Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs 2020

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Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs 2020
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Human resources (HR) serves as a link between management and employees, focusing on recruiting, managing, and developing employees within organizations. HR specialists perform many roles, such as interviewing potential employees, managing workplace policies, mediating employee conflict, and organizing company benefit policies. At all levels, HR employees need strong communication, organization, and decision-making skills to understand and address employee needs and craft effective organizational policy.

A master’s in human resources builds the advanced skills necessary for leadership and management positions in the HR field. These positions boast strong job growth and high salary potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that human resource managers earn a median annual salary of $116,720.

This page offers a guide to online HR master’s degrees, including top schools, typical courses, and common careers for graduates. It also includes information on financial aid options for graduate students.

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FAQ

Question Answer
What is human resources? Human resources refers to the organization, development, and management of employees in an organization. HR specialists take responsibility for managing a company’s personnel.
How long does it take to earn a master’s in human resources? Completion times vary among programs, but most master’s in human resources programs take 1-2 years to complete./td>
Can I earn a master’s degree in human resources online? Many schools offer online HR master’s degrees, enabling students to pursue graduate education while maintaining their current job. Some programs occur fully online, while others use a hybrid format.
Do you need a master’s degree to work in human resources? A master’s degree is not required to work in human resources. However, earning a master’s can help HR specialists progress to advanced positions with higher salary levels.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs 2020



This ranking features 25 of the top online master’s in human resources programs. Offered at schools around the country, these programs represent a mixture of rigorous education, strong professional preparation, and top-notch student support services. The programs on this list offer either fully or primarily online courses, giving candidates a high level of flexibility to complete their studies.

  1. Thomas Edison State University
    Location

    Trenton, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    TESU's School of Business and Management offers a 36-credit online master's in human resources. Students can earn the MS degree fully online. The school allows enrollees to transfer up to 12 credits from another accredited institution with the approval of the program director. TESU's MS in human resources is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Preferred fields of study include business, psychology, and management. Students with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field must speak to an admissions counselor before applying.

    The curriculum aligns with Society for Human Resource Management guidelines. Core coursework covers the legal and ethical environment of human resources, strategic recruitment and selection, lifestyle benefits and compensation in the new millennium, and the effectiveness of a market-connected culture.

    Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    FIU offers a master's in human resources through the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business. The 38-credit MS degree takes 12 months to complete and runs fully online. A new cohort begins every fall and spring semester. Cohorts follow a block schedule, with two eight-week classes making up each block.

    Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores. They must demonstrate a strong academic background with at least a 3.0 GPA in upper-division coursework. The program gives preference to applicants with five years of professional experience, at least three years of which must be in the human resources field.

    The curriculum aligns with Society for Human Resource Management guidelines. Enrollees study subjects such as employment law and human resource management, performance and talent management, staffing organizations, and labor issues and conflict management.

    The program hosts an annual residency for online and on-campus students featuring networking events and professional development workshops. The optional residency lasts 2-3 days.

    Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. Tennessee State University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    TSU's College of Public Service offers a master of professional service degree with a concentration in human resources leadership, strategic leadership, and training and development. The 33-credit program runs fully online. Students enroll in nine credits each of core courses and electives and 12 concentration credits. A three-credit professional project course completes the credit requirements.

    Regardless of concentration, all students enroll in three core courses: issues and ethics in a professional environment, globalization and the professions, and research methods. Coursework for the human resources leadership concentration includes statistical analysis, employment and human resources law, diversity in the workplace, and human resources management.

    The professional project course is the program's culminating activity. Although students enroll in the professional project course during the final semester, they begin preparatory consultation and research as soon as they gain acceptance to the MS program.

    Tennessee State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The 36-credit online master's in human resources at BU features a curriculum aligned with Society for Human Resource Management guidelines. The program follows a cohort model of education. Students enroll in one course at a time.

    Courses for the MS degree focus on data-driven decision-making and strategic management. Students enroll in courses on human capital management and development; organizational behavior; human resource metrics, evaluation, and action planning; and strategic business partnerships.

    The program requires all candidates to complete a capstone project as the culminating activity. Students demonstrate mastery of the field by developing a comprehensive human resources plan for a real organization that incorporates relevant functional areas and in-depth research.

    Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. University of Houston-Clear Lake
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UHCL's College of Business offers an online master's in human resources consisting of 36 credits. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the MA program's curriculum aligns with Society for Human Resource Management guidelines. These credentials attest to the program's quality and rigor.

    Students who enroll in three courses per semester (including summer terms) can earn the degree in 16 months. The curriculum includes coursework in employee planning, staffing, and selection; compensation and benefits; human resource information systems; and HR metrics and performance management.

    The program offers elective courses across a broad spectrum of the human resources arena that allows students to enroll in classes that support their career objectives. Elective courses cover subjects such as project management, global sustainability, labor relations, and international management.

    The University of Houston - Clear Lake is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. Indiana State University
    Location

    Terre Haute, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    ISU's master's in human resources comprises 33-36 credits that full-time students can complete online in 1.5 years. Learners can pursue the degree part time, but must complete the program within seven years. The MS degree focuses on human resource development for higher education and industry and is an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management.

    The core curriculum consists of six classes (18 credits) and covers topics such as international and cross-cultural teaching, developing a performance-based occupational curriculum, HR leadership, and systematic design of human resource development programs. Students can opt to write a thesis or complete an integrative capstone project as the program's culminating activity. Learners who write a thesis enroll in nine elective credits that support their thesis research and topic. Enrollees who opt to complete a capstone project enroll in 12 elective credits.

    Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. Ottawa University-Online
    Location

    Ottawa, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    OU offers a master's in human resources program that gives students ample flexibility to enroll in online or on-campus courses. Designed specifically for working adults, the MA program allows enrollees to earn credits for relevant work or life experience, military service, professional training, or through credit by exam, such as the College Level Examination Program. The program follows a liberal transfer credit policy.

    Students can concentrate in healthcare management or leadership and management. The healthcare management concentration allows students to explore the legal, ethical, and political aspects of healthcare delivery systems. Degree-seekers who pursue the leadership and management concentration enroll in classes in conflict resolution, project management, and organizational management.

    Ottawa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. Troy University
    Location

    Troy, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Troy offers a master's in human resources through the Sorrell College of Business. The MS program fully aligns with Society for Human Resource Management guidelines. Sorrell College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students accepted to the MS program earn a top-tier degree with industry-wide acceptance.

    Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree from an AACSB-accredited institution within the past eight years. Those who do not meet this requirement may earn acceptance on a conditional basis.

    The program comprises 30-33 credits, depending on a student's academic background. Learners can complete the degree entirely online. The core curriculum includes courses in ethical leadership and management in a global economy; workforce planning and staffing; employee relations, health, and safety; and international human resource management.

    The culminating capstone course focuses on strategic human resource management. In this course, candidates formulate and apply HR theories and concepts to develop solutions that address real-world challenges.

    Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. Tarleton State University
    Location

    Stephenville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Tarleton's College of Business offers a 30-credit online master's in human resources that learners can complete in 12 months. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recognizes the MS curriculum as meeting its standards for HR education. The college is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    The program accepts applicants who hold a non-business undergraduate degree. However, they may need to take up to nine hours of leveling coursework. Credits for leveling courses do not count toward the MS degree. Students take core courses in recruitment and selection, labor relations, compensation and benefits, and organizational effectiveness.

    Toward the end of the program, students enroll in a capstone course that prepares them to sit for the Professional for Human Resources exam or the SHRM Certified Professional exam. The program gives students who plan to pursue a doctorate the option of writing a thesis to help prepare them for doctoral studies.

    Tarleton State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  10. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at FHSU offers a master of professional studies (MPS) with a concentration in human resources management (HRM). The college offers all classes for the HRM concentration online. The MPS program requires enrollees to have a minimum 2.5 GPA. However, applicants who wish to pursue the HRM concentration must show a minimum 3.0 GPA during the last 60 hours of their undergraduate program.

    The 30-credit MPS curriculum includes core coursework in statistics, research, and a concentration-specific introductory course. The HRM concentration consists of five courses: labor relations and collective bargaining; recruitment, selection, and retention; training and development; total compensation; and principles of organizational leadership. HRM students can enroll in an optional internship course with their program director's approval. The HRM concentration requires students to complete a capstone project as the program's culminating activity.

    Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  11. The University of Texas at Tyler
    Location

    Tyler, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UT Tyler offers an online master's in human resources through the Soules College of Business. Most enrollees complete the 36-credit MS degree within two years. The curriculum includes six foundation credits, 24 credits of core coursework, and six elective credits. The core curriculum consists of classes in leadership and ethics in human resource development, conflict resolution, strategic human resources management, and performance consulting.

    Applicants must submit GMAT scores or, in exceptional instances, GRE scores. Applicants with a 3.25 GPA in the last 60 credits of their undergraduate program can request for a waiver of the GMAT/GRE requirement. Applicants with extensive managerial experience can also request a GMAT/GRE waiver.

    The MS program allows learners to transfer up to nine graduate-level credits from another accredited school. No course for which a student received a grade of C or below can count toward the degree.

    The University of Texas at Tyler is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  12. Wayne State College
    Location

    Wayne, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    WSC offers a master's in organizational management with a focus on human resources through the School of Business and Technology. The online MS degree comprises 36 credits. Students enroll in 18 credits of organizational management coursework, 12 human resources credits, and a six-credit culminating activity.

    The program accepts applications from bachelor's degree-holders with a minimum undergraduate 2.75 GPA. Applicants with transferrable graduate-level credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher can also apply.

    Three schools jointly administer the MS in organizational management program: WSC, Chadron State College, and Peru State College. Students can enroll in courses from any of these institutions. The core human resources curriculum includes coursework in workforce planning and employment, total compensation, employment law and labor relations, and human resources development. Students can choose to write a thesis, develop a scholarly project, or complete an internship experience as the program's culminating activity.

    Wayne State College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  13. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    NU's College of Professional Studies offers an online master's in human resources that consists of 54 quarter units (36 semester credits). The curriculum aligns with the guidelines developed by the Society for Human Resource Management for HR education. The MA program offers a concentration in organizational leadership.

    The core curriculum includes coursework in workforce planning, development, and outsourcing; compensation and benefits; employee relations; and legal, ethical, and safety issues in human resources. Classes follow four-week delivery schedules with students enrolling in only one class each month. Students can transfer a maximum of 13.5 quarter units (nine semester credits) from another accredited graduate program as long as they did not use the credits to satisfy another degree's requirements.

    Enrollees who pursue the organizational leadership concentration must enroll in the following classes: leadership in the 21st century, developing groups and teams, conflict and power dynamics, and leading change and adaptation. Students can either complete a capstone project or write a thesis as the program's culminating activity.

    National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  14. University of Maryland-University College
    Location

    Adelphi, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UMGC offers an online master's in human resources through the master of science in management program. Comprising 36 credits, the curriculum aligns with the guidelines for HR education developed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Students enroll in 12 foundation courses, 21 HR credits, and a three-credit capstone course.

    The MS program accepts a maximum of six graduate-level credits (earned within five years) from another accredited institution. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Students must satisfy all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

    The HR courses cover subject areas such as employee and labor relations; job analysis, assessment, and compensation; organizational development and change; and current perspectives in training and development. The HR specialization prepares students for a variety of industry certification tests, including the SHRM-Certified Professional exam and the SHRM-Senior Certified Professional exam.

    University of Maryland Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  15. Pittsburg State University
    Location

    Pittsburg, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    PSU's online master's in human resources consists of 31-34 credits and aligns with the guidelines for HR education established by the Society for Human Resource Management. The MS degree offers an emphasis in leadership and organization development and in learning and development.

    Courses follow asynchronous delivery schedules. Students can enroll in as many as 12 courses each semester to finish the program in three semesters (including a summer term) or just one year. However, most students enroll in 6-7 credits per semester, earning the degree in a little over two years.

    All MS candidates enroll in five core human resource development (HRD) courses: behavior analysis for HRD professionals, organizational development and change, HRD foundations and applications, strategies in the development of human resources, and planning and implementing a human resources development program. Students can choose to complete a research project or write a thesis as the program's culminating activity.

