Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management

Nov 15, 2019

Human resource professionals or persons who are trying to get into HR may benefit from taking graduate certificate courses in human resource management. These programs are generally designed to teach students how to organize and support employees. With that goal in mind, the course topics in these graduate certificate programs tend to have some similarities; these will be discussed in the next section.

Typical Courses in Graduate Certificate Programs in Human Resource Management

Persons may be able to enroll in graduate certificate programs in human resource management on a part-time or full-time basis and programs can have in-person, online or blended-learning formats. While it generally takes 12 credit hours to complete these programs, that may involve four or six courses and a few of these courses are shown below.

Human Resources Management

Courses like these may introduce students to the basic foundations of human resource management or cover more in-depth topics. When enrolled in these courses, students can expect to learn about the role a human resource manager plays in organizations when it comes to tasks like recruitment, workforce management, and employee development. Other topics that may be covered include inclusion, employee retention and technology management.

Performance Management

A key part of human resource management is assessing the performance of team members as well as the organization as a whole. Courses that focus on performance management may focus on the evaluation techniques that can be used in the assessment of individual performance or the systems that can provide an overview of an organization's pathway to accomplishing its goals. A few of the other topics that students may learn include communication, organizational efficiency as well as productivity.

Total Rewards

Courses that focus on total rewards may also be linked to performance management as rewards can be a part of the evaluation process. These courses may look at topics such as wage scales, incentives and pay delivery administration. In some of these courses, students may be required to create their own compensation and benefits programs.


It's vital for human resource personnel to know their ethical obligations to employees as well as their employers. To that end, courses that deal with ethics may incorporate the broader legal regulations that persons in human resource management must comply with. Some of the topics that these courses may cover include affirmative action, discrimination and the right to privacy.

Strategic Human Resource Management

To effectively contribute to their employer's goals, the human resource manager must ensure that their strategies are aligned. When enrolled in the courses that handle strategy, students may learn about the importance of getting employees' skills in line with an organization's needs by using training and development. Students may also learn how to use forecasting methods and various human resource planning tools.

General Admission Requirements

Individuals who are seeking admission into graduate certificate programs in human resource management are required to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. The degree may not need to be in a specific subject area but some programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0. For some programs, applicants may need to submit proof of a certain number of years of work experience in human resources to be considered. When submitting an application, prospective students may also need to submit school transcripts, a graduate essay, and a current essay.

Professionals in human resources can advance their careers by taking these 12-credit graduate certificate programs in human resource management. The programs usually cover course topics such as performance management, incentives and ethics.

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