Compiled and Written By OnlineMBA.com Staff


Since most organizations employ human resources (HR) professionals, earning an online MBA in HR can open career opportunities in multiple sectors and industries. Entry-level HR professionals typically hold bachelor's degrees, but competitors for higher-level management positions benefit from advanced business management degrees, such as an MBA in human resources. Managers in this lucrative field made a median annual salary of $113,300 as of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The guide below provides an overview of top online MBA programs, including curriculum content and relevant careers in human resources. It also introduces professional organizations and scholarships that can support online MBA students in human resources.

Here are the 10 Best Online MBA Programs in Human Resources Management:

  1. Saint Joseph's University - Philadelphia, PA
  2. University of Scranton - Scranton, PA
  3. Baker University - Baldwin City, KS
  4. University of St. Francis - Joliet, IL
  5. Maryville University - St. Louis, MO
  6. Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA
  7. Endicott College - Beverly, MA
  8. Champlain College - Burlington, VT
  9. Lewis University - Romeoville, IL
  10. DeSales University - Center Valley, PA
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Top Online MBA Programs in Human Resources for 2020

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
1
Saint Joseph's University
Location Philadelphia , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 98 Student Population 7,589 Tuition $56,975 School Type Private

Saint Joseph's University is a Jesuit Catholic University located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school offers a robust online MBA with a concentration in human resources. This MBA curriculum features foundation, gateway, core, and concentration courses. Students must take nine credits in their selected emphasis area.

Notable human resources courses include strategic human capital and talent management, human resources technology, and talent selection and retention. The human resources concentration gives students the foundation to become strategic leaders.

Online classes at SJU take place in eight-week, accelerated sessions, mixing asynchronous learning with real-time synchronous meetings. Full-time MBA students can earn the 53-credit degree in 1-2 years, depending on their academic and professional background. Students do not need work experience for program admission. Applicants must submit official GRE or GMAT scores, but they may qualify for waivers under certain circumstances.

Concentrations
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2
University of Scranton
Location Scranton , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 97 Student Population 5,286 Tuition $34,740 School Type Private

Located in Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton school offers a top online MBA program with a specialization in human resource management. With Scranton's flex curriculum, online MBA learners complete cornerstone and capstone courses first, then four core courses and 3-6 electives.

The program requires nine credit hours of the human resource management specialization, in which students explore topics such as employee recruitment and effective staffing, workplace learning and performance, employee and labor relations, and reward strategies and systems.

Scranton's MBA program features 36 credit hours, but some learners may have to complete an additional 12 credit hours of foundation modules, depending on their academic background and professional qualifications. Applicants must hold three years of professional or supervisory work experience, and they do not have to submit GMAT or GRE scores.

Concentrations
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3
Baker University
Location Baldwin City , KS Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 2,769 Tuition $19,800 School Type Private

Located in Baldwin City, Kansas, Baker University offers a top online MBA in human resources. The curriculum explores topics such as employee compensation and benefits, recruitment, and training and development. Notable classes include staffing, employment law, and global human resources. Students in this program acquire collaboration and leadership skills.

Asynchronous online courses follow seven-week terms, and distance learners can complete coursework at their convenience. Students typically take one class at a time, but those who maintain a 3.5 GPA may take two classes at a time. Baker's MBA in human resources management requires 39 credits to graduate. Students can earn their degree in 18-20 months, while some students finish in as little as one year.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Concentrations
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4
University of St. Francis
Location Joliet , IL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 98 Student Population 3,927 Tuition $28,728 School Type Private

The University of St. Francis is a Catholic liberal arts university in Joliet, Illinois. The school's online MBA in human resources explores talent management, employment and labor laws, and industry cases and trends. Distance learners in this program gain analytical thinking and decision-making skills, also studying the increasingly competitive world of management.

Through asynchronous learning, students can take classes at their own pace. They may transfer up to nine credit hours towards their degree, and some learners earn their MBA in just 12-18 months.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a business-related field from an accredited university. They must have completed two years of full-time employment in a management position or military service. Admission does not require official GMAT or GRE scores, but the school may consider business exam scores in lieu of management experience.

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5
Maryville University
Location St. Louis , MO Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 9,139 Tuition $27,846 School Type Private

Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, Maryville University is a private college located in St. Louis, Missouri. The school offers one of the most comprehensive online MBA programs. Students who choose the human resources management emphasis take 12 credits in HR classes. Notable concentration classes include workforce management, employment law and compliance, and compensation and benefits.

