Online MBA Programs in Human Resource Management (HRM)

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Regardless of their size or type, every successful company needs a solid human resources team. Human resources (HR) managers inform organizational policy to attract and retain the best talent and create a healthy, loyal, and happy workforce. Conversely, company and employee problems like high staff turnover and dissatisfied team members negatively impact morale and drain company resources, time, and money.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.” A dissatisfied or overworked staff is expensive. Additional costs can range from higher healthcare expenditures to the cost of disengagement and even the price of loyalty, according to HBR, which is why a good HR team is crucial.

An MBA program with an HR specialization allows students to learn about all components of the human resources sector and how to create a successful company through hiring and retaining good talent.

According to Indeed.com, a positive working environment “promotes employee safety, growth, and goal attainment.” Human resources (HR) combines legal policies such as employment law, labor relations, compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements, and holistic company management processes to achieve a positive work environment. This includes recruiting, developing, and nurturing staff to maximize their potential, ensuring grievances are heard, and acknowledging performance achievements.

These MBA programs can prepare graduates for high-profile HR roles at the vice president, C-suite, and executive levels. Graduates can expect to find positions as vice president of HR, chief HR officer, recruiting consultant, corporate social responsibility manager, compliance and performance manager, and benefits and payroll manager, depending on the program and each student’s experience. Students who graduate with an MBA will also benefit from higher salaries.

According to salary data company PayScale (2022), job satisfaction rates within HR management are pretty high. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021) reports that the median annual wage for HR managers was over $126,230.

This article explores universities that offer MBA programs with an HR emphasis and professors who teach these programs.

Featured Human Resources Management Programs
Purdue University Global Online MBA - Human Resources View Full Profile
Grand Canyon University Online MBA - Strategic Human Resource Management View Full Profile
Southern New Hampshire University Online MBA In Human Resource Management View Full Profile
University of Southern Indiana Online MBA - Human Resources View Full Profile
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Post-Bachelor's International HRM Certificate View Full Profile
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Featured Online MBA Programs with Human Resource Management Specializations

The John E. Simon School of Business at Maryville University prides itself on taking a different approach to the MBA by creating a program where professors are dedicated to teaching students about the reality of the business world rather than focused on furthering their research.

Students can choose from nine different concentrations, including HR management. They will take eight core courses, four concentration courses (or three for the general MBA track), and one three-credit capstone. Core courses include business ethics, organizational behavior and development, and strategic marketing. In contrast, the HR concentration courses cover HR management, workforce management, employment law and compliance, and compensation and benefits.

The school has partnerships with global companies worldwide across all business sectors, from Boeing to Rawlins to Scottrade. Students are not required to submit test scores or have business experience to apply. Instead, students can complete the 24-credit program entirely online to fit into each student’s schedules and career goals.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and Higher Learning Commission
Format: Online
Tuition: $27,846 for the full program
Program length: One year

This online MBA in HR management prepares students to lead in HR management across all companies. They will learn how to resolve complex business problems, leverage the new economy, design compensation, and benefits programs, and create organizational change within the workplace.

The program consists of nine core courses and three HR courses. However, additional foundational classes are available to those with non-business backgrounds. The core courses provide a foundation in traditional business administration topics such as accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, economics, operations, internet technology, and HR.

The HR courses focus on recruitment, hiring, training, compensation, benefits, HR information systems, and other HR issues, including how they impact both organizations and employees. Specialized courses include strategic HR management, total rewards, and leading change.

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges and ACBSP
Format: Online
Tuition: $627 per credit
Program length: 15 months

Purdue University Global offers an array of online MBA programs, including a concentration in human resources. To apply for this program, candidates must submit proof of a bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA. No GRE or GMAT scores are required for this unique program.

The online MBA in human resources does not require any in-person immersions. The core courses for the MBA include business perspectives; business communications; business analytics; financial accounting principles and analysis; measurement and decision-making; strategic human resource management; marketing management; economics for global decision-makers; financial management; designing, improving, and implementing processes; managing the value chain; strategic management; ethics in business and society; leadership strategies for a changing world; and an MBA capstone.

