Masters in Human Resources Management

While pursuing a masters degree in human resources, programs teach a complete understanding of the principles of managing human capital, an organization’s most important asset. Therefore, some of the key concepts that schools cover include training and development, compensation and benefits, and the legal and ethical aspects of an organization.

Masters Degree in Human Resources: Basics

While pursuing a masters degree in human resources management, many programs teach the creative problem-solving skills, data-driven decision-making, strategic management skills, empathy, and ethics. These all contribute to understanding how human resources fits into and helps develop the overall strategies of businesses and organizations.

Often, some of the most important concepts and theories of human resources include those listed here.

  • Foster relationships with stakeholders
  • Implement talent development and onboarding strategies
  • Use risk management, legal, and ethical practices to protect employees and management
  • Implement cross-cultural approach to improve cultural competence of organization

As a result, many programs teach how to integrate these concepts into the overall business strategies of organizations. This may include through effective leadership strategies that promote human resources collaboration with overall business management.

About Human Resources Master's Programs

Admissions Requirements for Human Resources Management Masters Degrees

Every school has their own admissions requirements. Therefore, it’s important to check with a few options to find one that matches your education and your goals. Some of the most common requirements include those listed below.

  • Bachelors degree from an accredited university
  • 2.3 Bachelors degree GPA
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation

While these are the most common, remember that some schools are stricter than others.

How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Human Resources Management Masters Degree?

Some full-time students can earn their masters degree in human resources in less than two years. However, this may depend on a number of factors, such as when courses are available and the unique design of that program. In addition, it typically takes longer for part-time students.

This normally includes all required courses and a capstone or thesis project. This project is an opportunity to show your complete understanding of the principles of human resources and the application to solve business problems. Most schools require a capstone or thesis. However, there are some schools that don’t, so be sure to check with a few options to find a perfect match for you.

What Is Human Resources Management?

Human resources management (HRM) describes the formal systems devised for the management of people inside an organization. Typically, the responsibilities of HRM fall into three different categories, which are listed below.

  • Staffing
  • Employee Compensation and Benefits
  • Defining and Designing Work

These focus on promoting the fact that the most important assets of a company is their workforce. Therefore, human resources looks to provide the people inside the company with the training, benefits, and support needed to promote effective work. Top Schools with Human Resources Management Masters Degrees*

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Master of Business Administration - Human Resource ManagementBrenau UniversityMBA
Adult, Occupational, and Continuing EducationKansas State UniversityMSEd
M.A. in Human Resources Training and Development (Police Graduate Studies Online)Seton Hall UniversityMA
Negotiation and Conflict ResolutionColumbia UniversityMA
Master's of Science in Human Resource ManagementNova Southeastern UniversityMS
Business/Workforce DevelopmentIndiana University Of PennsylvaniaMS
Human Resources and Industrial RelationsWest Virginia UniversityMS
Personnel ServicesBob Jones UniversityMS
Human Resources ManagementFlorida Institute of TechnologyMS
M.B.A.: Strategic Human Resource ManagementGrand Canyon UniversityMBA
Master - Human Resource ManagementColorado State University GlobalN/A
MSM - Organizational Design and DevelopmentPurdue GlobalMS
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What Is the Development of Human Resources Management?

Human resources development (HRD) is the part of the human resources field that specifically deals with the training and development of employees. Therefore, HRD combines training and development to improve the effectiveness of the individual inside of an organization.

Human resources development provides a framework for the growth of human capital inside of an organization to improve the performance of every member of a team. This can include training and performing exercises to enable individuals to perform current and future jobs, so that they may have an opportunity to grow inside of the company.

Jaclyn Lee; Human Resource programs

Jaclyn Lee
Senior HR Director at Singapore University of Technology and Design

Expert Insight

We asked Jaclyn Lee how a human resources management masters program may prepare students in the new digital economy:

With the advent of the digital economy, the ability to use new tools to recruit and retain talents will give an organization its competitive advantage. A human resources masters program that equips students on how to use these new emerging tools may be very useful.


Different Masters in Human Resources Degree Formats

When choosing to pursue a masters in human resources, there are typically three formats for you to choose from. Each of these appeal to different students and have unique benefits. The three learning formats are listed here.

For instance, on-campus HR degrees may help you network with professors, classmates, and active alumni groups, which may help during your job search. On the other hand, online programs provide flexibility because you can perform coursework whenever it is convenient for you. Plus, you may develop online communication skills that are important in the workplace. Hybrid programs combine the elements of online and on-campus, which is why it may be the best of both worlds.

Human Resources Management: What You’ll Learn

While pursuing a masters in human resources, programs teach the roles that employers, employees, unions, and the government play in the employment relationship. Some of the other topics you may study include those listed below.

  • Analyze complex personal, legal, and organizational issues
  • Grasp the ethical aspects of human resources and employment relations
  • Analyze complex employment issues
  • Administer labor and human resources systems

Though these are some of the most common topics that human resources management programs cover, you may analyze a number of other subjects inside the scope of human resources. Some of these may include the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and development of new employees.

However, keep in mind that each school is different and may focus other aspects of human resources. Look at a few options to find one that matches your goals.

Common Human Resources Management Courses

The courses of human resources management focus on combining advanced knowledge of the principles and concepts of human resources with practical knowledge. Plus, as technology becomes more integrated into all of the business processes, many masters in human resources teach how to apply information technology solutions to organizations.

Some of the courses you may take while pursuing your masters degree in human resources management include those listed below.

  • Talent Development and Team Growing
  • HR Information Databases
  • HR Statistics and Numerical Data
  • Human Resource Technology Solutions
  • Leading and Managing Workplace Learning
  • Robust Compensation and Benefit Packages
  • Employment Law in the Successful Workplace
  • Cultural Sensitivity in a Global Marketplace
  • Active Advocating for Employees

Remember that each program is unique. Therefore, the specific courses, and their titles, may vary from school to school.

What Can You Do with a Human Resources Degree?

Upon earning your masters degree in human resources management, there are a number of careers that you may pursue. Some of the most common positions, and their 2016 median annual salary, include:

Each of these positions typically only require that candidates have a bachelors degree. However, many companies look for those with a masters degree and a number of years of experience. While the specific responsibilities of these positions may vary, often those in these roles will align training with the organization’s strategic goals and evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

Additional Certifications in Human Resources

Many human resources masters programs have a curriculum and course of study that matches the requirements set forth by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). This defines HR educational standards in business schools across the country. By aligning coursework with the SHRM certification, these programs may help you prepare for the exam.

By earning SHRM certification, you may be more likely to be looked at as an expert in human resources management. However, SHRM is not the only available certification. Some of the others are listed below.

Keep in mind that these certifications aren’t mandatory. However, many professionals choose to earn them to show their knowledge in the field and to stay up-to-date on current methods and approaches in human resources.

Take the Next Step with our List of 54 Human Resource Management Graduate Programs

Now you're equipped with the information you need to start your search for a Masters program in Human Resource Management. The academic path you choose may depend largely on what you plan to do after you complete your degree. To a certain extent, you want to not only prepare yourself with an education but also the ‘right’ education for the type of career you want to lead.

Don’t be shy, reaching out to more than one human resource management school may increase your chances of achieving your goal. Just click request info, fill out the form, and be sure you understand the ins and outs of each program.

Why wait? You future Human Resource Management Graduate Program could be one click away!

  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Some of the nation's most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
  • Eligible new or returning students can save $3,000 on tuition with the Master’s Scholarship.
  • Strayer University is an accredited institution with a proud history of 125 years in quality education.
  • With the help of dedicated personal support and AI technology, earn your degree online or on campus.
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