Master’s in Human Resources (HR) Management Programs Online

One of the benefits of earning a master’s degree in human resources (HR) management is that the knowledge and skills you gain could help you progress in your career. Some employers, including many well-known companies, often seek out applicants with a graduate degree, especially if you’re applying for a high-level human resources position. These types of positions involve a range of duties from ensuring employee benefit packages are fair and competitive to overseeing large and small business projects. Your graduate degree will prepare you to take on such responsibilities.

You can earn a master’s degree in HR management in as little as 12 months. But if you want to juggle your studies with your day job, many colleges offer degree programs that can be completed over two years. Some schools have even more flexible options that combine part-time and online courses so that you can take as long as five years to earn your master’s.

Learn more about the scope of human resources work and what it takes to begin practicing in the field.

Table of Contents

41 Accredited Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs
What Is Human Resources?
What Can You Do with a Master’s Degree in Human Resources?
How to Choose a Master’s in HR to Set You Up for Success
Guide to State Licensure
Job Outlook
Related Degrees
FAQ

Sponsored Online Program Based in California

Pepperdine University's Online Master’s in Human Resources

The online Master of Science in Human Resources program from Pepperdine University prepares students to connect talent management with business strategy. No GRE/GMAT scores are required for admission.

  • No GRE/GMAT scores required to apply
  • Complete in as few as 12 months
  • AACSB-accredited

info SPONSORED

41 Accredited Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs That Don’t Require GRE Scores

As an online master’s in human resources management student, you will have numerous opportunities to engage with instructors and fellow classmates through dynamic, real-time sessions. Before applying to an online HR management program, there are a number of factors to consider. You’ll want to do some research to find out if your desired school has a good reputation and regional accreditation. You’ll also want to find out if GRE test scores are required of you and how long it will take you to complete the program.

To get you started, here is a list of accredited schools that offer online programs that don’t require GRE scores for you to be considered for admission. Learn about each school and program by visiting their websites.

Amberton University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Garland, Texas

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

American University

Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management

Washington D.C

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Analytics and Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

American Public University

Master of Arts in Management

Charles Town, West Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Organizational Crisis Management, Organizational Leadership, Project Management, Public Administration, Strategic Consulting

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV/resume
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Management from American Public University

Azusa Pacific University

Master of Arts in Business Management

Azusa, California

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Business Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 39-44

Concentrations:

Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Institutional Research, International Business, Marketing, Organizational Development and Change, Organizational Science, Sport Management

Admission Requirements:

  •  Bachelor’s degree  
  • Official transcripts  
  • Essay
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University

Bellevue University

Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management

Bellevue, Nebraska

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors/masters degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management from Bellevue University

Capella University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 45

Concentrations:

Human Resource Management, HRM in Healthcare

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors/masters degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Capella University

City University of Seattle

Master of Business Administration

Seattle, Washington

Name of Degree: Master of Business Administration

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 48-54

Concentrations:

Change Leadership, Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Management, Human Resource Management, Management Accounting, Marketing, Project Management, Public Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Technology Management

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree
Learn more about the Master of Business Administration from City University of Seattle

Concordia University at St. Paul

Master of Business Administration

St. Paul, Minnesota

Name of Degree: Master of Business Administration

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: Less than 1 year

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  •  Official transcripts 
  • Bachelor’s degree 
Learn more about the Master of Business Administration from Concordia University at St. Paul

Cornell University

School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Executive Master of Human Resource Management

Ithaca, New York

Name of Degree: Executive Master of Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.3 years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • CV/resume
  • Unofficial/official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Statement of project
  • Interview
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Executive Master of Human Resource Management from Cornell University

Franklin University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Columbus, Ohio

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Franklin University

Georgetown University

School of Continuing Studies

Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources Management

Washington D.C

Name of Degree: Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 33

Concentrations:

Strategic Human Capital Management, Talent and Organization Development, Global Human Resources Management, Diversity and Inclusion Management, HR Analytics and Technology

Admission Requirements:

  • CV/resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources Management from Georgetown University

