Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Human Resources

Mar 15, 2021

Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Human Resources

Study.com examined data from schools across the country to arrive at this comprehensive list of the best online bachelor's degree programs in the field of human resources. In compiling this list, we looked at several different factors, including course offerings, financial aid, graduation rates, and so on. Using data from the United States Department of Education, as well as other authoritative sources, we then analyzed each school's information in conjunction with other factors, such as faculty quality, networking opportunities for online HR students, connections with the Society for Human Resource Management, and job placement stats. Taking all of this into consideration, we were able to arrive at our final ranking of the top online human resource bachelor's degree programs in the United States. If you are considering applying to an online bachelor's program in human resources, or are interested in potentially pursuing the field, you can take a look at the following schools to focus your search.

1. Immaculata University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27350 81% 67% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

With the top spot on our list, Immaculata University in Immaculata, PA, has an online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management program that boasts a strong combination of comprehensive curricula and convenience for its students. Within the program, online classes are offered evenings and weekends in order to accommodate all schedules, and students have the opportunity to graduate within two years. Immaculata's human resources program offers a strong balance of liberal arts and business courses, allowing students to take a general survey of the field, or specialize in a particular area such as business law, accounting, marketing, etc. The program also offers entrepreneurial and networking opportunities to its online students through organizations such as Enactus and the Immaculata Business Club.

2. Regent University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18620 86% 57% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The strengths of Regent University's online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management program are its flexibility and its success rate. Students who decide to apply for this top-notch online program are able to take eight-week courses in a variety of relevant areas, such as management, leadership, business law, and international business relations. Additionally, Regent's online human resources program boasts a strong placement record, with graduates of the program employed in about 60% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies!

3. University of Southern Mississippi

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8896 97% 49% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

When enrolling in the University of Southern Mississippi's online human resources program, students receive all of the benefits of an on-campus education with a schedule and curriculum tailored to fit their specific needs. Online students have the option of enrolling full-time or part-time, with comprehensive courses taught by the exact same professors found in-person in Southern Miss's classrooms. Additionally, online human resources students at this Hattiesburg, MS, school are eligible for a number of scholarships and financial aid packages offered by through the Golden Opportunities Program.

4. Wichita State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8299 92% 50% 89% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Wichita State University's W. Frank Barton School of Business offers a comprehensive and flexible online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Human Resource Management program where online students have access to the same courses, professors, and resources as on-campus students. With its human resources management track, this Kansas school provides students with complete education in relevant areas such as staffing, compensation, and employment law. What's more, online bachelor's students have full access to Wichita State's Career Development Center, providing online students with numerous career opportunities in business and management.

5. Davenport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19338 82% 49% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

In Grand Rapids, MI, Davenport University has a prestigious online human resources program offered through its fully online Global Campus Program. In pursuing the online BBA in Human Resource Management degree, Davenport University students have access to a comprehensive offering of courses in business, finance, and law, as well as full access to the entire business school faculty. With its partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Davenport also provides its online students the opportunity to take the SHRM-CP exam, and connect with internship and career opportunities around the country through Davenport's SHRM chapter.

6. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$21456 88% 45% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, located in Waxahachie, Texas, offers a fully online Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in human resources management. Students enrolled in this HR program can take their classes 100% online, while having access to all benefits and resources afforded to on-campus students (including the school's career center). The program includes small class sizes, allowing online students to receive full support and attention from professors and faculty members in one-on-one settings. Another attractive element of this BBA program is that students can tailor their degree programs to receive an associate degree in addition to the bachelor's.

7. Concordia University-Saint Paul

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22800 98% 51% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Concordia University's Saint Paul campus in Minnesota offers a fully online degree program resulting in a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management. The program is fully aligned with the core curriculum template of the Society for Human Resource Management. A benefit of this online HR program is the flexibility of its schedule, as students can craft their own study schedules as per their own needs, without having to worry about specific class times. Concordia also boasts an impressive job placement rate, with about 95% of CSP graduates finding careers within one year of graduation.

