The human resources and industrial relations Ph.D. program at Illinois 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 an 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 Ph.D. program at the School of Labor and Employment Relations because these are just a few of the relationships that are most successful doctoral students have researched in the past few years.

Why Illinois?

Employment relations encompasses the background and interests of Human Resources and Industrial Relations scholars, labor economists, organizational psychologists, organizational sociologists, legal scholars and labor educators. As a student pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Resources & Industrial Relations, 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 Ph.D. 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.

The Ph.D. program is residential and an online option is not available.

Request information about the Human Resources and Industrial Relations Ph.D.

Please email Professor Simon Restubog, Chair of the Ph.D. Advisory Committee, at, or Becky Barker, Assistant Dean for Student Services at to learn more about the Ph.D. program.