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School of Labor & Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Doctoral Program

The doctoral degree program will provide an invaluable depth of knowledge to begin an academic career in employment relations.

Do you enjoy independent research and working in small groups to discover and communicate new ideas? Do you possess intellectual curiosity about relationships involving:

  • Employee ability, skill, motivation, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, and job performance and satisfaction
  • Work practices and organizational performance (based on financial and market indicators, social responsibility)
  • Human resource practices and their connections with performance
  • Government regulation of employment practices
  • Labor markets, both inside and outside the firm, and their impacts on careers
  • Union-management relations?

If so, then you should excel in the PhD program at the School of Labor and Employment Relations, because these are just a few of the relationships that our most successful doctoral students have researched in the past few years.

Why Illinois?

Employment relations encompasses the background and interests of HR and IR scholars, labor economists, organizational psychologists, organizational sociologists, legal scholars and labor educators. As a student pursuing a PhD in HR/IR, you will develop relationships with LER faculty in all of these disciplines, other doctoral and master’s degree students, and alumni colleagues at other universities. You will produce cutting-edge information in the field by learning the craft of research from a tight-knit community of dedicated faculty, students and alumni who will support and challenge your ideas from multidisciplinary perspectives.

All students pursuing a PhD are given a generous financial aid package, including financial support for traveling to professional conferences. LER has its own top-rated library, a very strong information technology infrastructure and office space for all funded doctoral students.

More Information

Please email Professor Amit Kramer, Chair of the PhD Advisory Committee, at, or Becky Barker, Assistant Dean for Student Services at to have more information mailed to you.