Students in this program gain real-world knowledge while fine-tuning their analytical thinking skills and business expertise.

Maryville's MBA degree takes place entirely online, with no on-campus requirements. Courses begin at six start dates each year. Students can earn their degree in just one year with no prior business experience. Applicants do not have to submit official GMAT or GRE scores or pay an application fee.

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6
Azusa Pacific University
Location Azusa , CA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 98 Student Population 10,095 Tuition $25,818 School Type Private

Azusa Pacific University, an evangelical college in California, offers a high-quality online MBA with a concentration in human resources management. Topics include hiring and firing, personnel law, compensation and benefits, and workplace safety. Learners in this program gain analytical, collaborative, and team-building skills.

APU's online MBA in human resources management requires 39-40 units to graduate. Students typically take one or two classes per session, earning their degree in 15-24 months. Classes run for eight-week terms. Classes meet synchronously once per week.

Admission requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, plus a minimum 2.5 GPA. Some students qualify for GMAT waivers. Online students do not pay out-of-state tuition.

Concentrations
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7
Endicott College
Location Beverly , MA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 96 Student Population 4,794 Tuition $31,962 School Type Private

Endicott College is a private school located just outside of Boston in Beverly, Massachusetts. The school's online MBA in human resources management gives students a strong foundation in business analytics and teaches them to apply market research and evaluation to real-world business cases.

Through the core MBA curriculum, students take classes in managerial economics, operations management, and business policy and strategy. Interesting classes from the human resources concentration include compensation and benefits, organizational and individual development, and human resource laws and compliance. Students can complete the 36-credit program in just 18 months.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, and they do not have to submit official GMAT/GRE test scores or hold professional work experience. Veterans and military students may qualify for application fee waivers. Online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition.

Concentrations
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8
Champlain College
Location Burlington , VT Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 99 Student Population 4,531 Tuition $28,620 School Type Private

A small, private college located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain College offers a 36-credit online MBA in human resources. This program gives students a systems-thinking mindset for handling today's modern business challenges. Core human resources courses include diversity and creating an inclusive culture; human resources analytics; and coaching in the workplace.

With flexible, asynchronous learning, distance learners can complete Champlain's MBA program on a full- or part-time basis. Online courses run for eight weeks. Many students complete 15-20 hours of coursework each week for two terms each semester, three semesters per year.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Students should demonstrate aptitude for success as an online learner. Applicants without business experience may have to take two 500-level business courses in addition to the core curriculum. Admission does not require GMAT scores.

Concentrations
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9
Lewis University
Location Romeoville , IL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 99 Student Population 6,440 Tuition $28,800 School Type Private

Lewis University is a small, comprehensive Catholic university located just south of Chicago in Romeoville, Illinois. Combining business theory and practical application, the school's online MBA in human resource management features seven foundation courses, including business economics, survey of marketing, and contemporary management practice. Students also take nine credits in the human resources concentration, examining topics such as employment law and organizational behavior and development.

Lewis's MBA program runs for two eight-week sessions each semester, plus one summer session. Students who work full time are encouraged to take one course each session. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, demonstrating a minimum 3.0 GPA. Admission does not require a business background or official GMAT/GRE test scores.

Concentrations
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10
DeSales University
Location Center Valley , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 3,438 Tuition $31,860 School Type Private

DeSales University is a medium-sized Catholic university with a Salesian mission, located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. The school offers a top online MBA in human resources.

MBA students take seven core courses, four concentration courses, and one capstone integrating course. Notable classes include business and society, talent management, human resource law, and executive skills development. Students in this program gain the leadership skills for success in the modern dynamic, complex, and global marketplace.

Online courses at DeSales are offered in synchronous formats. Distance learners take courses in real time through Blackboard learning. Online courses typically run for 12 weeks.

Admission into the DeSales MBA program requires GMAT scores or a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA from an accredited institution. Prerequisite courses include principles of macroeconomics, microeconomics, marketing, and management. Prospective students who attend an information session do not have to pay the application fee.

Concentrations
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11
University of Mary
Location Bismarck , ND Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 3,796 Tuition $12,480 School Type Private

The University of Mary is a private Christian university located in Bismarck, North Dakota. The school's high-quality MBA program prepares students to excel in leadership roles in today's complex, ever-changing business environment. The MBA program requires 36 credits for graduation. Students typically earn their degree in two years.