Golden Gate University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

San Francisco, California

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.3 years

Credits: 27

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • CV/resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University

Indiana Wesleyan University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Marion, Indiana

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Marshall University

School of Business

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Huntington, West Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.3+ years

Credits: 30-33

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Marshall University

McDaniel College

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Westminster, Maryland

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2.5+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • TOEFL/IELTS, proof of funds, transcript evaluation (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from McDaniel College

Mercy College

School of Business

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Interview
  • TOEFL (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Mercy College

Moravian University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Human Resource Leadership, Learning and Performance Management

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Interview
  • TOEFL (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Moravian University

National University

College of Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Human Resource Management

San Diego, California

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 36-48

Concentrations:

Organizational Leadership

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelors degree
  • CV/resume
  • Cover letter
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interview
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from National University

National Louis University

College of Professional Studies and Advancement

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Chicago, Illinois

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Personal statement
  • CV/resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from National Louis University

Cambridge College

New England Institute of Business

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Boston, Massachusetts

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1 year

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Essay
  • CV/resume
  • Interview
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Cambridge College

Ottawa University

Master of Arts in Human Resources

Ottawa, Kansas

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Human Resources

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations:

Leadership Development, Population Health / Health Care Management

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  •  Essay
  • CV/resume
  • Interview
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Human Resources from Ottawa University

Pennsylvania State University

College of the Liberal Arts

Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

Pennsylvania Park, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 33

Concentrations:

Benefits and Compensation, Employment and Labor Law, Ethics and Leadership, International HR and Employment Relations, Labor and Collective Bargaining, Labor Unions: Organization and Strategy, Staffing, Training, and Development

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV/resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations from Pennsylvania State University

Purdue University

Master of Science in Management and Leadership

West Lafayette, Indiana

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Management and Leadership

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 56

Concentrations:

Global Business, Health Care Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, Leadership, Organizational Design and Development, Project Management

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV/resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
Learn more about the Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Purdue University

Regis University

College of Business

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Denver, Colorado

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business field
  • Official transcripts
  • Exam (if you don’t meet course prerequisites)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Regis University

St. Francis University

School of Business

Masters in Human Resource Management

Loretto, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Masters in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Essay
  • Interview
Learn more about the Masters in Human Resource Management from St. Francis University

St. Joseph's University

School of Business

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Application form
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Essay, TOEFL/IELTS, proof of funds (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from St. Joseph's University

Southern New Hampshire University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Manchester, New Hampshire

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Strayer University

Master of Human Resource Management

Herndon, Virginia

Name of Degree: Master of Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2 years

Credits: 54

Concentrations:

HR and Organizational Development

University of Denver

Master of Strategic Human Resources

Denver, Colorado

Name of Degree: Master of Strategic Human Resources

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 16-48

Concentrations:

Employment Relations, Management and Development, Operations, Human Capital in Organization, Learning and Development

Admission Requirements:

  • Personal statement
  • CV/resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree
Learn more about the Master of Strategic Human Resources from University of Denver

University of Louisville

College of Education

Master of Science in Human Resources and Development

Louisville, Kentucky

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resources and Development

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5+ years

Credits: 33-48

Concentrations:

HR and Organizational Development, Health Professions Education, Career and Technical Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Personal statement
  • CV/resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resources and Development from University of Louisville

University of Maryland

Master of Science in Management

College Park, Maryland

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of goals
  • CV/resume
  • TOEFL (for international applicants)
Learn more about the Master of Science in Management from University of Maryland

University of Southern California

Bovard College

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Los Angeles, California

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time and Part-Time

Length of Program: 1+ years

Credits: 24

Concentrations: N/A

Villanova University

Master of Science in Human Resource Development

VIllanova, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Development

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts 
  • CV/resume 
  • Statement of goals 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Course prerequisite in Critical Evaluation and Research Writing
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Villanova University

Walden University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Walden University

Webster University

School of Business and TechnologySchool of Business and Technology

Master of Arts in Human Resource Management

St. Louis, Missouri

Name of Degree: Master of Arts in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related area
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University

