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Colleges with Human Resource Management Programs: How to Choose

Human resource (HR) management programs can be found at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Selecting the right school can help prospective students create a solid foundation for future success in this career field.

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Individuals most commonly study human resource management at the certificate, bachelor's degree and master's degree levels, although associate's degree programs also exist in the subject. Many 4-year colleges and universities offer these programs through their management, organizational sciences, business, professional development or extended education departments.

Human Resources Management Schools

The following private and public universities offer programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016, In-state)*
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's $48,082 (Graduate)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's $41,371 (Graduate)
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA 4-year, private not-for-profit Continuing Education Certificate $670 (on-campus); $940 (online)
Clemson University Clemson, SC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $14,272 (Undergraduate) $9,220 (Graduate)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, private not-for-profit Graduate Certificate, Master's $40,984 (Graduate)
Georgetown University Washington, D.C. 4-year, private not-for-profit Master's $45,136 (Graduate)
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's $10,037 (Undergraduate) $12,425 (Graduate)
Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Master's, Doctorate $9,004 (Graduate)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, public Bachelor's $8,591 (Undergraduate)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics, School websites

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Human Resources Development
  • Labor and Industrial Relations
  • Labor Studies
  • Organizational Behavior

College Selection Criteria

Considerations for students choosing a human resources management school may include:

  • Prospective students should consider if their program incorporates an internship or some other form of experiential learning to better prepare for a future career.
  • Students should consider the quality and reputation of a potential program. One way to confirm the quality of a program is to check if it is affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
  • Students in need of greater flexibility may wish to choose a program that hosts some or all of its classes through the Internet.
  • Students who are unsure of their career goals or want a broader degree may want to choose a program that offers human resources as a specialization, such as a business administration program.

Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management

This baccalaureate option provides majors with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage common workforce issues in a variety of settings, including small or start-up businesses, government, non-profits and global organizations. These 4-year programs include general education and elective units, and they may allow enrollees to minor in a complementary field, such as business.

Master's Degree in Human Resource Management

Graduate students prepare for leadership roles in human resources through a master's degree program. Many programs are available part-time or online to accommodate working professionals. They usually feature a research component and may require the completion of a thesis paper or project.

Certificate in Human Resource Management

These programs are geared toward uncertified individuals who are already working in the human resources field at any level. Program lengths vary by school, ranging from 8-16 credits, with the average certificate program consisting of 12 classes or credit hours. While programs are generally predetermined, students may have some course flexibility for tailoring their studies. Courses are designed to help candidates update their industry knowledge and prepare them for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification exams.

Students interested in human resource management can find undergraduate and graduate programs at 4-year public and private institutions. While looking into programs to find the best fit, students should consider factors like a program's reputation, online course availability and internship opportunities.

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