Human resource students take nine credits of concentration courses, including collective bargaining and labor relations, strategic compensation: a human resource management approach, and human resource development. Mary developed its online MBA in human resource management curriculum based on knowledge defined by the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from a regionally accredited college or university. Online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition.

Concentrations
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12
Misericordia University
Location Dallas , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 2,566 Tuition $28,080 School Type Private

A Catholic university located in Dallas, Pennsylvania, Misericordia University offers a high-quality online MBA in human resource management. Students in this program gain soft business skills while exploring "the human side of management," including ethical, moral, and philosophical issues relating to management and business leadership.

With Misericordia's 36-credit degree, students complete 24 credits of core curriculum, plus 12 credits in the human resource management specialization. Notable MBA classes include information analysis and interpretation; managerial economics; regulations of human resource management; performance, compensation, and reward systems; and employee relations and services. Students also complete a final three-credit integrative MBA capstone experience.

Online learners can study on a part-time or full-time basis. Part-time students typically earn their degrees in 2.5 years. Classes begin in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Applicants do not need to submit letters of recommendation or official GMAT/GRE scores.

Concentrations
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13
Union University
Location Jackson , TN Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 99 Student Population 3,247 Tuition $22,140 School Type Private

Union University's McAfee School of Business in Jackson, Tennessee, offers a 36-credit online MBA in human resource management. Students in this program learn how to run a highly profitable organization using biblical business principles. They must complete 12 three-credit classes to graduate. MBA courses include business and the legal environment, social issues in management, employee training and development, and organizational behavior. The program prepares students to become strategic HR professionals.

Union offers online courses in eight-week formats. Students typically earn their degree in 1-2 years. The school offers six start dates throughout the year to promote maximum flexibility. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and official GMAT or GRE scores. However, applicants with graduate degrees and those with more than five years of significant business experience may qualify for waivers. Online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition.

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14
Mercer University
Location Macon , GA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 8,740 Tuition $28,008 School Type Private

Located in Macon, Georgia, Mercer University is the oldest private university in the state. The Stetson-Hatcher School of Business at Mercer offers a top online MBA in human resources. This program gives students a deep understanding of how to achieve effective team-building and working relationships.

Mercer MBA students take 21 hours of core program classes, plus 18 hours of human resource concentration courses. Key classes include operations management science, employment law, organizational behavior, and labor management relations. Students also complete a three-hour capstone course, in which they integrate and apply all concepts learned in core and concentration courses. Students can earn their degree in this self-paced program in just 18 months.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must submit official GMAT or GRE scores, but those with graduate degrees may qualify for waivers. Mercer MBA students have an average of five years' work experience. Mercer enrolls new students five times per year.

Concentrations
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15
Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Location Mount Vernon , OH Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 95 Student Population 2,243 Tuition $17,928 School Type Private

A Christian college located in Ohio, Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers a 36-credit online MBA in human resources. MBA students start the program with nine core business classes, then complete three concentration classes. Core business courses include ethical leadership, organizational behavior, and legal issues in management.

Human resource management courses include training and development, performance and reward systems, and strategic programming in HRM. The program prepares students to become successful business leaders and executives in today's hyper-competitive environment.

MVNU's MBA boasts small class sizes. Courses are available entirely online. Distance learners typically take one class at a time and earn their degree in just under 20 months. Incoming students may transfer up to six semester hours of graduate business coursework. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.8. GMAT or GRE scores are not required, and applicants do not pay an application fee.

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16
Saint Francis University
Location Loretto , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 2,611 Tuition $31,500 School Type Private

Located in Loretto, Pennsylvania, Saint Francis University was the first Franciscan college to be founded in the United States. SFU's Shields School of Business offers a high-quality, flexible online MBA in human resources taught by award-winning faculty.

Core business classes include business analytics, strategic management, and leading communications. Topics cover organizational theory, economics, global business, and information systems management. Notable classes in the human resource concentration include employment law; staffing recruitment, selection, and retention; and human resource management.

SFU offers coursework entirely online. The MBA requires 36-48 credits for graduation. Students take classes asynchronously and can watch video lectures at the time that is most convenient for them. Admission requires GMAT scores and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. GMAT waivers are available for applicants with GPA of 3.3 and higher, as well as those with four years of professional work experience. Online learners pay no out-of-state tuition.

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17
Waynesburg University
Location Waynesburg , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 1,674 Tuition $24,120 School Type Private

Located in the Pittsburgh region of Pennsylvania, Waynesburg University offers a 36-credit online MBA in human resources and leadership. Students start the program with 27 credits of business administration courses. Core classes include international business, management information systems, and management policy.

