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PhD in OB/HR

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Research in Human Resources and Behavior

The UIC PhD in Business Administration with an area of concentration in Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management provides its students with the opportunity to explore a variety of topics within the disciplines of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. Our doctoral program places primary emphasis on the development of OB and HR who are well versed in contemporary research and to communicate their work as educators and published experts in their fields. Students in the doctoral program are required to commit full-time attention to our program; part-time enrollment is not allowed. The student’s assistantship and degree program are expected to be a full-time commitment for 4-5 years. 


Hear about our program from Doctoral Director Bob Liden

Important Dates

International Applicants

Domestic Applicants


Minimum Semester Hours Required: 96 from the baccalaureate, 64 from the MBA

Course Work: Two-course requirement in mathematics, statistics, or computing; a four-course breadth requirement (four MBA core courses, no two of which are from the same functional area and none of which is from the area of inquiry); and a six-course depth requirement (advanced courses, at least two of which are sufficiently rigorous to provide the basis for the qualifying exam). Following the qualifying exam, additional course requirements are determined by the student’s adviser.

Qualifying Examination: A written exam, based upon courses used for the student’s depth requirement, is required and will be administered by faculty in the student’s area of inquiry.

Preliminary Examination: A written and/or oral exam, addressing advanced material in the area of inquiry and/or the student’s plans for dissertation research, is required.

Dissertation: The PhD dissertation is the capstone of our doctoral education program, and is pursued after successful completion of the preliminary exam. The dissertation signifies individual competence as a researcher, and, as a public document, represents the researcher to his or her professional peers.

For a full list of both degree and admissions requirements, please visit the UIC Catalog.

Program Timetable Example

Year 1

Fall: MGMT 573 (Research Methods) or MGMT 576 (Seminar in Organizational Behavior) statistics/methods course; Elective seminar (MGMT 587or 589), or a seminar from another department/college; generate idea for qualifying paper 

Spring: MGMT 575 (Seminar in HR) and/or Elective seminar (MGMT 587or 589), or a seminar from another department/college statistics/methods course; begin conducting qualifying paper research

Year 2

Fall: MGMT 573 (Research Methods) or MGMT 576 (Seminar in Organizational Behavior) statistics/methods course; elective seminar (MGMT 587or 589), or a seminar from another department/college; work on qualifying paper

Spring: MGMT 575 (Seminar in HR) and/or elective seminar (MGMT 587or 589), or a seminar from another department/college statistics/methods course; complete and present qualifying paper

Year 3

Fall: Take preliminary exam

Spring: Dissertation proposal defense

Year 4

Fall: Dissertation; teach one course

Spring: Dissertation (continue into year 5 if required); teach one course 


Program Faculty

Head and shoulder photo of Don Kluemper

Don Kluemper

Assistant Professor of Management
Head and shoulder photo of Robert C. Liden

Robert C. Liden

Professor of Management
Head and shoulders shot of Eric Michel

Eric Michel

Doctoral Student in OBHR

About the Program

Small and Interactive

We keep the size of our program small so that we can provide a highly customized program with extensive student-faculty interaction. This means that we only admit 1-3 new students per year, with a total of 8-12 students in our program at any point in time. Although our minimum GMAT requirement is 550, the average GMAT of incoming students over the past 8 years has been 690. We also consider grades and courses taken as well as the quality of schools attended for undergraduate and master’s degrees. Finally, we consider applicant research interests relative to the expertise of our faculty. Although most of our applicants have master’s degrees, it is not required to have a master’s degree in order to be considered for our doctoral program.

Strong Research Focus

Our program is highly focused on research. Students are required to take seminars on OB, HR, research methods, statistics and electives from our department as well as other departments on campus, such as psychology, sociology and educational psychology.

PhD Research Partnerships with Faculty

We have developed a strong research culture, with students working with faculty and/or other students on numerous research projects. Nearly all of our students graduate with several peer-reviewed journal publications to their credit.

International Recognition

Our program is highly visible internationally. Robert Liden is the former president of the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management. Professor Sandy Wayne served recently as president of the Human Resource Management Division of the AOM and is now an acting representative on the AOM Board of Governors.


Ralph Masi, PhD '94, Pentagon

Janet Szumal, PhD '95, Human Synergistics

Susan Murphy, PhD '97, California Lutheran University

Ken Weidner, PhD '97, Saint Joseph's University (Pennsylvania)

Ray Sparrowe, PhD '98, Washington University of St. Louis

Chris Leeds, PhD '98, Dominican University of California

Rob Singh, PhD '98, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

Marjolijn Van der Velde, PhD '98, Davenport University, Grand Rapids, MI

Maria Kraimer, PhD '99, University of Iowa

Karen Anderson, PhD '02, Robert Morris College 

Lisa Bradway, PhD '02, Texas A & M

Berrin Erdogan, PhD '02, Portland State University

Andy Klein, PhD '03, DeVry University

George Meier, PhD '04, Robert Morris College 

Peter Thompson, PhD '04, UIC

Patrick Murphy, PhD '04, DePaul University

Monica Gavino, PhD '05, St. Xavier University

Gary Vanderlinden, PhD '05, VP of HR

Hao Zhou, PhD '06, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Selena Yuan, PhD '06, Foresight International, Inc. (HR consulting)

Jesus Bravo, PhD '06, Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus

Anjali Chaudhry, PhD '08, Dominican University, Chicago

Brian Glibkowski, PhD '09, Stonehill College, Mass.

David Henderson, PhD '09, Cass School of Business, London

Prajya Vidyarthi, PhD '09, University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP)

Smriti Anand, PhD '11, Illinois Institute of Technology

Grace Lemmon, PhD '11, DePaul University

Jasmine Hu, PhD '12, University of Notre Dame

Dayo Akinlade, PhD '13, St. Xavier University

Morgan Wilson, PhD '13, Mount St. Mary's University (in Maryland)

Chenwei Liao, PhD '14, Michigan State University

Meet our Current Students

Learn more about our program through our current students. Read about their backgrounds and see their current research interests. Click here to see all of our current doctoral students.

A head and shoulders photos of Jarvis Smallfield