Admission to the Ph.D. program in Industrial Relations and Human Resources (IRHR) is competitive and highly selective. On average, two or three students are admitted to the program per year. The school values diversity and is strongly committed to equal opportunity.

When evaluating applications, the faculty considers test scores, past academic educational achievement, research experience, and relevant work experience. Students who have no research experience or training are not likely to be admitted to the Ph.D. program. The admissions committee puts a high priority on ensuring that each admitted student is matched to good faculty advisors, so in your personal statement it is valuable for you to draw connections between your interests and the expertise of specific faculty members who could be your advisors.

Do I Need a Master's Degree?

Completion of a terminal master's degree in a related field of study is not required for admission. A student who holds a master's degree upon entering the program may transfer some credits but they must fulfill the same degree requirements as students who do not hold a relevant master's degree

What Are the Admission Deadlines?

New students are admitted once per year and the application deadline is January 5th. Decisions are made on a rolling basis after the application deadline. We seek to make offers by the end of January, although the timing of the process may vary by primary field (Human Resources, or Labor Work and Society), and the particular pool of applicants in a given year. All decisions will be made by March 31st for initial enrollment in the following fall semester. You can learn more about the application process, and can apply online through Rutgers Graduate and Professional Admissions.

Application Fee Waivers

We have several options for students seeking to waive the application fee. 

FreeApp Fee Waiver Program 

The Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp program is designed to increase access to graduate education for students who bring qualities and experience that will enhance the diversity of the graduate students at Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions. Through this program, you can request a fee waiver for your application to Ph.D. or Master of Fine Arts programs at Big Ten Academic Alliance universities.

  • Complete a bachelor's degree by the August preceding enrollment in the graduate program
  • Apply for admission to a Ph.D. program or Master of Fine Arts program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Intend to pursue an academic and/or research career

For more information and to apply for the fee waiver, please visit the website:   

PhD Project Annual Conference Participants

The PhD Project has the goal of diversifying the role models in the front of classrooms. The annual conference gives prospective doctoral students a realistic look at every phase of the PhD journey as well as an opportunity to network with current doctoral students, business school representatives, professors and partner organizations. Prospective candidates who visit the SMLR booth at the conference can contact the Graduate Program Director to request a fee waiver upon application.

National Name Exchange (NNE) Application Fee Waiver

The NNE is a consortium of 91 research institutions, including Rutgers, that exchange the names of their underrepresented and women undergraduates interested in graduate school. If you are one of the 7,500 students registered for NNE, please contact the PhD Program Director to request the fee waiver code.

What Are the Application Requirements?

Requirements include:

  • 2 official transcripts from every post-secondary institution

  • 3 letters of recommendation (we give more weight to recommenders with an academic connection or background)

  • A personal statement of about 500 words

    • Your personal statement should explicitly state if you are seeking to concentrate in (a) Human Resources or (b) Labor, Work, and Society.

    • Your statement should clearly articulate your research interests and the particular topic or issues on which you anticipate focusing.

    • We also highly recommend that you assess the match between your personal interests and faculty research strengths and include this information in your personal statement.

    • It is typically best to focus your personal statement on the above points, and not devote significant space to describing your general motivations for pursuing a Ph.D.

  • GRE or GMAT test scores (within the last 5 years) recommended, but not required 

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores if non-native English speaker (within the last 5 years). The code to submit scores to Rutgers is 2790.

  • Resume

  • Application Fee of $70

  • Optional Requirements: A writing sample is highly recommended (especially a Master's or Honors thesis if completed)

Additional Application Information

In the Rutgers Index of Graduate Programs we are listed as: Industrial Relations and Human Resources.

The Program Number is 16545.

Hard copies of admission materials should be sent directly to the Graduate School New Brunswick at:

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Graduate School - New Brunswick
56 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-7711
Fax: 732-932-8231