Human resource and leadership specialization students choose nine credits from a variety of optional electives, including evolving the entrepreneurial spirit, ethical decision-making, employment law, conflict resolution, and performance management. Students in this program develop a strong understanding of human resources techniques while honing the ethical leadership skills needed in today's ever-changing business landscape.

Waynesburg's flexible MBA program is designed for working professionals. The school offers online classes in eight-week sessions during the fall and spring semesters, as well as seven-week sessions in summer. Students typically take one class at a time and complete the program in one or two years. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from a regionally accredited four-year college or university.

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18
California Lutheran University
Location Thousand Oaks , CA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 97 Student Population 4,383 Tuition $38,475 School Type Private

Located in Thousand Oaks, California Lutheran University is a private liberal arts university founded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The school's online MBA in human capital management requires 45 semester credits made up of eight required courses, two emphasis courses, four elective courses, and one capstone course.

Core business courses include enterprise management, organization, and strategy; business ethics and law; and organizational behavior. Notable human capital management classes include compensation management, talent recruitment and selection, employee relations, and employment law.

Online MBA learners take classes in eight-week terms. Students can earn their degree in 12-24 months. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in business with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must also supply official GMAT scores. GMAT waivers are available for some applicants. Admitted students can begin in fall, winter, spring, or summer semesters.

Concentrations
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19
Thomas Edison State University
Location Trenton , NJ Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 52 Student Population 10,934 Tuition $27,846 School Type Private

Thomas Edison State University is a primarily online public university located in Trenton, New Jersey. The school's online MBA in human resources management integrates complex HRM functions with the strategic initiatives of the organization. Core business classes include global strategic management, ethics for managers, and organizational research.

Human resource management specialty courses include human capital management in multicultural organizations; the HRM professional and attorney relationship; and technology, data, and analytics as change agents. This program prepares students for advanced human resource management positions.

Distance learners take classes synchronously, with live online participation at designated times. Courses take place in eight-week sessions. Students can earn their degree in 15 months. Prerequisites include financial accounting, statistics, and microeconomics. Learners may also complete a graduate business degree preparatory program. Admissions officers consider GMAT scores on a case-by-case basis. Online learners can begin in January, March, May, July, September, or November.

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20
McKendree University
Location Lebanon , IL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 97 Student Population 2,494 Tuition $19,080 School Type Private

McKendree University is a private university founded by pioneer Methodists, located in Lebanon, Illinois. The school's online MBA in human resource management offers a balanced curriculum of business strategy and employee management. Notable courses include stakeholder management and ethics, leading organizational change, and strategic HR and globalization.

Students gain a deep understanding of theory and real-world application as it relates to people management, legal issues for managers, and corporate strategy and leadership.

Online courses at McKendree run for eight weeks. Distance learners take one course per session. Students have fixed deadlines, but they can complete assignments at their own convenience, earning their degree in just 18 months. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants do not have to hold a business degree. Online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition.

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21
Nova Southeastern University
Location Fort Lauderdale , FL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 20,435 Tuition $14,800 School Type Private

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University's Huizenga College of Business offers an online MBA in human resources that provides a foundation in advanced business administration while exploring HR topics such as compensation and benefits, employee motivation, conflict resolution, and personnel training. Core MBA courses include information strategy for digital transformation, applying strategy for management, and analytical modeling for decision-making.

Key human resource courses include talent management, managing total rewards, and employee relations. The program prepares students to become effective HR professionals.

NSU's MBA requires 40-49 credit hours. Students can earn their degree in 21 months. Prerequisite courses include introductory accounting, business finance, and foundations of business statistics. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent for international applicants. Incoming students can begin in August, October, January, March, or May.

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22
Saint Ambrose University
Location Davenport , IA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 100 Student Population 3,045 Tuition $24,300 School Type Private

Saint Ambrose University is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts university located in Davenport, Iowa. The school's online MBA in human resources prepares students for high-level positions in business management and corporate recruitment.

Online MBA students take classes in a specific sequence. Notable classes include data analysis for decision-making, ethical and social responsibility of business, and human behavior in organizations. The program culminates with a final strategic management capstone course.

SAU online semesters run for 16 weeks, with two eight-week sessions each term. Students can take classes in this self-paced program on a full- or part-time basis, completing assignments at their convenience. Full-time students earn their degree in approximately 14 months, while part-time students earn their degree in two years. Admission requires a professional portfolio, three professional references, a faculty interview, and a writing sample. Incoming students may transfer up to nine credit hours towards their degree.

