Master’s Degrees in Human Resources

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources<br />

If you are talented at conflict resolution, decision making, and communication and are highly organized with a strong internal code of ethics, then Human Resources is likely a good career path for you. To help you prepare for a career in the higher levels of Human Resources employment, many schools offer a Master of Human Resources degree.

Is a Master’s Degree in HR Worth It?

A Master of Human Resources degree will prepare you for leadership, strategy and management as a human resource professional, leading the ‘people’ part of your organization.

Career Roles with a Master’s in HR

With a Master’s in HR, you will be preparing yourself for a variety of roles. Since most HR roles (specialist, generalist, benefits) require at least a bachelor’s degree at this point, a master’s degree is part of the process for preparing yourself for leadership roles at the next level, usually management roles, and expanding to director level and higher. Here are some of the roles you may see with a master’s in human resources:


The majority of master’s degrees in HR are management degrees, since typically HR professionals are seeking career advancement and a greater capacity to lead organizations from earning this graduate degree.

We take an in-depth look at the various master’s in HR management degrees here.


A new area in Human Resources management is in strategy, and there are several new Master of Science in Strategic HR Management degrees available for the HR professional who wants to think from an organization strategy standpoint.


As more and more job functions are based on data, HR professionals are no different, and must start learning how to analyze employee performance, data and other indicators to make business and personnel decisions. There are Master of Science programs in Human Resource Analytics and Management that are a perfect fit for the 21st Century HR leader.

Many master’s in human resources programs have some sort of specialization, but there are some traditional programs that are without any additional specialties.

Master in Human Resource Program List

Abilene Christian University
Program name: Master of Science in Organization Development
Modality: Online

The Master of Science in Organizational Development program from Abilene Christian University is a stepping stone to becoming an HR leader. This 36-credit program takes 24 months to complete and offers courses in topics like Training and Development, Organizational Behavior, Negotiation and Leading Organizational Change.

Brandman University
Program name: MS in Human Resources
Modality: Online, Hybrid

The Master of Science in Human Resources degree from Brandman University is a 36-credit-hour program comprised of 9 elective courses, 24 core courses and a three-credit capstone course. Students will take courses in things like Globalization and Diversity, Talent Management, Strategic and Legal Leadership and Workforce Planning.

Clemson University
Program name: Master’s in Human Resource Development
Modality: Online

Clemson University uses the HRD process to teach its students how to measure and improve employees through training and assessment. The MHRD program is 36 credit hours and no GRE is required. The program starts in Fall or Spring and takes about two years to complete. Most graduates of an HRD program end up working in organizational development or training, but they also end up as HR managers and in other general HR roles.

Cornell University
Program name: Master’s in Human Resource Studies (MILR)

The MILR degree from Cornell focuses on the people within organizations, focusing on both theoretical and practical applications. The MILR degree is 48 credit hours and involves six core courses, six concentration courses and at least four electives. The program is in-person and involves regular interactions with senior corporate executives and other business leaders who focus on the real-life challenges they face in the workplace.

Eastern Michigan University
Program name: Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development
Modality: Traditional

Eastern Michigan University’s Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development in their College of Business is a 30-credit program with a 2.75 GPA entrance requirement. The program consists of 18 core courses and 12 elective courses in things like Diagnostic Techniques and Research Methods. The program also boasts the benefits of an active student body, with their student SHRM chapter winning Outstanding Chapter nationally in 2018.

La Salle University
Program name: Master of Science in Human Capital Development
Modality: Online

La Salle University has a Master of Science in Human Capital Development designed for human resources managers and practitioners and is an alternative to a Human Resources MBA. Courses include things like Training a Global Workforce and Client Communications and Consulting. The program is completely asynchronous and is 100 percent online, totaling 36 credit hours, $760 a credit hour.

Loyola University – Chicago
Program name: Master of Science in Human Resources
Modality: Traditional

Loyola University of Chicago has a Master of Human Resources that is a part of their school of business. Their degree is certified by the Society of Human Resources Management and connects graduates to over 3000 alumni and mentors working in companies all around the Chicago area. This program can be completed full-time or part-time and allows for human resources experience to take the place of the internship.

Pepperdine University
Program name: Master of Science in Human Resources
Modality: Traditional Immersive, Online

Pepperdine University offers an immersive Master of Science in Human Resources program that can be completed in as few as 12 months with one year of work experience, or a part-time option that can be completed in 19 months and requires 3-6 years of work experience. There is also a 12-month online version, as well as an MSHR option post-MBA.

Pennsylvania State University
Program name: Master of Science in Human Resources and Employment Relations
Modality: Traditional and Online

This program is a 37-credit, two-year program preparing students to excel in business acumen, global and ethical awareness, diversity in the workforce and more. Penn State also offers several integrated programs such as the BS to MS degree, BS in Spanish or Psychology and an MS in HRER and a J.D/MS in HRER program.

University of Houston
Program name: Master of Science in Human Resource Development
Modality: Traditional

The MSHRD degree from the University of Houston contains coursework in Adult Learning, Research, Organizational Performance and Assessment, designed for the HR leader interested in organizational growth and improvement through training and assessment of employees. The program is 33 credits and includes a master’s thesis and additional graduate-level coursework beyond the required Human Resources curriculum.

University of Louisville
Program name: Master’s of Science in Human Resource and Organization Development
Modality: Traditional and Online

University of Louisville has an MS in Human Resource and Organization Development designed to teach HR professionals cutting-edge concepts and hands-on projects related to Human Resource Capital, Organization Development and HR Management. Their program is rigorous, relevant, and research-based. The program is 33 hours for the portfolio and fieldwork option and 36 hours for the thesis option. Most part-time students complete the program in 2-3 years.

Villanova University
Program name: Graduate Programs in Human Resource Development
Modality: Traditional and Online

Villanova has a variety of Human Resources programs ranging from an MS in Human Development to a large selection of graduate level certificates that can be taken independently or in conjunction with the MS program. All core classes in the MS in HRD are three credits and can be taken in person or online. Students will take classes such as Financial and Human Capital, HR Analytics and Employment Law.

Webster University

Program name: Master of Arts in Human Resource Development
Modality: Traditional and online

Webster University offers its MA in Human Resource Development in-person and online to meet the needs of their changing university population. This degree takes a holistic approach to developing new competencies in the HRD model, with faculty who work in the field. According to Webster data, 92 percent of graduates found employment in the Human Resources field upon graduation.