List of Free Online Human Resources (HR) Courses and Classes

Interested in taking a human resources course online that doesn't cost a dime? See our list of the top free online human resources courses. You'll find out which ones are available, what topics they cover and whether you can use them to get college credit.

Human Resources Courses Online for Credit

A variety of educational institutions and professional organizations offer free online human resources courses to anyone interested in learning about human resources management, recruitment, training and other related topics. But while free courses are a great resource for brushing up on your skills, you typically can't earn credit for them. If you're looking for an HR job, you can find alternatives to earning a degree that won't break the bank and end up costing significantly less than a traditional college program.'s Business 106: Human Resource Management course offers a reasonably priced and effective path to college credit. Become a member to access all the Business 106 video lessons led by field experts. Topics covered in Business 106: Human Resource Management include performance appraisals, labor relations, organizational theories and international human resource management, along with the following:

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

Human Resources Courses Online Free

Human resources courses are generally offered through a college's management or business departments. Although the courses contain much of the same material used in credit-bearing classes, none of these resources come with college credit. Students may need to purchase textbooks and meet certain software and technical requirements in order to view lectures presented in video format.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides OpenCourseWare, a free and open online learning platform students can access anytime and without registration to study a variety of subjects. Approximately 2400 courses are available under business, energy, engineering, fine arts, mathematics, science and other categories. Most courses offer learning materials that include lecture notes and assignments that can be downloaded.

  • Strategic HR Management is a graduate-level course that examines topics on human resources management, performance management, training and development, reward systems and workforce diversity. Some lecture notes are available, and students can also download assignments and the final exam, though no solutions are provided. A bibliography is listed on the readings page, which consists of business journal articles and chapters from human resources textbooks that students must obtain on their own. These textbooks include The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First and Learning from Saturn: Possibilities for Corporate Governance and Employee Relations.
  • Urban Labor Markets and Employment Policy teaches students about urban labor markets, public policy, welfare reform and living wage campaigns. Selected lecture notes are available as PDF documents and cover labor demand, unions, employment training for adults and more. A comprehensive readings list outlines texts students should consider acquiring to follow along with the lectures.
  • Work, Employment and Industrial Relations Theory covers different labor theories, including Marxist and neo-classical ideas about industrial relations. Students also learn about the foundations of human resource management, views on global supply chains and call center research. The course includes some lecture handouts and assignments that do not include examples. Several readings are required for the course, including Researching the World of Work and The Origins & Evolution of Industrial Relations in the United States.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA offers a Learning Center filled with dozens of free online courses for anyone interested in learning how to plan, launch, manage and grow a business. Courses look at the steps required to buy a business, examine the basics of customer service, discuss cybersecurity and even look at government contracting. Most courses are available as videos and may also offer downloadable worksheets. The courses do not require registration.

  • Introduction to Human Resources is a 30-minute self-paced video course that examines the importance of human resources in organizations. Students learn the meaning of human resource management as well as its principles, processes and associated laws. The course provides a complete transcript along with a downloadable PDF of course worksheets. To watch the video lesson, students will need to install Adobe Flash.

The Open University

The Open University's OpenLearn platform makes nearly 1,000 free courses available online for students interested in studying different languages, the arts, psychology, technology and many additional subjects. When taking these courses, students typically learn via written lessons, but may also be able to access activities. The platform offers the option but does not require students to sign up for an account.

  • Human Resources: Recruitment and Selection is an intermediate-level course offering about 12 hours worth of learning materials. The course shows students how to successfully find and screen job applicants and explores how employees with different personality types may be best suited for certain positions. Students can learn to properly interview job candidates and make a final selection. The course includes a number of lectures and activities to enhance student learning.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota provides numerous free courses through the learning platform Coursera. Whether students are interested in learning about genetics or thermodynamics, these courses provide a full learning experience at no cost. To access these courses as well as the human resources course below, students will need to sign up for a free Coursera account via email or Facebook then audit the course.

  • Preparing to Manage Human Resources focuses on various ways of managing human resources, how money acts as a motivator for employees and other ways to keep workers motivated. Students also learn the legal issues that have a direct impact on human resource management. This course is self-paced and takes approximately 19 hours to complete. Learning materials students can access include videos, readings and quizzes.

University of Pennsylvania

Through Coursera, students can take a variety of University of Pennsylvania courses free of charge and learn about dental medicine, microeconomics, financial accounting among other subjects. To access these non-credit courses at no cost, students are required to sign up for a free Coursera account then audit the courses.

  • Managing Social and Human Capital is a beginner-level course that examines the complexities of humans as assets in business. Lessons examine the importance of training company leaders to properly manager employees and make wise decisions that ensure workers are motivated to perform well. The course consists of about 9 hours of learning materials, which include videos, readings and quizzes.

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Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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    • MBA
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    • Human Resource Management, A.S.
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    • BA: Human Resources
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    • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Development
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  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration in Interdisciplinary Business

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    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Specialization
    • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization

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