Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources

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  Deadline to Apply!

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15 – Application review begins and will continue until positions are filled.
March 1Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

  Request Information

  • Contact Michael Holmes, program director, for more information on the Organizational Behavior and Human Resources major, its content and curriculum.
  • Contact Gail Palo, Ph.D. academic program specialist, for more information about the admissions process.

Graduate Programs Office
  877-587-5540 (toll free)


Organizational Behavior and Human Resources is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. The major admits two or three candidates each cohort, and the program takes four to five years to complete.

  • Offers faculty with research expertise in both organizational behavior (e.g., leadership, stress management, social influence, and organizational politics) and human resources management (e.g., employee recruitment/selection, job performance, diversity, and labor relations)
  • Includes courses that cover a wide range of topics in organizational behavior, human resources management, research methods, and data analysis
  • Includes two years of coursework culminating in a comprehensive exam, followed by two to three years of research and teaching, culminating with a dissertation

For an overview of FSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration and its seven majors, download the brochure.

  Student Accomplishments

Recent Placements

Auburn University; Baylor University; Boise State University; Kennesaw State University; Michigan State University; Middle Tennessee State University; Northeastern University; University of Missouri; University of New South Wales (Sydney); University of North Texas; Xavier University

Awards & HONORS

  • John Arnold, coauthor on a paper awarded Best Convention Paper in the Human Resources Division at the Academy of Management Conference; College of Business Teaching Assistant Award
  • DC De La Haye, Melvin T. Stith Scholarship
  • B. Parker Ellen III, Meredith P. Crawford Fellowship; Daisy Parker Flory Graduate Scholar Award by the Florida State Phi Kappa Phi Chapter; Outstanding Reviewer for the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Division; Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s Conference Student Travel Award.
  • Kaylee Hackney, College of Business Teaching Assistant Award
  • John Harris, College of Business Teaching Assistant Award
  • Samantha Jordan, Herbert M. Johnson Scholarship; FSU Dissertation Research Grant ($1,000); Editorial Review Board (Journal of Organizational Behavior and Group & Organizational Management) 
  • Liam Maher, Academy of Management Grant and Outstanding Reviewer
  • Charn McAllister, Society for Human Resource Management Dissertation Research Grant
  • Josh Palmer, Herbert M. Johnson Scholarship; FSU Dissertation Research Grant ($1,000)                                     
  • Zachary Russell, Herbert M. Johnson Scholarship
  • David Steffensen, College of Business Teaching Assistant Award
  • Liwen Zhang, Schmidt-Hunter Meta-Analysis Award (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology)

Recent Defended Dissertations

  • “Politics got you down? Unmet motivational strivings and experienced meaninglessness as consequences of perceptions of organizational politics” by Samantha Jordan, Dr. Jerry Ferris and Dr. Wayne Hochwarter, co-major professors
  • “An examination of the role of abusive supervisor behavior on supervisor affect and future behaviors” by Josh Palmer; Dr. Pamela Perrewe and Dr. Gang Wang, co-major professors
  • “What Does Behavioral Consistency Really Mean? A Meta-Analysis of Method Factors and Outcomes in Employee Selection” by John Arnold; Dr. Chad Van Iddekinge, major professor
  • "Exploring the Role of Social Class within the Job Search Process" by Philip DeOrtentiis; Dr. Chad Van Iddekinge, major professor
  • "Leader Political Support: Initial Measure Development and Model Test" by B. Parker Ellen III; Dr. Gerald Ferris, major professor
  • “Great Expectations: An Analysis of Job Stress and Pregnancy” by Kaylee Hackney; Dr. Pamela Perrewé, major professor
  • “Leader Political Skill and Work Relationship Favorability: An Examination of Mediating Characteristics and Follower Outcomes” by John Harris; Dr. Gerald Ferris, major professor
  • "Three Essays Examining the Stress Processes of Non-Veterans and Veterans of the United States Military in the Civilian Workplace" by Jeremy Mackey; Dr. Pamela Perrewé, major professor
  • “Learning Political Will in Organizations: A Social Learning Theory Perspective” by Liam Maher; Dr. Gerald Ferris, major professor
  • “Three Essays Examining the Role of Self-Regulation in the Workplace” by Charn McAllister; Dr. Pamela L. Perrewé, major professor
  • "Personal Reputation in Organizations: The Role of Political Skill and Stakeholder Characteristics in Reputation Perceptions and Interpretations” by Zachary Russell; Dr. Gerald Ferris and Dr. Jack Fiorito, major professors
  • “Managing uncertainty: An examination of leadership factors that increase HRM system strength” by David Steffensen, Jr., Dr. Gerald Ferris and Dr. Gang Wang, major professors
  • "Do we Measure Human Capital Resources Right? A Meta-analysis of Human Capital Resources Measures" by Liwen Zhang, Major Professor Chad Van Iddekinge