    Pittsburg State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  16. Mercy College
    Location

    Dobbs Ferry, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mercy's School of Business offers a 36-credit master's in human resources that students can complete online. The MS program requires applicants with a GPA lower than 2.5 to submit a resume and GMAT results. Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 complete an interview with the program director. Applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher are exempt from the interview and GMAT requirement.

    The curriculum includes coursework in accounting and finance, employment law, human resources in a changing workplace environment, and technology and tools for human resources management. Students may choose either a research project or a thesis as the culminating activity.

    Degree-seekers must complete all courses with a 3.0 or higher to qualify for the degree. The school gives enrollees a maximum of five years from the time of their initial enrollment to graduate.

    Mercy College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  17. National Louis University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    NLU offers a 36-credit online master's in human resources through the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. The MS program prepares graduates to sit for certification exams administered by the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

    The core curriculum comprises 21 credits and includes courses in performance analysis and measurement, employment law, and regulations. Students can complete the MS in human resources management and development as part of a dual-degree concurrent enrollment program with the MS in industrial and organizational psychology.

    Students with an industry certification or license can request to apply their certificate or license as credit toward the MS degree. The program allows a maximum transfer of six credits. Degree-seekers complete a capstone research project as the program's culminating activity.

    National Louis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  18. University of Wisconsin-Stout
    Location

    Menomonie, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UW-Stout's online master's in human resources consists of 30 credits, which includes 24 professional core credits and six research preparation credits. The MS program allows students to enroll in five additional credits of electives. The core curriculum covers systematic training measurement and evaluation, learning technologies, organizational development, and psychology of the adult learner.

    Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree in a business or technical field or an area of study related to training and development. They also need a minimum undergraduate 3.0 GPA and a professional background in organizational leadership and training systems. Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements may be admitted on a probationary basis. Probationary students enroll in prerequisite courses prior to beginning the MS program. Candidates must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA throughout the program.

    University of Wisconsin Stout is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  19. Stony Brook University
    Location

    Stony Brook, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Stony Brook offers a master's in human resources through the School of Professional Development. Students can complete the 30-credit program entirely online. The curriculum aligns with the educational standards developed by the Society for Human Resources Management.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree, which can be in a field outside human resources. Stony Brook does not require GRE scores. The MS program accepts full-time and part-time enrollees who typically earn the degree in one year and approximately 20 months, respectively. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 graduate-level credits from another accredited institution at the discretion of the program director.

    Coursework covers subjects such as organizational development and change management, human relations and workforce planning, employment law and policy, and diversity and global issues in the workplace. Students can choose to complete a one-credit internship experience (45 hours). Candidates must complete a master's project to graduate.

    Stony Brook University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  20. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    WCU's College of Education and Allied Professions offers a 36-credit master's in human resources that students can complete entirely online. Enrollees with full-time jobs taking two classes per semester (including summers) usually graduate in two years.

    The MS program welcomes applicants holding a bachelor's degree with a minimum undergraduate 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit their most recent GRE scores. The program accepts a maximum of six graduate-level credits for transfer from an accredited school. Applicants must not have used them to satisfy another degree's requirements.

    The curriculum includes core coursework in human resources research and evaluation methods, organization acumen for HR leaders, principles and practice in human resources, and advanced HR consulting. The MS program does not require a thesis or a comprehensive exam. Instead, candidates complete a capstone project prior to graduation.

    Western Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  21. Colorado State University-Global Campus
    Location

    Greenwood Village, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The 36-credit online master's in human resources at CSU-Global follows a curriculum that aligns with the standards established by the Society for Human Resource Management. Students can select a specialization from several areas, including organizational management and change leadership, finance, applied business management, and organizational learning and performance. Each specialization requires 12 credits.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate 3.0 GPA. The MS program sometimes admits applicants with a lower GPA, but it requires them to enroll in an additional course in fundamental research and writing.

    The curriculum includes courses in strategic labor relations, maximizing human capital, legal and human resource dimensions of business management, and staffing and talent development. The program requires students to undergo an internship prior to graduation. Candidates must also complete a comprehensive capstone project demonstrating their ability to apply advanced human resources theories to real-world challenges.