West Chester University

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 1.5 years

Credits: 30

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related area
  • Official transcripts
Learn more about the Master of Science in Human Resource Management from West Chester University

Western Carolina University

College of Education and Applied Professions

Master of Science in Human Resources

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Name of Degree: Master of Science in Human Resources

Enrollment Type: Full-Time

Length of Program: 2+ years

Credits: 36

Concentrations: N/A

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Essay
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • CV/resume

Sponsored Online Master’s in HR Programs

School NameGRE/GMAT RequirementCredits RequiredProgram LengthAccreditation Status
No GRE/GMAT required
39
12-24 months
AACSB accredited

What Is Human Resources?

At its core, work within the human resources field is about effectively managing an organization’s most valuable resource—the people—to help the individuals and their employers thrive. Human resources management (HRM) blends human psychology and organizational behaviors to recruit and retain talent and to promote ethical cultures.

For most enterprises, human resources management is an essential function. Public and private companies, government agencies and nonprofit groups across all industries rely on their HR departments for a wide range of needs, from routine matters like disbursing paychecks and reviewing insurance benefits to implementing visionary goals such as building a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Human resources workers also navigate legal issues including contract negotiations and workplace bias complaints.

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What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Human Resources?

An advanced degree in HRM could qualify you for a broader range of high-paying positions. It could also open a path for you to specialize in a particular area of human resources.

For example, you could focus on compensation and benefits. Courses within this focus area will provide guidance on how to design benefit packages that are competitive enough to attract the best job applicants but are also cost effective for a company.

Alternatively, you could work as an HR generalist but in a more strategic capacity or even in a leadership role. A master’s degree could make you a more competitive candidate for those positions.

Your possible career paths include:

  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources specialist
  • Training and development manager
  • Training and development specialist
  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Compensation and benefits specialist

The Society for Human Resource Management is a useful job site to find even more roles within the field or become a member for exclusive access to educational programs, events, newly released research and more.

Human Resource Managers

These supervisory human resources workers plan and direct the human resources functions for an organization. Human resources managers also coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They work in every industry and for companies of all sizes.The human resources manager role is the most common managerial role in the field of human resources and typically requires five or more years of experience. In 2020, more than 161,700 people in the U.S. were employed as HR managers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That number is expected to grow by 14,800 jobs from 2020 to 2030.

The median annual salary for HR managers in 2021 was $126,230, according to the BLS.

Human Resources Specialists

These are HR generalists with a wide portfolio of tasks: screening job candidates, conducting employee training, and handling compensation and benefits matters, among other things. Some human resources specialist jobs are entry level and may require a bachelor’s degree but no previous experience. Some positions may include regular travel to job fairs and college campuses.

In 2020, the BLS recorded 674,800 Americans working as human resources specialists. Employment of human resources specialists is projected to grow by 10% between 2020 and 2030, about the same rate as the overall job market. Most of the new jobs for HR specialists likely will come from technical, scientific or professional service companies. Currently, the highest concentrations of these jobs are in areas with strong economies, such as the District of Columbia, Virginia, Washington, Ohio and Georgia.

The 2021 median salary for HR specialists was $62,290, or $29.95 an hour. That’s well above the national median wage of $58,260.

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers do exactly what their job titles denote—they design and implement training and education for their workforce. The goal is to equip employees with the skills they need to succeed on the job.

BLS data reveals that the United States is expected to add about 4,300 training and development manager jobs by 2030. That’s an 11% increase from 42,100 jobs in 2020 and faster than the 8% growth rate for the overall labor pool.

The same BLS data shows that the median salary for this position was $120,130 in 2021. Training and development manager jobs usually require a bachelor’s degree and five or more years of work experience.

Training and Development Specialists

This job is among the fastest growing in the field of human resources. Training and development specialists are often the ones who run the employee training sessions. They may give presentations and conduct workshops or discussion groups.

The United States is expected to gain nearly 35,200 more training and development specialist jobs from 2020 through 2030, according to the BLS. That 11% growth is faster than what is expected for the rest of the economy. Increasingly, employers will be looking for candidates who know how to develop online and mobile training programs.

