Most programs lead to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Resources Management, while others lead to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with human resources as a concentration. Master's degree programs in human resources management take about two years of full-time study to complete. Some schools offer programs online. Students generally take a few core business courses along with human resources courses. Master's programs also emphasize research and data analysis for human resources management. Internships, while not necessarily required, may be encouraged.
Prerequisites for the master's program include a bachelor's degree normally in a business or management field, GMAT or GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Students without a degree may be accepted by passing prerequisite courses.
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Master's Degree in Human Resource Management
The curriculum of a human resources management degree program usually combines traditional business courses in areas such as finance, with core human resources classes in topics like employment law, benefits, and training. Internship opportunities may also be part of such a program and count for class credit. Below are some of the topics that may be included in the curriculum of a human resources master's degree program:
- Organizational behavior
- Personnel psychology
- Recruitment and selection
- Strategic management of human resources
- Ethical and legal aspects of human resources
Popular Career Options
Human resources management is a broad field. Below are a few of the possible careers for which graduates with a master's degree in human resource management may qualify:
- Human resources consulting
- Occupational analysis
- Employee benefits management
- Human resources management
- Placement management
- Human resources development
Students who graduate with a master's degree in human resources management may pursue doctoral degrees in the field. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in human resources are geared towards students who wish to pursue research and academic careers. In addition, human resource professionals have the option of obtaining industry certifications from organizations like The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Both Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications are available from the SHRM.
Students pursuing a master's degree in human resource management complete courses in business and human resources. In addition to courses like organizational behavior and personnel psychology, students may need to complete an internship.