8. Ball State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10020 77% 67% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Muncie, Indiana's Ball State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration that is fully asynchronous, meaning that students are not bound to a specific class schedule. As a result, Ball State's program is incredibly flexible in terms of scheduling, with three different potential start dates during the academic year, and both full-time and part-time options for enrolled students. Once enrolled in the program, online HR students will bolster their education in human resources with key course in areas such as employment law, talent management, and talent acquisition and retention. The human resources program is also highly ranked due to the numerous resources the Ball State has to offer, such as its career center and Center for Actuarial Science and Risk Management.

9. Dickinson State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7784 100% 41% 93% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Located in Dickinson, North Dakota, Dickinson State University offers potential students a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management, with an entirely online curriculum option. Dickinson State's BBA program offers a terrific education in the field of human resources due to the wide breadth of its concentrations. Online students will touch on a variety of relevant topics in the field, including business law, labor policy, compensation, and diversity. This program also does an excellent job preparing students for seeking HR certification immediately upon graduation.

10. Saint Leo University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$23750 72% 49% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Saint Leo University of Saint Leo, Florida, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management degree program with a fully online option for distance students. This human resource management program has earned full recognition and accreditation from the Society for Human Resource Management, ensuring that students emerge from the program fully prepared for a successful and fulfilling career in human resources. Online HR students at Saint Leo also have access to a wide variety of opportunities and resources, including the opportunity to present papers at academic conferences (such as the school's own International Business Conference in Tampa), applying to internships close to their own location, and the eligibility to participate in business honors societies, such as Sigma Beta Delta.

11. Georgia Southwestern State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5500 58% 38% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Students enrolled in the online Bachelor of Business Administration - Human Resources degree program at Georgia Southwestern State University can complete a fully online program that includes a capstone and hands-on projects where students can get real-life experience. Located in Americus, Georgia, Georgia Southwestern State BBA-HR program is aligned with the Society of Human Resource Management and also provides students with the opportunities to achieve a Professional in Human Resources certification.

12. Indiana State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9236 90% 41% 92% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development program at Indiana State University offers students a fully online degree program that can be tailored to fit individual student needs and levels of experience within the field. This Terra Haute-based school allows online HR students to customize their course of study by either taking a broader overview of the field of human resources or by focusing on specific area within HR through their elective choices. The program's course of study corresponds to standards set by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association for Talent Development, ensuring that online students receive an education in line with contemporary issues and needs in the field of human resources.

13. University of Arkansas

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9384 77% 66% 76% No Yes AP Credits

The University of Arkansas, located in the town of Fayetteville, offers students a unique online Bachelor of Science of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development. The program is unique in that it combines a traditional human resources curriculum with an added emphasis on workforce education development, providing students with a comprehensive and well-rounded business education that will help them serve as effective human resource managers and talent developers in future careers. This is a degree completion program, which is offered in two 15-week semesters in the spring and fall, with an added option of a five-week summer semester.

14. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11962 75% 68% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

Louisiana State University's E.J. Ourso College of Business features an online Bachelor of Science in General Business with concentration in human resource management. LSU's online HRM program does an excellent job emphasizing both the quantitative and non-quantitative elements of human resources professions and provides students with a thorough education in things like wage structure, compensation, incentives, and other issues relevant to human resources as a whole. It also receives excellent marks for the resources and convenience it affords students--all undergraduates enrolled in the online program will receive their own personal concierge to assist them as they navigate the curriculum, and may also tailor their schedules to better suit their needs and preferences.

15. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8852 67% 60% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The SUNY College of Technology campus in Alfred, New York, offers a Bachelor of Science in of Human Services Management program for students seeking a distance-learning experience. Though offered entirely online, the program allows students to partake in many of the same amenities that traditional, on-campus HR students have access to, such as internships and service-learning experiences. SUNY at Alfred's online HR degree is specifically oriented towards students who have already received an associate's degree in the field, and online students will be able to complete an internship at a local organization for hands-on experience.

16. St. Joseph's College-Long Island

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29200 73% 72% 98% No Yes AP Credits

St. Joseph's College-Long Island in Patchogue, NY, recently added to its human resources certification and graduate programs with a new Bachelor of Science in Human Resources degree program that is offered entirely online. Once enrolled, online students will learn about many different facets of the field, such as employee recruiting, retention, compensation, and development. Online students will also be able to take advantage of Saint Joseph's College's affiliation with the Society for Human Resource Management, opening the door to numerous career and internship opportunities post-graduation.