Training and development specialists earned a median annual income of $61,570 in 2021, according to the BLS.

Compensation and Benefits Managers

These niche professionals help and guide companies when it comes to their compensation policies. They may design pay-for-performance programs, process payroll and insurance claims, and draft health and wellness plans. Compensation and benefits managers are well paid, with a 2021 median salary of $127,530, according to the BLS.

Some employers are turning to outside consulting firms and automated call centers to handle employee questions in a bid to cut administrative expenses. The number of compensation and benefits managers is projected to grow by only 1,500 people between 2020 and 2030. That’s a 4% increase, which is much slower than the growth rate for the overall job market.

Candidates with the best chance of landing these jobs likely are those with a master’s degree, certifications and deep experience with compensation and benefits administration.

Compensation and Benefits Specialists

Employers continue to rely on compensation and benefits specialists to update their benefits packages, pay plans and other employee incentive programs. The BLS has reported that the 2021 median annual salary for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists was $64,120. Even though some companies are turning to outside vendors to handle compensation and benefits matters, the country is projected to add 8,800 more compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists jobs between 2020 and 2030. That’s a 10% increase.

Your job prospects may be better with more experience.

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How to Choose a Master’s in HR to Set You Up for Success

Pursuing an advanced degree is a big investment in terms of money and time. So, you may want to take several factors into account before you choose a master’s program in human resources management.

A graduate degree should equip you with the best knowledge and practices in human resources management as well as signal to potential employers that you’re a highly qualified candidate.

Here are some key factors and questions to consider and answer before you select a school or program:

Look for accreditation

Accreditation is an indication that a school meets the quality standards of education as set by the accrediting body. The most common accrediting body for human resources programs and business schools is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, commonly called AACSB. Some 840 business schools in more than 50 countries, including almost all the major MBA programs, have AACSB accreditation.

You also can look for master’s programs whose curriculum is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Meeting the organization’s academic guidelines means you’ll be gaining knowledge needed to pass SHRM’s professional certificate exams.

Find the right curriculum and concentrations

The field of human resources management is constantly evolving to reflect shifts in our society and businesses. The growth of remote teleworking, contract employees and pay equity are all issues that have risen to the forefront of human resources management in recent years.

You could choose to focus your curriculum on specialized segments within HR. Some schools offer you a chance to pick a formal concentration for your master’s degree. You could even earn a related degree, such as an MBA or a master’s in management, with a human resources concentration.

Possible areas of specialization with a master’s in human resources management include:

  • Labor relations and contract negotiations
  • Training and development
  • Organizational behavior
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Diversity and inclusion management
  • Crisis management
  • Executive coaching

Sample courses for your master’s in HR management might include:

  • Organizational development and change
  • Human capital analytics
  • Workplace ethics
  • Corporate communications
  • Employment law

Would an online or an in-person program be best for You?

Studying may allow you to gain hands-on knowledge of human resources principles. For example, instead of learning about employee assessments, you could have a chance to actually conduct one. Plus, being in a room full of classmates who may also be HR professionals is a valuable networking opportunity.

But online master’s programs have advantages too. Flexibility is a top one. Geography is no barrier to enrolling in the best online master’s program for you. There are also opportunities to work toward your online degree part time. This may allow you to continue holding down your job full time. With discipline, you can set your pace for how quickly you finish your master’s online.

Are classes small or large?

The size of graduate classes in human resources vary from school to school. Some programs have classes with as few as a dozen students, and others average fewer than 20 people. Small classes may allow you to engage in more one-on-one interactions with your instructors and classmates.

Are the lectures and discussions live?

Some online master’s HR management programs feature live lectures and discussions. One advantage of synchronous learning is that you can participate in class discussions in real time. However, if you have a scheduling conflict, you may have the option of catching up later by watching the recorded session.

Will you receive help with internship placement?

You may be able to earn academic credit for internships with some online master’s programs. Some online programs might allow you to complete an internship in lieu of taking an elective course.

