The PhD program in organizational behavior is an interfaculty program offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Harvard University and faculty at Harvard Business School (HBS). The program trains scholars who are able to draw on the concepts and methods of psychology and sociology in conducting research on behavior and management within complex organizations and prepares students for careers as researchers and teachers. Program graduates will be comfortable working either in disciplinary departments or in professional schools—especially schools of management.

Students in organizational behavior are enrolled in and receive their degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, while working closely with faculty from both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School. The program combines training in the theory and methods of psychology and sociology, the study of business administration, and empirical research on organizational phenomena. Students have the choice of focusing their research at either the micro (i.e. psychological, interpersonal) or macro (i.e. sociological, organizational) level.

GSAS and HBS have jointly offered PhD programs since 1916. In addition to organizational behavior, GSAS and HBS collaborate on the programs in Business Economics, Business Administration, and Health Policy (Management Track)

Areas of Study

Students in organizational behavior specialize in micro-organizational behavior or sociology, receiving core disciplinary training in either psychology or sociology and gain knowledge of existing research and theory about organizations through advanced coursework in organizational behavior. The sociology track deals with the macro aspects of organizational behavior. It focuses primarily on organizational processes and structures and on organizations in relation to their environments. Students also become familiar with some of the more micro issues emphasized within the micro-organizational track, which is for students who wish to concentrate on the psychological aspects of organizational behavior. The primary focus is on the psychology of individuals as they engage in decision making, interpersonal relations, and small group activities. Students also become familiar with some of the more macro issues emphasized within the sociology track.

Admissions Requirements

Successful candidates for admission have strong records of academic performance in rigorous programs and exemplary GRE general test or GMAT scores, especially in the quantitative area. Applicants with bachelors degrees in the social sciences, engineering, sciences, as well as, business are encouraged to apply.

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL, unless they have obtained the equivalent of a US bachelor degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction. The committee prefers scores of at least 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT) of the TOEFL.

More information is available from the PhD program in Organizational Behavior and the GSAS Student Handbook details program requirements.

Financial Aid

All PhD in Organizational Behavior students receive a fellowship which includes tuition, health insurance fees, and a generous stipend for up to five years. Students must be making satisfactory progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior Faculty