SELECTION OF Recent Student Publications

Some recent representative publications from current or former students:

  • Chawla, N., Gabriel, A. S., Evans, J. B., Rosen, C. C., Koopman, J., Hochwarter, W. A., Palmer, J. C., & Jordan, S. L. (In press). A person-centered view of impression management, inauthenticity, and employee behavior. Personnel Psychology.
  • Holmes, R. M., Hitt, M. A., Perrewé, P. L., Palmer, J. C., & Molina-Sieiro, G. (2021). Building cross-disciplinary bridges in leadership: Integrating top executive personality and leadership theory and research. The Leadership Quarterly, 32(1), 101490.
  • Gabriel, A. S., Koopman, J., Rosen, C. C., Arnold, J. D., & Hochwarter, W. (2020). Are coworkers getting into the act? An examination of emotion regulation in coworker exchanges. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105(8), 907-929.
  • Hochwarter, W.A., Rosen, C.C., Jordan, S.L., Ferris, G.R., Ejaz, A., & Maher, L.P. (2020). Perceptions of organizational politics research: Past, present, and future. Journal of Management, 46(6), 879-907.
  • Jordan, S. L., Hochwarter, W. A., Palmer, J. C., Daniels, S. R., & Ferris, G. R. (2020). Supervisor narcissistic rage: Political support as an antidote. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 35(7/8) 559–574. 
  • Palmer, J. C., Chung, Y., Park, Y., & Wang, G. (2020). Affectivity and riskiness of retirement investment decisions. Personnel Review, 49(9), 2093–2110. 
  • Palmer, J. C., Holmes, R. M., & Perrewé, P. L. (2020). The cascading effects of CEO dark triad personality on subordinate behavior and firm performance: A multi-level theoretical model. Group & Organization Management, 45(2), 143–180. 
  • Zhang, L. Van Iddekinge, C.H., Arnold, J., Roth, P.L., Lievens, F., Lanivich, S., & Jordan, S.L. (2020). What’s on job seekers’ social media sites? A content analysis and effects of structure on recruiter judgments and predictive validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105(12), 1530-1536.
  • Jordan, S.L., Ferris, G.R., Wright, T.A., & Hochwarter, W.A. (2019) The roles of grit in organizational science theory and research. Group & Organization Management, 44(2), 320-360.
  • Steffensen, D.S., Ellen, B., Wang, G., & Ferris, G. R. (2019). Putting the “management” back in human resource management: A review and agenda for future research. Journal of Management, 45(6), 2387-2418.
  • Van Iddekinge, C. H., Arnold, J. D., Frieder, R. E., & Roth, P. L. (2019). A meta-analysis of the criterion-related validity of pre-hire work experience. Personnel Psychology, 72(4), 571-598
  • Wang, G., Van Iddekinge, C. H., Zhang, L., & Bishoff, J. (2019). Meta-analytic and primary investigations of the role of followers in ratings of leadership behavior in organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(1), 70-106.

  Program Requirements


Organizational Behavior and Human Resources doctoral students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Although many students also have a master's degree in business or a related field (e.g., industrial and organizational psychology), it is not a requirement.


All OBHR doctoral students must complete courses in three areas: Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary Accounting and Support.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) Area

OBHR doctoral students take six Tools for Analysis and Research (TAR) courses.