You want to be sure to find a company that offers you the best chance for hands-on learning. Assistance from experienced professionals in the field like your professors or mentors can help you do that.

Enrollment and admissions options

Typically, you can enroll in an online master’s program at different points during the academic year. For example, you might submit your application for the spring semester a couple of months before it starts.

Admissions requirements vary from program to program. Most online master’s programs in human resources do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), but you’ll likely need at least a 3.0 GPA. Letters of recommendation are commonly required.

Tuition and financial aid

A master’s in HR management can be a big financial investment. Cost per credit hour can vary greatly from school to school. Most of them require 30 to 36 credit hours for graduation. Research the programs thoroughly to ensure that you attend a school that is both affordable for you and will lead to a quality degree that will pay dividends for your career.

There are schools that offer financial aid. Some also offer scholarships although they may be limited to full-time students. You need to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) in order to qualify for federal student aid, including grants, loans and work study opportunities.

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Guide to Licensure and Certifications

A license is not required to work as a human resources professional, but you have a chance to earn many different types of certification to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. Depending on your work experience and education level, you can take the test for SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). Having a master’s rather than a bachelor’s degree counts for about one more year of work experience.

You can also receive specialized credentials through the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist Program, HR Certification Institute or Association for Talent Development.

Here are some of the specialty certifications available to you:

  • Professional in Human Resources
  • Global Professional in Human Resources
  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist
  • Retirement Plans Associate
  • Group Benefits Associate
  • Change Management Certificate
  • Coaching Certificate

Job Outlook and Salaries of HR Professionals

Employers will continue to look to hire human resources professionals over the next couple of years as they are key members of any business or organization. For the 2020 to 2030 time period, the BLS projects job growth rates between 4% and 11% for human resources managers, human resources specialists, training and development managers, training and development specialists, compensation and benefits managers and compensation and benefits specialists.

Human resources specialists, who make up the largest group of HR workers, earned a median salary of almost $62,290 in 2021, according to BLS salary data from that year. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,680 while the top 10% made more than $108,160. The best-paid jobs in HR tend to be in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors, such as law firms and technology companies. HR jobs with healthcare providers and social services agencies typically pay the least.

With job growth comes stiff competition, particularly for high-paying managerial roles. Candidates with the best job prospects will be those who have relevant work experience, top-tier degrees, the latest credentials and a strategic mindset.

There are degrees other than a master’s in HR management that can be useful in your career in human resources. Foremost among them is a master’s in business administration (MBA). Some MBA programs allow for a concentration in human resources management.

Another alternative is a master’s in industrial and organizational psychology. That would be particularly relevant if you’re focused on employee training and development.

Other related degrees include graduate studies in labor or industrial relations, a master’s in management and leadership with an HR focus, and a master’s in business analytics.

FAQ

These basic questions can help you determine whether you’re ready to pursue a master’s in human resources management.

Is a master’s degree in human resources worth it?

An advanced degree from a strong program could give you an edge for the best jobs in human resources, especially for high-paying senior positions in sectors of the economy that are excelling. The key is to attend an accredited school with a robust network of well-placed alumni.

Is human resource management a good degree?

It can be the right degree for you if you enjoy working with people and are passionate about helping companies succeed. Human resources professionals are increasingly becoming a part of many organizations’ strategic leadership.

What degree is needed to become a human resource manager?

Most jobs in human resources, both entry-level and managerial positions, require a bachelor’s degree. But there are advantages to having an MA or MS degree in human resources management. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s, especially for higher-level positions.

How long does it take to get a master’s in HR?

It typically takes two years to complete the degree, but it’s possible to do it in as little as a year. It could take as long as five or six years if you attend school part time while working full time.

How much does a master’s in HR cost on average?

There is no typical cost for this degree. Even among online-only master’s programs, total tuition can range from around $10,000 to $30,000 or more. Schools generally require 30 to 36 credit hours for a degree. To know the cost per credit hour for the program you’d like to enroll in, visit the program page on the school’s website. 

Last Updated: May 2022