17. Peirce College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15060 No Available Data (2019-2020) 42% 100% No Yes AP Credits

Students enrolled at Philadelphia, PA's, Peirce College who are interested in pursuing undergraduate studies in human resources should consider the college's online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. Distance students will receive a high-quality education in various human resources fields, such as labor law, recruitment, and business ethics. Peirce College also offers tuition discounts for bachelor's degree students in the business school who are employed by a number of Philadelphia companies participating in the college's corporate partnership program, such as Comcast, UPS, and the City of Philadelphia.

18. Park University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8399 No Available Data (2019-2020) 62% 93% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The online Bachelor of Science in Human Resources program offered by Park University (of Parkville, Missouri) combines a thorough overview of major business principles with an in-depth education in the issues specific to human resources and human resource management. Most importantly, Park University's program earns its ranking through a unique emphasis on social psychology--that is, by looking at human resources through the lens of how humans behave in group settings. Students in the online program can also choose between a Bachelor of Science in Management/Human Resources, or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Human Resource Management concentration.

19. Metropolitan State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8114 56% 34% 86% No Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Metropolitan State University of Saint Paul, Minnesota, offers a top-notch Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management that can be completed entirely online. One of the major advantages for human resource students at Metropolitan State is the extensive network of professional organizations that students have access to. For example, online human resource students at Metropolitan State can still connect with regional human resources organizations, such as the Twin Cities Human Resource Association and the Twin Cities Compensation Network, in addition to national organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management. Additionally, students enrolled in the human resource management B.S. program may also enroll in a number of related minors, such as international business, project management, and risk management.

20. Faulkner University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22310 78% 33% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Students interested in an online HR degree with an emphasis on Christian faith and values can apply to the Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management degree at Faulkner University. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Faulkner's online B.S. program is designed to be taken at an accelerated pace, allowing students to receive their degree within one year after all core courses are done. What's more, Faulkner's human resource management program is centered around contemporary issues in the field of human resources, allowing graduates to quickly enter the workforce with the knowledge and skillsets necessary to excel in the field.

21. Hawaii Pacific University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27500 75% 45% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

Honolulu's Hawaii Pacific University offers prospective students an entirely online four-year Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Development program where students will benefit from a curriculum that was designed with cooperation from several professional organizations in the field of human resources, including the Association for Talent Development, the Academy of Human Resource Development, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Hawaii Pacific's HR program is especially prestigious due to its rigor in specific competency areas in the human resources field, including strategic talent management, project management, and organizational development

22. Brenau University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$31084 58% 46% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The next school on our list is Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, which offers a fully online Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. The program affords students the opportunity to learn from human resource experts and professionals while on an online schedule that is entirely centered around their specific scheduling needs. Brenau's human resource program is particularly strong in areas such as managerial principles, business ethics, and professional development.

23. Tiffin University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26110 69% 39% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

For prospective human resources students who would like to center their education around business management, Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio, offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Management with a concentration in human resource management. This HR program allows online students to receive to a comprehensive education in contemporary human resource issues, while preparing them for lucrative careers in business management. Tiffin's BBA program is taught by faculty with real-world HR experience, and students who complete the online BBA degree may also apply those credits over to earning a Master of Business Administration degree in an expedited timeframe.

24. Temple University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16970 60% 74% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Fox School of Business and Management at Philadelphia's Temple University offers a highly-regarded Bachelor of Business Administration with a human resources management major. The BBA is offered in an entirely online format, featuring online lectures and assignments, as well as a flexible schedule based around either 15 or six-week semesters. Online HR students are also eligible to join the Temple chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, affording them even more career development and professional networking opportunities.

25. Huntington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26846 75% 70% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. The program's successes come down to its sharp focus on key areas relevant to human resources as a whole--students enrolled in the program can take classes in areas such as staffing and recruitment, organizational culture and behavior, and employment law. Huntington's online HR program also receives high marks for flexibility, allowing students to achieve their degree without sacrificing their pre-existing scheduling needs.

26. Grand View University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28678 96% 55% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Des Moines, Iowa's, Grand View University offers a comprehensive online B.A. in Business Management with a highly-regarded human resource management concentration. Online HR students will have access to the exact same professors--and the complementary business and academic expertise--as Grand View's on-campus students have, and they are also eligible for numerous internship opportunities, despite their remote location.

27. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$30500 67% 56% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Coming in at number 27 on our list is Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, located in Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana. This Catholic college features a fully online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program through its Department of Business and Leadership. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is one of the few Indiana schools to achieve complete alignment with the Society for Human Resource Management's educational templates, and graduates of the program will be eligible to take the society's Certified Professional exam.

28. Notre Dame College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$30160 98% 37% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Notre Dame College's Bachelor of Business Administration in human resources comes in at number 28 on our list. Located in South Euclid, Ohio, this school features an online BA in Business Administration - Human Resource Management program. One of the benefits of Notre Dame College's online HR program is its emphasis on both the fundamentals of business and core HR concepts. Notre Dame College's program has particular strengths in areas such as labor relations, organizational psychology, and business ethics.

29. Limestone College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26300 51% 33% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Next on our list is Limestone College, in Gaffney, South Carolina. Limestone College offers a fantastic online Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management degree program. Limestone's B.S. program is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management for crafting a curriculum in alignment with the Society's official learning templates, and most course instructors are certified human resource management professionals. Additionally, seniors in the online program are eligible to take the Society for Human Resource Management's CP exam, providing an extra boost to their future HR careers.

30. Friends University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29394 46% 48% 100% No Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Wichita's Friends University is next our list with its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program with a concentration in human resource management. Friends University has been able to achieve a highly-ranked H.R. program that, at its core, emphasizes the strategic, legal, and personal aspects of a career in human resources management. Online human resources students can expect to take comprehensive courses in fields such as employment law, labor relations, and compensation. This HR program also earns high marks for allowing online students to complete a crucial human resources practicum or internship with a relevant company or organization.

31. Judson University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29870 39% 58% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Up next is Judson University and its online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a human resource management concentration. This program provides students with an excellent educational foundation in human resources as well as teaches fundamental business skills. Judson's online B.A. program in human resources is particularly strong in conveying crucial psychological and sociological aspects of the field of human resource management, instilling in students a core understanding of the ins and outs of the profession. What's more, the program does an excellent job preparing students for certification with the Society of Human Resource Management, opening still more pathways to future careers in the field.

32. Geneva College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28190 53% 72% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Geneva College of Geneva, Pennsylvania, comes up next on our list for its online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Human Resources degree program. New students can transfer in up to 84 academic credits towards the degree, and, as whole, the program can be completed in as little as 16 months. Geneva's online curriculum offers students a complete foray into all aspects of human resources management, touching on academic subjects that range from the humanities to law to more complex managerial issues. At the same time, the program excels in teaching students practical decision making when faced with common human resource issues, providing more pathways and more opportunities to excel in future careers.

33. University of Jamestown

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22428 69% 45% 100% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Jamestown of Jamestown, North Dakota, offers a unique bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration in human resources. One of the greatest strengths of the University of Jamestown's program is its combination of oral and written communication courses and its human resources focused curriculum. Though students enrolled in the human resources program can set their own terms for their education via the school's online curriculum, they also have access to opportunities like internships, tutoring services, and student success coaches. With a 98% career placement rate, the University of Jamestown also does an excellent job setting bachelor's students up for future success in the human resources field.

34. William Penn University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26100 58% 34% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The excellent Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management at William Penn University, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, also makes our list. This fully online HR program fully aligns with the curriculum guidelines set by the Society for Human Resource Management, ensuring that all students receive the comprehensive education needed for successful career as a human resources manager. Online human resource management students are also eligible to join the university's Business Club, allowing them to see guest speakers, apply for internships, and take part in beneficial service projects with businesses and non-profits in their areas.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Online Human Resources Degree Overview

There are diverse options when it comes to online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in human resources. These degree programs aim to provide students with the business, leadership, administrative, and people skills needed to work with employees at businesses and nonprofit organizations. Students can often choose from a variety of flexible formats to fit their schedules and/or further focus their studies in a specialization area within human resources. Learn about some of the available online degree programs and some common characteristics below.