In addition, HR concentration courses include employment law; training and development; strategic reward systems; and recruitment and selection. Notably, there’s also an accelerated MBA program option for students who have earned a BBA and have completed course prerequisites.

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: Online
Tuition: $485 per credit
Program length: Two years

Capella University offers an online MBA program in human resource management in GuidedPath and FlexPath. GuidedPath is a more traditional format with set deadlines, peer interactions, and grades. FlexPath, by contrast, is for self-starters and runs on a point system (rather than credits). The former requires applicants to have at least a 2.3 GPA, while the latter requires at least a 3.0.

Capella University’s online MBA programs provide instruction in marketing management; MBA leadership; accounting methods for leaders; applied managerial finance; business strategy; applied business analytics; and operations management for leaders. Additionally, students in the HRM specialization have courses in talent acquisition and workforce planning; developing an effective workplace; and strategic human resource management.

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: Online
Tuition: $805 per credit
Program length: One year or more

Strayer University provides an online MBA program in human resource management. Candidates for admission must provide official transcripts from a bachelor’s degree program with at least a 2.5 GPA. This school has a unique focus on resources for students, providing a student services coach, technical support, and vibrant student and alumni networks.

Strayer’s online MBA in HRM includes foundational courses such as financial accounting for managers; leadership and organizational behavior; strategic management; business communications; managerial economics and globalization; financial management; business statistics; law, ethics, and corporate governance; and marketing management. Furthermore, the concentration courses in the HRM track include human resource management foundations; strategic human resource management; and managing organizational change.

Location: Washington D.C.
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: Online
Tuition: $597 per credit
Program length: One year or more

The USM’s online MBA program with a concentration in HR management emphasizes ethics and corporate responsibility. The program is designed for those with initial experience in HR who want to progress into more influential positions in HR. In addition, students will graduate with an in-depth awareness of how to facilitate productivity, collaboration, and conflict resolution within the workplace.

A total of 36 credits is required for this degree, including nine core courses and three concentration courses in conflict management and negotiation, organizational change and development, and training and development. The flexible program allows students to work full-time while enrolled as students can complete the courses anytime online; there is no on-campus requirement.

Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Tuition: $595 per credit
Program length: One year

The Arthur J. Kania School of Management offers an online MBA program with a specialization in HR, which promises to help students take a leading role in companies and focus on the human element of business. Students will learn about best practices in decision-making and planning through the lens of the HR industry so that they can re-enter the workforce with an understanding of how to improve individual and organizational performance.

The 36-credit flexible curriculum requires that students complete a cornerstone and capstone course (each three credits) and offers them the flexibility to take four to seven core courses and three to six electives depending on their strengths, interests, and preexisting knowledge. The cornerstone course is called responsibility, sustainability, and justice, and the capstone focuses on business policy. In the HR specialization, students will learn about recruitment and staffing, workplace learning and performance, total rewards, and employee and labor relations. Students are not required to submit test scores with their applications.

Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $965 per credit
Program length: Two years

The Brandman MBA prepares students to plan, direct, and lead business operations. Graduates will learn how to apply best practices in business and HR to drive change within organizations. Students take 24 to 36 credits of core courses depending on their professional expertise and 24 credits focusing on HR. The HR emphasis courses include workforce planning; talent management; strategic business concepts and HR; total rewards; career management; labor relations and collective bargaining; conflict and negotiation; and HR information systems.

The program is taught online or as a hybrid of on-campus and online. Applicants must meet one of four of the school’s qualifying options to be accepted: a 3.0 GPA, a 2.5 GPA with GRE or GMAT test scores, a master’s degree, or a portfolio providing adequate preparation for graduate studies. Applicants must also be working at least part-time to enroll in this program.