    Colorado State University Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  22. University of Arkansas
    Location

    Fayetteville, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    UA offers a 33-credit master's in human resources through the College of Education and Health Professions. The program runs entirely online and takes most students two years to complete.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of their undergraduate program. They do not need to submit GRE scores. Accepted applicants must pass a master's-level statistics course prior to beginning their program. The course does not count toward the degree.

    Coursework covers subjects such as organizational analysis, facilitating learning in the workplace, career transitions, and strategic human resource and workforce development education. Students may transfer up to six graduate-level credits, but the program will not include the grades for these classes in the student's final GPA. Candidates must pass a capstone course to graduate.

    The University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  23. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The School of Labor and Employment Relations at Illinois offers a 48-credit online master's in human resources. The program follows a cohort model of education with courses delivered synchronously and asynchronously throughout each semester. Each four-credit class lasts eight weeks.

    Applicants must submit their most recent GRE or GMAT scores. The program waives this requirement for applicants with at least three years of professional experience in the human resources field. Applicants with five years of managerial background in a related field may also request a GRE/GMAT waiver.

    The curriculum distributes courses across four subject areas: human resource management and organizational behavior, labor markets and employment, international human resource management, and union management and labor relations policy. The program requires the satisfactory completion of an undergraduate course in statistics before students can enroll in the graduate-level statistics class.

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  24. Tennessee Technological University
    Location

    Cookeville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Tennessee Tech's online master of professional studies (MPS) comprises 33 credits and offers a concentration in human resources leadership. Students enroll in nine credits of core requirements, 12 human resources credits, and nine elective credits. A three-credit professional project course completes the degree requirements.

    The program accepts applications from bachelor's degree-holders with an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher. The program typically requires applicants to submit their most recent GRE scores. However, applicants with at least five years of professional experience may submit a portfolio instead of GRE scores. The portfolio must include an essay (500-600 words) providing the reason for wanting to pursue the MPS, recommendation letters, and professional recognitions and awards.

    The 12-credit human resources core includes the following: statistical analysis, human resources management, diversity in the workplace, and employment and human resources law. Students must enroll in at least one leadership elective course.

    Tennessee Technological University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  25. Charleston Southern University
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    CSU offers a 30-credit online master's in human resources through the College of Business. Students can earn the MS degree within 17-45 months, depending on their enrollment status and their academic and professional background. The curriculum aligns with Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) guidelines.

    Applicants do not typically need to submit GMAT scores. However, the program director may request scores to make a final determination on an application under consideration. Applicants must submit an essay (300-500 words) describing their educational and career goals and how the degree can help them achieve both.

    The curriculum includes coursework in human resource law and ethics, advanced organizational behavior, employee training and development, and business ethics from a Christian worldview. Students can complete an internship experience that counts as an elective course. The capstone course prepares students for SHRM certification.

    Charleston Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

What Do Human Resources Employees Do?



Human resources employees perform a variety of duties depending on their industry, specialization, and company. However, they generally focus on managing employee relations and ensuring worker satisfaction and productivity. Human resources specialists need strong communication and decision-making skills, as they must communicate frequently with employees, job applicants, and managers.

At lower levels, HR employees may take responsibility for interviewing and hiring job applicants, training new employees, and administering benefits. They may also handle employee conflicts and other HR issues, ensuring that all company activities comply with local, state, and federal employment regulations. Smaller companies may employ just one or two HR employees, while larger companies typically have entire HR departments.

At higher levels, HR managers may coordinate an organization’s administrative practices, overseeing recruiting and hiring, directing and planning employee management practices, and consulting with other managers on HR issues. Management positions often signify a transition from direct administration into broader strategic planning, addressing an organization’s overall HR functions.

Career and Salary Outlook for Human Resources



Graduates of master’s in human resources programs almost always pursue careers in HR, but the field encompasses a wide assortment of positions. Entry-level jobs, like human resources specialist, may lead to more advanced positions, like human resources manager. At the highest levels of the field, HR specialists can assume top executive roles, such as chief human resources officer.

This table highlights some of the most popular human resources careers, along with annual salary data and projected job growth rates.

