Human Resources Management

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration

This specialization explores the interrelationships between an organization’s most important resources – its employees, leadership and the business organization in general. You will develop the necessary skills to properly create, develop, mediate and maintain these interrelationships that are so important to the overall success of the organization, and conduct research on theories and practices for HRM information systems, compensation and staffing strategies, training and professional development, cultural diversity, innovation, labor relations and legal issues in HRM. As a graduate, you may choose to pursue a leadership position related to a human resources specialization of your choice or work in academia.

Human Resources Management Career GuideView our Human Resources Management Career Guide to learn more about working and advancing in the human resources field, including information on networking, building a solid resume, certifications and continuing education, and national opportunities for HR professionals.

General Degree Requirements

Admission to a doctoral program at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution.

The PhD program may be completed in 60 credits. Up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete dissertation research. The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Foundational Competencies for DBA Programs

  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8102, BTM8103, BTM8104, BTM8106, BTM8107, BTM8108 and BTM8109 at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete BTM8107 Statistics II at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral defense.

Course Length

All new students enrolling in the Business PhD program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

Evaluation Track

Student transcripts will be evaluated to determine whether or not direct entry requirements are met. Individuals who do not meet the direct entry requirements of the Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration program may require additional Standard Curriculum credits. The Evaluation Track courses can be viewed by clicking here.

The PhD in Business requires five specialization and six research courses, a total of 33 credit hours.

Course Code

Name

Course Description

Specialization Course 1

BTM8102, BTM8102-8

Business Research Methodology

This Doctoral level course provides students with an overview of the research process, and an opportunity to learn about business research methodology and the components of a dissertation. The course will also provide the student with the opportunity to identify and develop a research topic, define a research problem, describe the purpose of the research study, and establish associated research question(s). The student will prepare a Topic Paper and a preliminary annotated bibliography for the dissertation topic in the Signature Assignment.

Specialization Course 2

BTM8103, BTM8103-8

Research Design

In this course, the Student acquires the basic skills necessary for the interpretation and application of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. The student will examine the formal research process carefully, with an emphasis on practical applications and skill development. Critical concepts and principles intrinsic to research paradigms, study designs, and methods of inquiry are presented to empower the student's ability to formulate and respond to research questions. The resources listed below from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center are critical resources throughout the whole research process students are highly encouraged to become deeply familiar with the resources from the Northcentral University Dissertation Center.

Specialization Course 3

BTM8108, BTM8108-8

Qualitative Research Design

This course is an examination of qualitative methods for studying human behavior including grounded theory, narrative analysis, ethnography, mixed methods, and case studies.

Specialization Course 4

BTM8107, BTM8107-8

Statistics II

This course is an advanced examination of statistical analyses commonly used for research in business. It prepares the doctoral student with the skills required to plan, conduct (using SPSS), report, and interpret quantitative statistical analyses. Topics include: basic statistical knowledge, probability theory, exploratory date analysis, assumptions for statistical tests, parametric and nonparametric tests. Specific analyses include: correlation, regression (simple, multiple, and logistic), basic ANOVA and advanced ANOVA techniques.

Specialization Course 5

BTM8106, BTM8106-8

Quantitative Research Design

Prerequisites: BTM8102, BTM8104This course provides students with the skills essential for designing experimental, quasi-experiment, and survey studies; analyzing the data collected in these studies, and interpreting the results of data analyses. Students will explore designs and statistical techniques to use with their envisioned dissertation research.

BTM8109, BTM8109-8

Planning Dissertation Research in Business

Students in this course will begin the process of writing a dissertation for a research or professional doctorate. The course will address the University dissertation process and aids to successfully complete a dissertation, including self-care and time management.

Required Foundation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

BTM7101, BTM7101-8

Foundations for Doctoral Study in Business

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue a doctoral degree in Business. Doctoral level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.