Online Associate Degrees in Human Resources

Online degree programs in human resources may be offered as Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in areas like human resource management, human resources specialist, or human resource administration. These programs can usually be completed in 4 semesters (2 years) and are commonly designed as transfer degrees to help students transfer credit to a 4-year institution and continue their education. Students may complete around 60 credits of coursework, including general education classes, core courses in human resources, and/or electives.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Human Resources

Students wishing to pursue an online bachelor's in human resources can choose from Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degrees with a concentration in human resources or human resource management. These programs usually require around 120 credits and may offer additional emphasis areas to allow students to further focus their studies. Some programs may also be broken into pre-core and core business courses and/or offer upper-division electives.

Online Master's Degrees in Human Resources

Usually offered as a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree, master's programs in human resource management may help prepare students for professional certification in the field. Many of these programs may range between 33 and 45 credits and may require a final capstone experience. Students may be able to further focus their studies by choosing an available concentration area. Depending on the program, students might be able to choose a flexible, self-paced format to finish their degree on their own schedule.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Human Resources

Students can choose from online Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Resource Management degree programs, or other related areas like a PhD in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in human resource development or a PhD in Human Capital Management. Some of these online programs may require some in-person residencies, and students typically have to complete a dissertation. Students may have to complete between 51 and 60 credits of coursework. Coursework is usually highly customizable and may include some core and specialization/concentration courses.

Online Certificates in Human Resources

There are undergraduate and professional certificate programs in human resources available in online formats. Some of these programs are self-paced and may allow students to finish in as little as 1 semester. Others may require around 18 credits and allow students to finish in as little as 6 months. Professional certificate programs may require around 100 hours and award HR Certification Institute (HRCI) recertification credits for professional development. Students in these certificate programs generally take several required core courses.

Human Resources Specializations/Concentrations

Concentrations are quite common in the human resources field. Sometimes these concentrations are in a specific area of human resources, while other times these concentrations may be in a related area or specific skill set, such as organizational leadership. Typically, programs that offer concentrations require students to take some courses in those given areas. Those courses are designed to help prepare students for specific careers and/or job duties within human resources. Some available concentrations, tracks, or emphasis areas for these degrees include:

  • Public administration
  • Cognitive studies
  • Emergency Management
  • Information technology operations
  • Environmental management
  • Public and nonprofit management
  • Strategic communications

Curriculum/Coursework for a Human Resources Degree

While there are some free online human resources courses available from various institutions, these don't typically lead to a degree. An entire degree in human resources can provide students with a well-rounded business education and specific knowledge of the field. Depending on the set up of the program, undergraduate students may take general education courses and electives along with core business courses and/or major courses in human resources. Graduate programs typically focus on human resource courses and may have additional electives and/or concentration courses to help students focus in on areas of interest. Although the requirements vary by degree level and school, some common courses for online human resource degree programs include:

  • Human resource management
  • Human resource development
  • Ethics
  • Labor relations
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employment law
  • Human resource information systems/technology
  • Recruitment and staffing
  • Communication
  • International human resources management

How Long Does it Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Human Resources?

Bachelor's degree programs are usually designed to take 4 years to complete. However, online degree programs generally offer more flexibility to these timelines to allow students to work more quickly or more slowly based on their individual needs and schedules. There are some online bachelor's degree programs in human resources that may allow students to work at an accelerated pace and finish their degree in as little as 12 to 17 months (with transfer credits). Students may also be able to finish their degree more quickly if they have transfer credit from an associate's degree or other college-level study. Other students who are working full-time or may need to complete their degree a little more slowly may look for self-paced or part-time programs.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Human Resources Degrees

Regional accreditation is common for schools that offer online degree programs and may be offered from organizations like the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) or the Higher Learning Commission. Regional accreditation bodies are approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This accreditation helps indicate that the institution has met general educational guidelines for quality degree programs. Some schools may have additional levels of accreditation for programs in specific fields. In the case of human resources, some of these programs are also accredited by business-related organizations, such as the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Subject-related accreditation helps ensure that programs in the field meet industry-specific guidelines and are best suited to prepare students for future careers.

Although it is not accreditation per say, several online degree programs in human resources also align the curriculum with guidelines set by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This gives these programs even more subject-specific assurance for a quality degree that will prepare students for the human resource field. Some of these programs may even be specifically designed to prepare students for professional certifications offered by SHRM.

Human Resources Licensure & Certification

Professional certification in the field of human resources is not typically required, but may be preferred and is fairly common; it demonstrates credibility and expertise in the field. Organizations like SHRM, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offer a variety of certifications for professionals. For example, SHRM has the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations and HRCI has the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and more. Typically for certification, human resource professionals need to meet specific education and work experience requirements and then pass an exam.