Location: Irvine, California
Accreditation: WSCUC Senior College and University Commission
Format: Online or hybrid
Tuition: $680 per credit
Program length: Applicants must contact the school directly for a customized assessment

UHCL’s online MBA program allows students to learn about all business-related disciplines, including finance, international business, general management, human resources, marketing, operations management, quality management, and more. They will take foundational courses in business principles, core classes in accounting, global environment, management science, operations, economics, corporate finance, organizational behavior, and marketing.

For the HR management concentration, which is only available online, students will take classes on HR management processes, the legal environment of human resource management, compensation and benefits, training and development, and labor relations. This program offers an accelerated curriculum for students taking two courses per eight-week session across fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Location: Houston, Texas
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $9,539 per semester
Program length: 14 months

The UNT’s business college offers a self-described flexible, affordable, and respected online MBA program for professionals interested in advancing their careers. The 36-credit MBA program can be completed in as few as 14 months, with students taking 12 courses across 8-week sessions. In addition, the accelerated and specialized HR management curriculum will help propel HR professionals into managerial positions and reinforce their expertise in the field.

Students in the HR track will take 18 credits of core courses in accounting, finance, marketing, and organizational behavior, 15 credits of concentration courses in HR, labor relations, leadership research, compensation, motivation, organizational design, and change management, and one three-credit elective that focuses on entrepreneurship and venture, international, or strategic management.

Location: Denton, Texas
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $475 per credit
Program length: 14 months

The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology created a joint program for students completing an undergraduate program at Webster (and those who have completed one in the last five years) to obtain their MBA in a shorter amount of time.

The school offers two tracks for those interested in HR. The MBA in HR development includes courses in training and development, group development and change, career management, and research and assessment methods in HR development, among others. The MBA in HR management covers employment law, staffing, compensation, and labor-management relations. Regardless of track, students will complete core courses in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, production operations, and strategic management.

The program also has an international component as it can be completed online, at the St. Louis campus, and at select U.S. and international campuses.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: Online or on-campus
Tuition: $700 per credit
Program length: One year

Located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Carlow University offers a 36-credit MBA program with five concentrations, including human resources. Students in this fully online program can choose from three start dates throughout the year. Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929 and is a private Catholic institution with a curriculum and partnerships that emphasize social justice, ethical forward-thinking, responsible leadership, and community service.

Location: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Tuition: $675 per credit
Program length: 15 months

The online MBA program at King University offers three concentrations, including management, healthcare administration, and project management. Courses in the accelerated program are offered in a five-week format, enabling students to complete this program in as few as 16 months.

Online courses are delivered through Canvas, and students can access library services, online tutoring and writing assistance, technical support, and career counseling. There are no on-campus residencies required for this fully online program.

Location: Bristol, Tennessee
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Format: Online
Tuition: $605 per credit
Program length: 16 months

Located in Livingston, Alabama, the University of West Alabama offers an online MBA in human resources management. This 33-credit program has three start dates throughout the year, and students can complete their degree in one year. The GMAT/GRE is not required for admission. Coursework includes strategic management, economics, and business policy. Graduates from this program pursue careers in human resource management, financial, and marketing management.

Location: Livingston, Alabama
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: Online
Tuition: $14,157 total
Program length: One year

Located in Campbellsville, Kentucky, Campbellsville University offers an online MBA with 11 concentrations, including human resources management. This 36-credit program emphasizes managing a modern workforce, trends in hiring, onboarding and labor regulations, and online human resource management.

Once admitted, students can choose from six start dates and complete their MBA degree in two years. The GMAT/GRE is not required for admission, nor is prior work experience.

Location: Campbellsville, Kentucky
Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
Format: Online
Tuition: $17,244 total
Program length: Two years

Located in Miami, Florida, St. Thomas University offers a fully online MBA program that students can complete in 12 months. The human resources management path features six unique concentrations of knowledge in development, training, planning, and staffing. The curriculum includes 36 credits of courses in labor-management relations, organizational design and theory, and human resource development.