BTM7001, BTM7001-8

Advanced Scholarly Writing

This doctoral course will help students develop and enhance literature research and doctoral level writing skills. Moreover, this course will provide students with strategies to help succeed in doctoral pursuits. The learning experience includes strategies for finding scholarly studies to support an argument, APA formatting, critical analysis, preparing for the dissertation from the beginning of the doctoral program, and scholarly doctoral level writing. Students will explore the Northcentral University resources and practice scholarly communication skills, academic rigor, scholarly practices, APA writing style, doctoral-level research tools, and critical thinking strategies. Students will be challenged to become a critical reader and to begin the process of personal transformation by questioning personal assumptions and conventional patterns of thinking that can be applied to the research process. Students will be able to recognize scholarly writing, and create annotated bibliographies from scholarly writing

BTM8104, BTM8104-8

Statistics I

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the doctoral student. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the Student understand statistical methodology used in education, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

MGT7019, MGT7019-8

Ethics in Business

No longer are ethics and social responsibility, including the green movement, something organizations can ignore or do "if they have funding left over at the end of the year. Ethics are required by local, state and federal legislation and today, more than ever, stakeholders at organizations are being held accountable for their actions and societal harm. Doctoral students in this course, through a series of essays and papers, will learn about current laws and their application to business; and how to maintain an ethical perspective within the context of a global framework.

Specialization Courses - 15 credit hours, Select 5 from the following:

Course Code

Name

Course Description

HRM7000-8

Human Resources Management

This Doctoral level course focuses on the development of the human resource function in organizations. While understanding and management of human behavior within organizations is necessary for optimal organizational effectiveness and individual performance, strategic planning to achieve organizational goals through the human resource function is recognized.

HRM7001-8

Information Systems within HR

This doctoral course focuses on the identification, development, implementation, and practical use of information systems technology within the human resource function in organizations. While understanding and management of human behavior in organizations is necessary for optimal organizational effectiveness and individual outcomes, proper use and functionality of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) are vital in today’s organizations.

HRM7002-8

Compensation and Benefits

This doctoral course explores the concepts of extrinsic and intrinsic compensation in the management of todays diverse and global workforce. The decisions made in these areas, related to compensation and benefits at the Executive and the employee level, can directly impact the strategic nature and direction of the organization.

HRM7003-8

Labor Relations

This Doctoral level course examines the history and development of labor relations, the structure of union organizations, and the process of negotiations and contract administration. The course begins by establishing the present state of the labor movement and models the decision process that can be used to decide whether or not to participate in organizing a union. Also covered are the laws and regulations governing collective bargaining, impasse resolution, and contract administration.

HRM7004-8

Supervising in the 21st Century

This doctoral course examines supervisory concepts, laws, regulations and HRM practices used in the 21st Century. Students will be assessed on responses to subject matter-related activities and written research papers.

HRM7006-8

Change and Innovation within HRM

This doctoral course looks at the multiple levels of employment, including management, full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, and contracted employees based on the passage and interpretation of laws, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Policies such as employment-at-will, right to work, or termination, and other regulations can change with an act of Congress or a state legislature.

HRM7007-8

Cultural Issues

This doctoral course demonstrates the uniqueness of culture and its impact on all aspects of organizational operations. This includes such aspects as diversity, global transitioning, accommodations, and cross-national teamwork. Twenty-first century managers must be astutely aware of how cultural issues impact work and ability to gain competitive advantage.

HRM7008-8

Legal Issues in Human Resources Management

This doctoral course considers the relationships that are established between employers, employees, and independent contractors based on the passage and interpretation of laws, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Policies such as employment-at-will, right to work, or termination, and other regulations can change with an act of Congress or a state legislature.

Doctoral Comprehensive Exam - 3 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

CMP9500B

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination - Business (PhD)

In their pursuit of any doctoral degree (PhD, DBA, or EdD) at Northcentral University, students gain expertise in their academic discipline and in one or more specializations that complement their academic discipline. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is intended to assure that students have mastered knowledge of their discipline before candidacy status is achieved and research in support of their dissertation is initiated. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is taken following the completion of all content and Research courses. This course is graded using Satisfactory (S), In Progress (IP), and Unsatisfactory (U) grading criteria. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination must be successfully completed with an (S) grade prior to beginning any Dissertation Research course. The exam is twelve weeks.

Dissertation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

DIS9501B

Doctoral Dissertation Research I

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9502B

Doctoral Dissertation Research II

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9503B

Doctoral Dissertation Research III

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9504B

Doctoral Dissertation Research IV

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least once a month. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD in Business Administration costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $986
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,958
  • Program cost: $59,160
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Technology Fee: $0 
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

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To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.