placement opportunities upon graduation, we are dedicated to ensuring that you:
- engage in our strong culture of community and teamwork among faculty and students conducting cutting-edge research relevant to understanding complex issues
- obtain individual advising and mentoring by faculty matched with your scholarly interests
- receive early intensive research and publishing experience working closely with our talented faculty
- participate in our research luncheon series hosting top scholars
- have access to PhD seminars and faculty across top-rated MSU programs in I-O psychology, management and economics
- gain access to organizations and data through our School’s highly engaged and distinguished Advisory Board and strong alumni network
- become part of the wider community of scholars in our field by participating in major conferences, workshops and associations
Graduate Assistantships Provide Full Funding for 5 Years
As research assistants, students work directly with faculty members on research projects. The assignment of students to faculty is based on student requests to work with individual faculty and a student's primary research interests.
Doctoral students making good progress receive stipends of approximately $28,000 annually and attractive health insurance coverage up to 5 years. All tuition and fees are also covered whether you are an in-state, out-of-state, or international student.
In addition, to promote success, students receive funding to cover the costs of data collections and attending conferences to present their research. Additional compensation may be received by obtaining competitive scholarships and teaching courses after completing required coursework and exams.
Our Faculty and Their Research
Central to any doctoral student's growth and success as a scholar is the opportunity to work closely with talented faculty conducting and publishing meaningful, cutting-edge research. With our recent wave of top junior faculty joining our School's highly recognized senior faculty, you will enjoy a wealth of opportunities to match your primary research interests with those of our diverse faculty.
Stacy HickoxResearch Statement
Mevan JayasingheResearch Statement
Michelle KaminskiResearch Statement
What kind of students are we seeking?
Who will flourish in our program?
Are you seeking a career that offers you lifelong opportunities to enjoy the rewards of discovery through research? Do you want to make a difference by advancing relevant knowledge and understanding of complex issues in the classroom and beyond by helping solve real-world HR and labor relations challenges? Are you willing to make a major commitment of time and effort to enjoy a successful and rewarding academic career?
If you do, we encourage you to apply to be part of a select community of doctoral students and faculty dedicated to uncovering the intricate web of factors influencing human behavior in the workplace and the consequences of that behavior on individual, organizational and societal outcomes.
Our doctoral program fosters a vibrant scholarly culture that supports students seeking to make lasting contributions to the multidisciplinary understanding of important HR and labor relations issues. We are interested in students from a wide variety of social science disciplines including business, psychology, economics, sociology, political science, and others.
Students who are likely to flourish in our program and enjoy opportunities to become professors at top universities share the following attributes, interests and experience:
- aptitude for scholarship, as assessed by GPAs, test scores and letters of recommendation from scholars
- informed passion for conducting research, as gained from exposure to research and personal research experience
- strong interest in broad multidisciplinary training in HRM and labor and employment relations
- understanding of people and organizations
- primary interest in conducting applied research
- ability to communicate and write effectively
- capacity to work independently and effectively on research teams
- priority career goal of attaining an academic position as a scholar
There are four major components to our curriculum:
- required and elective coursework, including 4 courses from other disciplines
- a comprehensive examination following completion of core HRLR courses
- an independent research paper demonstrating scholarly competence
- 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.
A "Research Methodology Seminar" designed to address the various stages of scientific inquiry and analysis applied in the social sciences, including the assessment of the literature, theory formulation, specification of empirical models, application of statistical methods, development of data measures and instruments, sampling and data collection designs, and drawing inferences from statistical results.
Three doctoral level research methods courses taken in psychology, management, economics, sociology or other approved social science discipline.
Four doctoral level courses in disciplines such as psychology, economics, management, sociology or other approved social science discipline, to demonstrate strong scholarly expertise.
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.
How To Apply
Deadline for Applications
All applications and supporting materials such as letters of recommendation must be postmarked or e-mailed on or before February 1.
Your application consists of the following items:
- Personal Statement
This document should include a clear articulation of your research experience and current research interests.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Writing sample is encouraged
- Two or three Letters of Recommendation, each with a Reference Report.
Academic references are preferred but professional recommendations will be accepted.
- GRE or GMAT scores (and TOEFL scores if applicable)
- One Set of Official Transcripts
(For current or former MSU students, MSU transcripts are not needed)
- Graduate Application and Fee
Note: Applicants who are already enrolled at MSU or were previous enrolled in an MSU graduate program should submit the "Internal Transfer" or "Readmission Application" form in place of the Graduate Application.
All the above should be submitted by mail or email to:
School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
South Kedzie Hall
368 Farm Lane, Room S410
East Lansing, MI 48824
During the application process, prospective students are highly encouraged to contact our faculty for more information about the program or arrange a visit. For general inquiries or to inquire about a visit – in person or virtually – please contact: Maite Tapia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual faculty contact information can be found using the faculty directory.