PhD Program Requirements

See below for the components required to complete the PhD program. To see requirements for admission into the program, see PhD Admission Requirements

Requirements that are normally met in the first two years consist of a core course in Industrial Relations and Human Resources, elective courses, and courses in research methods and statistics. Students must take the equivalent of 4.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • The core requirement in Industrial Relations and Human Resources is met by completing:
    • IRE 3004H Special Topics in Employment and Industrial Relations
  • The research and statistics requirements are met by completing:
    • IRE 3002Y Research Seminar I
    • IRE 3003H Research Seminar II (PR)
    • RSM 3062H Methods and Research in Organizational Behaviour and Industrial Relations
  • 1.0 FCE in statistics, chosen, with the approval of the PhD Coordinator, from selected offerings in other departments and Faculties

In cases where a student’s prior academic background may have covered any of the courses listed above, substitutions may be permitted with the approval of the PhD Coordinator.

  • 1.0 FCE is chosen from the elective courses set out below or from selected offerings in other departments and Faculties.

Students admitted to the direct-entry PhD will be required to complete up to an additional 4.0 FCEs chosen in consultation with the PhD Coordinator. A comprehensive examination is normally written by January 31 of the student’s second year in the program. Intensive work on the dissertation will also begin in the second year of the PhD program. The thesis topic and name of supervisor should be submitted no later than March 31 of the second year.

Students who are in their third and fourth years of study must enrol in the following courses:

  • IRE 3005H Workshop in Industrial Relations I (Credit/No Credit)
  • IRE 3006H Workshop in Industrial Relations II(Credit/No Credit)

Proficiency in French and/or other languages will be required when the student’s supervisor deems it necessary for dissertation research or when the centre deems it necessary for the student’s field.

The normal program length is four years (five for direct-entry students). The time limit is six years (seven for direct-entry)

A comprehensive examination is normally written by January 31 of the student’s second year in the program. It is designed to encourage students to broaden their understanding of industrial relations and human resources, to demonstrate analytical and methodological abilities, and to address current policy issues. The examination is four to five hours in length and graded as Pass/Fail. It is normally set by four faculty members and students must answer one of two questions submitted by each of them. A student who fails the exam will be permitted one attempt to complete the examination.

Students are required to achieve candidacy at the end of the third year of study (or fourth year for direct-entry students). Candidacy is achieved when all requirements for the degree are completed (excluding thesis research and IRE3005H/IRE3006H). Students must have an approved thesis topic, supervisor and supervisory committee. A notation is made on the transcript when candidacy has been achieved. Consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar entry for more information.

A good supervisory relationship is key to ensuring that the goals and standards of the doctoral program are met while contributing to the student’s overall positive experience in the program.

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Information regarding preparation of the thesis is available in the General Regulations section of the current SGS Calendar. When the student’s Supervisory Committee agrees that the thesis is ready to defend, the Supervisor will begin the process of scheduling the Final Oral Examination.

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Students are required to remain in good standing in the program and to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements.

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