Students must take the following four TAR courses:

  • PSY 6919 I ANOVA
  • PSY 6919 II Regression
  • MAN 6917 Research Design
  • MAN 6934 Data Analysis

Plus two additional TAR courses, including courses such as:

  • EDF 5406 Multivariate Analysis
  • MAR 5935 Consumer Behavior Methods
  • PSY 5916 Meta-analysis
  • PSY 5916 Modern Psychometrics
  • PSY 5916 Multilevel Modeling
  • PSY 5916 Structural Equation Modeling

TAR course selection is done in conjunction with student’s adviser and the OBHR doctoral program coordinator, and must be approved by the program coordinator

II. Primary OBHR Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study. OBHR doctoral students must complete the following primary area seminars.

  • MAN 6275 Organizational Behavior
  • MAN 6306 Human Resource Management
  • MAN 6931 Strategy Microfoundations
  • MAN 6933 Special Topics (Leadership)

In addition to these courses, first- and second-year students will participate in a professional development series that will be an additional registered course in each semester of the first two years of the program. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty, including research ethics, communication with faculty at other universities, the research review process, balancing research, teaching and service, among other topics.

II. Support Area Coursework

The Support area further develops the student’s research skills. OBHR students are required to have a support area in research methods and must take the following three courses:

  • MAN 6235 Organizational Theory
  • MAN 6932 Strategic Management: Literature Overview
  • MAN 6933 Special Topics (Social Influence)


TENTATIVE Program Sequence and Activities for OBHR Doctoral Students

  Fall Spring Summer

Year 1

Take 3 courses, plus the College Professional Development Seminar (PDS)

Research assistant duties*
Online mentor duties*

Take 3 courses, plus PDS

Take 2 courses, including a DIS

Propose 2nd-year paper (by mid-July at the latest)

Year 2

Take 3 courses, plus PDS (PDS conducted by Department instructors separately from first-year students)

Take 3 courses, plus PDS (PDS conducted by Department instructors separately from first-year students)

Defend 2nd-year paper (mid-May; submit paper a week in advance)

Take written portion of comprehensive exams (by mid-July at the latest)
Oral exams follow shortly thereafter (if necessary)

Year 3

Begin developing dissertation ideas

Continue developing dissertation ideas and start drafting the proposal

Teach 1 course+

Continue developing dissertation ideas and drafting the proposal

Year 4

Defend dissertation proposal 

 Begin collecting and analyzing dissertation data

Submit job applications; interview at AOM

Continue collecting and analyzing dissertation data

Year 5

Interview for jobs

Defend dissertation

Leave for new job

The duties in the following footnotes are part of students’ Graduate Assistant responsibilities.

* Students are expected to serve as a research assistant (to their assigned faculty member) and as an online mentor (for their assigned online course) each semester.

+ From this point forward, students likely will teach three to four courses with a maximum of two preps. The specific courses taught, and the semesters in which they are taught, depend on the students’ preferences, course demand, student enrollment, and faculty availability. However, the Department tries to avoid asking students to teach face-to-face courses in the fall of their final year (due to expected travel while students are interviewing for jobs).

  Application Process

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised GRE.

Application Checklist

  • Login to (applications will only be accepted through this portal).
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one.
  • Complete your online application form and submit.
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references.
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee.
  • Required transcripts: Unofficial transcripts uploaded to your application, provided they are in English and have grades assigned to coursework, will be sufficient for the first round of review. An official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU (see below for email/address).
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution.
  • Required test scores: Unofficial test scores are sufficient for the first round of review. Complete the Self-reported Test Score Form. Official test scores will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE, if applicable) be submitted to FSU  (see below for email/address)
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to or:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    222 S. Copeland St.
    314 Westcott Building
    Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

International Applicants

International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL,) the International English Language Testing System (IELTS,) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE,) and submit official test results in order to be admitted to Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test, a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, or a minimum of 66 on the PTE taken within the past two (2) years.

A minimum score of 25 for each section of the TOEFL is strongly recommended. In addition, international graduate applicants seeking teaching assistantships are required to pass a test of spoken English.

For more international applicant information, visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

      Residency Information

    The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts four to five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

      Financial Assistance

    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Most doctoral students who request funding, who maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance, and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five.
    Doctoral students on assistantship are supported for four full academic years, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Eligibility for fifth-year support will be demonstrated by a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a R1 research university. For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.


    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Visit our graduate scholarships page to learn more.

    (Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.)

    • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit

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