Location: Miami, Florida
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Format: Online
Tuition: $515 per credit
Program length: One year

The B. I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers an online MBA with nine specializations, including human resources management. This 33-credit program is presented in a fast-track format and can be completed in just 15 months.

Courses in this program include personnel development, training, development, and planning for short- and long-term hiring. Graduates from this program often pursue work in upper-level management positions.

Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $12,800 total
Program length: 15 months

Located in Evansville, Indiana, the University of Southern Indiana offers a fully online MBA program. This 30-credit program offers eight concentrations, including human resources. This online program features highly-interactive instruction that emphasizes critical thinking and creative thinking in the corporate world.

The GMAT can be waived for admission if students meet minimum GPA and work experience requirements. Students can choose from flexible or accelerated timelines and complete this program in as few as 11 months.

Location: Evansville, Indiana
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $12,900
Program length: 11 months

St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, offers a 100 percent online MBA program that students can complete in 14 months. Students in this program must complete a concentration in leadership, human resource management, marketing management, and general business.

This human resources management concentration includes instruction in labor-management partnerships; strategic staffing; career management; compensation and benefits management; training and benefits; contemporary employee relationships and dispute resolution; conflict and negotiation; and performance management systems. The GMAT is not required for admission.

Location: Davenport, Iowa
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
Format: Online
Tuition: $712 per credit
Program length: 14 months

Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, offers a 100 percent online MBA program. Students learn innovative leadership skills to prepare them for senior-level leadership positions specializing in human resources. This 33-credit program features employee training and development courses, employment and labor law, compensation and benefits, workforce staffing, and human resources management analytics. Applicants to this program do not need to take the GRE/GMAT and can transfer up to nine credits of coursework.

Location: St. Charles, Missouri
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Format: On-campus, online, and hybrid
Tuition: $555 per credit
Program length: 15 to 36 months

Professors to Know in Online MBA Programs with Human Resources Management Specializations

  • Dina Abdelzaher, PhD University of Houston-Clear Lake

    Dr. Dina Abdelzaher is an assistant professor of management at UH-Clear Lake's College of Business. She previously held positions at global market research firm TNS and the world-renowned consumer goods corporation, Procter & Gamble. She focuses on a comprehensive strategy, corporate social and environmental issues, and global entrepreneurship; her research examining the relationships between global mindsets, entrepreneurship orientation, and individual innovation won the Kauffman Doctor Assistant Grant Award in 2011.

    She is currently working on a World Bank-funded project focusing on practical education and training in entrepreneurship. She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the American University of Cairo in Egypt and completed her doctorate in business administration and international business at Florida International University.

  • Diana Gilmer Echols, DM University of Massachusetts Global

    Dr. Diana Gilmer Echols is a tutorial assistant professor of business. Her areas of expertise are in competency-based education, and she specializes in management, leadership, business administration, and marketing. In addition, Dr. Echols has extensive experience as a business operator and manager of cross-functional teams. She previously worked in academic and corporate environments and as a business owner and operator.

    Dr. Echols obtained her undergraduate degree in business and management (computer applications) from the University of Maryland, and her master's in international management from Troy State University. In 2010, she earned her leadership doctorate from the University of Phoenix with her dissertation titled: “A quantitative descriptive analysis to determine how post-secondary education in international business and management impacts American expatriate managerial success.”

  • Julie Hancock, PhD University of North Texas

    Dr. Julie Hancock is an assistant professor at UNT's college of business, where she works in the management department. Her current research interests focus on the flow of human capital, social networks, contagions, and prosocial rule breaking. She obtained her bachelor's in business administration and MBA from Middle Tennessee State University and her doctorate in management at the University of Memphis.

    Before joining the UNT faculty, Dr. Julie Hancock was an assistant professor at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. While working on her doctorate, she held a position in marketing at an insurance firm that specializes in podiatric and chiropractic malpractice insurance.