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23
Pennsylvania State University
Location University Park , PA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 64 Student Population 46,810 Tuition $58,320 School Type Public

Located in University Park, Pennsylvania, Penn State World Campus offers a top online MBA in human resource management. The MBA curriculum focuses on business strategies and strategic leadership, preparing students to become effective business professionals. Students explore topics such as change management, team performance, and global strategic management.

Key courses include data analysis for decision-making, ethical and responsible business leadership, diversity leadership, and positive organizational behavior and wellbeing. Students gain skills in problem-solving, influencing others, and critical thinking.

The 48-credit MBA program includes nine credits in the human resource management concentration. Online learners take courses asynchronously, with no required login times. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from an international institution. Applicants must participate in an online interview and submit GMAT/GRE scores, but some students qualify for waivers.

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24
The Sage Colleges
Location Troy , NY Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 99 Student Population 2,633 Tuition $30,450 School Type Private

The Sage Colleges comprises three institutions located near Troy, New York. The school offers a top-tier, practitioner-oriented online MBA in human resources that prepares students for leadership roles in complex organizations across a variety of industries, including government, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations. Core business classes include managerial economics, executive decision-making, and leadership and ethics.

Students in this 42-semester hour program take nine credits of human resource concentration courses. Human resources courses include compensation administration, labor and industrial relations, and recruitment and retention. Learners examine research design and competitive advantage.

Sage students earn their MBA degree in two years. Prerequisite courses for students without a business background include financial accounting, economic analysis, statistics for managers, and legal environment. Admission requires two letters of recommendation, a career goals essay, a resume, and official transcripts. Online MBA applicants do not pay an application fee or out-of-state tuition.

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25
Appalachian State University
Location Boone , NC Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 71 Student Population 19,108 Tuition $15,912 School Type Public

Appalachian State University, a public university located in Boone, North Carolina, offers a 36-hour online MBA in leading and human resources. This degree provides students with well-rounded business knowledge, preparing them for leadership roles. Topics cover staffing, rewarding and developing talent, and appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism.

Notable classes include employment law, advanced organizational psychology, and strategic human resource management. Students in this program hone their teamwork, analytical, communication, and critical-thinking skills.

Online classes follow synchronous and asynchronous formats. Appalachian MBA students take two classes per semester. Students earn their degree in two years. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Admission requires GRE or GMAT scores, but students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and five or more years of full-time professional work or military experience may qualify for waivers.

Concentrations
  • Interdisciplinary Business
  • Sustainable Business
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What Is an MBA in Human Resources?

Designed for students with business backgrounds, the best online MBA programs in HR cultivate leadership skills and provide foundational business administration knowledge in areas such as operations management, financial analysis, and business ethics.

Graduates who meet work experience requirements may land jobs as HR managers, HR specialists, benefits managers, or training and development managers. BLS data projects above-average job growth for HR managers and training and development managers from 2018-2028.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Human Resources?

MBA programs in HR allow graduates to increase their salary potential and expand their career options from the comfort of home. Distance learning proves invaluable for many students with time and location constraints, such as family or job responsibilities.

As advanced degrees, MBAs distinguish graduates from bachelor's degree-holding job competitors. Many business professionals pursue online MBAs in the broad field of HR to access advanced careers in new industries. Top industries employing HR professionals include company management, local governments, consulting services, and computer systems design. Top-paying industries include finance, scientific research and development, information services, and computer manufacturing.

Experienced HR professionals often use MBAs in human resources to qualify for more advanced, higher-paying management positions. According to the BLS, many human resources managers, benefits managers, and training and development managers make over $100,000 annually.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Human Resources?