Human Resources Specialists $61,920 7%
Human Resources Managers $116,720 6%

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Master’s Degrees in Human Resources



Before applying to a master’s in human resources program, prospective students should research a school’s accreditation status. Accreditation indicates that a school adheres to high academic standards.

All reputable colleges hold either national or regional accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to trade and vocational schools, while regional accreditation applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Students should consult the Council for HIgher Education Accreditation’s list of recognized regional accrediting agencies to ensure that prospective colleges hold accreditation from one of six regional accrediting agencies.

Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. Online master’s in human resources programs may hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), while not an accrediting agency, serves as the field’s premier professional organization. Any school with SHRM connections should offer quality education.

Courses in a Master’s in Human Resources



Master’s in human resources programs typically cover topics like talent management, employee relations, compensation and benefits, organizational behavior, and evaluation strategies. Students often culminate the program with a capstone project that ties together major program themes.

While specific course content and course titles may vary among schools, this list features five courses commonly found in master’s in human resources programs.

Fundamentals of Human Resources Management

Most programs include an introductory course that outlines the fundamental principles and practices of human resources management. The course typically examines the function of human resources in an organization, covering topics including labor relations, compensation and benefits, recruitment and selection, and training and development.

Human Resources Law

Employment law plays an important role in human resources, so many programs dedicate at least one course to the legal and regulatory aspects of HR. The course commonly examines topics like descrimination, unfair labor practices, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Family and the Medical Leave Act.

Organizational Behavior

Focusing on the interpersonal dynamics of workplaces, organizational behavior forms a key component of human resources. This course explores the application of communication and behavioral theories to individual and group workplace situations, highlighting the tools and strategies HR managers use to improve workplace culture and communication practices.

Strategic Recruitment

One of the main duties of HR specialists, the recruitment of talented new employees enables organizations to remain competitive in their industry. This course emphasizes key concepts and best practices of the employee recruitment and selection process, including sourcing, job analysis, selection, and evaluation.

Human Resources Capstone

Many programs include a human resources capstone, which generally serves as the culminating requirement for master’s candidates. Synthesizing major program concepts, the capstone often takes the form of an independent research project. Students may also work to develop new strategies that address HR issues at real-life organizations.

Financial Aid



Graduate students can take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help finance their education, including loans, scholarships, and grants. However, financial aid functions differently at the graduate level. Some funding options available to undergraduates (such as Pell Grants) do not serve graduate students.

Graduate students should complete the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal aid, such as subsidized federal loans. Deadlines for state-specific aid can vary widely.

Working professionals can potentially receive employer assistance to finance their studies. Companies often pay for continuing education to keep their workforce competitive, and some organizations may provide partial or even full tuition funding for graduate education. Prospective students should check with their employers to see if they offer any funding for workforce development and continuing education.

Scholarships for Human Resources



Many companies and professional organizations offer scholarships for master’s in human resources students. This list highlights five scholarships available to students pursuing master’s in human resources degrees.

Society for Human Resources Management Graduate Scholarships
Who Can Apply: SHRM members enrolled in a graduate program in HR or a closely related field can apply. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $5,000

AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in a graduate program in business, including human resources, may apply. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate professionalism and a record of academic accomplishment.
Amount: $500

Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship
Who Can Apply: SHRM members with at least three years’ HR experience who are currently enrolled in or accepted to a graduate program in human resources may apply.
Amount: $20,000

HRIS Payroll Software HR Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Graduate students currently enrolled in a human resources program may apply. Applicants must have completed at least one HR course and hold a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $1,000

Timothy Sy Lam Education Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Graduate students enrolled in a hospitality human resources program may apply. Applicants must submit a short essay and one reference letter.
Amount: $2,000

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10 Best Master’s Degrees in Archaeology 2020

10 Best Master’s Degrees in Archaeology 2020

August 6, 2020   |   Staff

The field of archaeology uncovers the artifacts and materials that speak volumes about the human species and the societies we build. Studying these materials deepens human understanding of our cultural...

5 Best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology

5 Best Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology

August 12, 2020   |   Staff

Child and Adolescent Psychology examines the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of children and adolescents. Master's degree programs in Child and Adolescent Psychology can equip students with significant insight into both the...

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Advertisement GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.