Human Resources Career Information

Students looking to start a career in human resource management and become an HR professional may first need to determine what level of education they wish to pursue. For example, the requirements for a human resources assistant may be different than a human resources manager. However, a degree in human resources at any level can often lead to a variety of careers. Some possible career options for graduates of human resource programs include:

  • Human resources specialist
  • Training and development manager
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Payroll and timekeeping clerk
  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Consultant
  • University faculty
  • Public relations specialist

How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Students wanting to become a human resource manager usually need to earn a bachelor's or master's degree in the field. While some jobs may only require a bachelor's degree and so many years of related work experience, others may prefer to hire professionals with master's degrees. To gain work experience, many human resources managers start their careers as human resources specialists or labor relations specialists. These managers may also decide to pursue professional certification to demonstrate their expertise.

Human resources managers are responsible for overseeing the various administrative duties involved in hiring and training new employees to an organization. They typically manage staff members as they consult on human resource issues, mediate conflicts, supervise benefit and training programs, and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that human resources managers made a median annual salary of $116,720, as of 2019. The job outlook for these professionals from 2019 to 2029 was 6%.

How to Become a Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are typically required to have a bachelor's degree. Usually, this degree is in human resources, but may be in other areas, like business. While work experience is not usually required for these positions, it can be beneficial. As human resources specialists work in the field and gain knowledge and experience, they may pursue professional certification in human resources to further advance their careers.

Human resources specialists are usually the ones responsible for the actual interviewing and placement of potential employees. This may also require them to help train employees and ensure that they receive all the information they need about compensation and benefits, as well as handling employee relations issues. As of 2019, the BLS stated that these specialists made a median annual salary of $61,920 and had a job outlook of 7% from 2019 to 2029.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information for Human Resources Degrees

Many students may need to find ways to help pay for their postsecondary education through loans, grants, and/or scholarships. Usually, students need to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what types of federal loans and/or grants they may qualify for. After that, students may choose to apply to a wide range of scholarships that they may qualify for based on grades, activities/interests, and/or the school they plan to attend.

Some organizations and institutions even offer scholarships specifically for students wishing to study human resources. For example, the SHRM Foundation provides students with a database of numerous grants, awards, and scholarships for which students can compete. Some schools may also provide their own scholarships, such as the Dr. Richard Baumgartner Memorial Scholarship at East Central University that offers an undergraduate award and a graduate award.

How to Choose a Human Resource School and Program

With a wide range of online human resource programs available, students may first want to search for programs that fit within their personal preferences and/or needs. For instance, students may want to look for programs with flexible schedules; those that allow them to finish a degree faster or slower than the traditional time. Cost may be a huge factor as well; students can typically find the net price for a school by using the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator tool

There are also considerations that are specific to human resource programs. Students may want to ensure that their school of choice has a program that offers the specific concentration and/or electives in an area of personal interest within the field. Accredited programs and/or those that align with SHRM standards may be preferred by those wishing to ensure they are best prepared for a career in the field. Finally, students may want to search for programs that are designed to help prepare them for professional certification in human resources to advance their careers. All of this information can often be found on program pages.

Professional Organizations in Human Resources

Professional organizations in human resources aim to provide professionals in the field with a wide range of resources. Some of these programs may offer professional certifications and other professional development opportunities. Human resources professionals may also benefit from networking events, career information, and other news that these organizations provide. Below are a few examples of professional organizations in the field.

  • Society for Human Resource Management- SHRM not only provides professional certifications and scholarships for those in human resources, but professionals can obtain membership and join various communities the organization offers, like chapters and an executive network. The organization also offers news through a magazine and blog, legal tools, continuing education opportunities, conferences and global events, and more.
  • HR Certification Institute- The HRCI offers several different professional certifications and also helps interested parties become a certification provider. In addition to certifications, the organization offers a newsletter to keep professionals in the field updated and various learning tools.
  • International Association for Human Resource Information Management- The IHRIM provides membership, events, and education opportunities, like webinars, for human resource professionals who specialize in information management. The organization also offers the Human Resource Information Professional (HRIP) Certification exam to help advance careers.
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