Human Resources Manager
These professionals recruit, hire, train, and supervise HR and benefits departments, which manage the staffing and training of company employees. These professionals need strong skills in change and performance management. HR managers also use tact and leadership skills to liaise between company leadership and other employees. These professionals make a median annual salary of $113,300 and enjoy a promising job outlook. The BLS projects a 7% job growth for HR managers from 2018-2028.
Human Resources Consultant
HR consultants foster employee effectiveness through skillful recruiting, hiring, training, and performance tracking. They also support employee relations and wellbeing by ensuring workplace safety and fair treatment. HR consultants need excellent communication, diplomacy, and interpersonal skills to address sensitive workplace issues. HR specialists made $60,880 in median annual pay as of 2018, according to the BLS. The BLS projects a 5% growth for these professionals from 2018-2028.
Director of Human Resources
Depending on company size, HR directors may lead several departments and make final decisions on hiring, firing, and disciplinary measures. HR directors also ensure their companies' programs meet legal and professional standards and requirements. These professionals participate in HR budgeting and business planning, and they oversee employee complaints, benefits, and payroll. HR managers need strong leadership and operations management skills. HR directors make a median salary of about $88,000 annually, according to PayScale.
Compensation and Benefits Manager
These managers supervise payroll and administration of insurance, retirement, and other employee benefits. These professionals must be clear communicators with comprehensive knowledge of legal and professional standards for compensation and benefits. Compensation and benefits managers consult with executives and may assist in budgeting decisions. BLS data projects slower-than-average job growth (3%) for these professionals from 2018-2028. Compensation and benefits managers made an ample median salary of $121,010 as of 2018, according to the BLS.
Labor Relations Specialists
These professionals mediate between management and union laborers. They also create labor contracts and train and advise management on labor relations. Labor relations specialists facilitate the collective bargaining process and administer labor contracts regarding pay, benefits, and workplace practices. BLS data indicates that labor relations specialists made a median annual salary of $67,690 from 2018-2028.

Online MBA in Human Resources Curriculum

Curricula for online MBAs in human resources vary by program, but all include core business and HR courses focused on management, HR ethics and standards, and communications. The sample courses described below appear in many HR MBA programs.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Human Resources Program

As you research the best human resources MBAs available, prioritize programs at regionally accredited schools, which garner more respect from employers. Accreditation status may affect credit transfer and financial aid opportunities, as well. Top MBA programs usually hold programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

HR MBA program curricula may vary, so look for programs featuring curricular tracks or courses aligned with your interests and goals. The best online MBA programs include capstone projects and/or internships, so check extracurricular requirements carefully to make sure you can fulfill any on-site and daytime requirements.

Since many schools partner with local businesses, attending a school within reasonable driving distance can facilitate networking and employment opportunities in your area. However, given that online learners can study from anywhere, you may prioritize enrollment in nationally reputed programs over location.

Consider any schedule constraints when choosing a program, as well. Students with more available time may pursue full-time and/or accelerated MBA programs, while those with considerable external obligations often choose programs allowing part-time attendance.

Experienced HR leaders may find that executive MBA programs offer curricula tailored to their expertise level. Executive MBA programs typically provide the best networking opportunities for established HR professionals, as well.

Scholarships for Human Resources MBA Programs

College students often save money through scholarships offered by schools, professional organizations, and other public or private funders. HR graduate students can apply for many HR-specific scholarships, as well. The aid opportunities highlighted below provide a sample of the many HR scholarships available to students based on financial need, academic performance, and/or identity.

  • Society for Human Resource Management Graduate Scholarships

    Current SHRM members currently accepted to or enrolled in HR-related graduate degree programs at regionally accredited schools may apply. Eligible applicants boast a minimum 3.5 graduate GPA. Application materials include transcripts, short answer essays, and one reference letter.


    Amount: $5,000

  • Michael R. Losey Scholarship

    Students accepted to or enrolled in HR-related master's programs in the greater Philadelphia or Valley Forge area may apply. Application materials include essays, faculty recommendations, and a review of performance in HR coursework and extracurriculars.


    Amount: $3,500

  • Drew Young Scholarship

    HR graduate students enrolled in six or more credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply. Applicants must belong to a Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM) student chapter. Applicants submit transcripts, recommendation letters, and a 100-word essay


    Amount: $2,000 and registration for the HRSouthwest Conference

  • National Forum for Black Public Administrators Excellence in Human Resources Scholarship

    Full-time students in HR-related degree programs may apply. Eligible applicants have a minimum 3.0 GPA, extracurricular activities (beyond sports) in their background, and skills in leadership and communication. Eligible students do not work full time and have one or more semesters remaining.


    Amount: $2,500 annually

  • HR Payroll Systems Scholarship

    Eligible applicants boast a minimum 3.0 GPA and have completed at least one HR course in an HR-related graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. school.


    Amount: $1,000

Professional Organizations for Human Resources

HR-related professional organizations can support learners on their MBA journeys by providing professional development resources, networking events, and considerable HR knowledge banks. These organizations often run conferences, maintain job boards, and offer leadership opportunities. Some organizations even feature scholarships and discounted memberships for students.

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