2020 Best Online Master's in Human Resources Degrees

Updated March 9, 2020 | GTOS Staff
2020 Best Online Master's in Human Resources Badge

Students seeking an online master's program in human resources will find that these 24 colleges offer the best value based on affordability and alumni salaries. American University is ranked #1, offering a MS in Human Resource Analytics and Management for $20,175 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $149,900. New York University ranks #2, with a median salary of $151,214 and an annual tuition rate of $41,769.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about Guide to Online Schools.

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2020 Online Colleges Offering Human Resources Degrees - Ranking Details

Online Master's in Human Resources Overview

Applicants to master's programs need an accredited bachelor's degree; some programs also require standardized test scores and a statement of purpose. Although MBA programs rarely mandate that the bachelor’s degree be in business, having an undergraduate degree in business or related field may increase an applicant's chances of being selected for the program.

The core of the human resources master's includes advanced courses in HR and business strategy. Common courses include workplace ethics, strategic thinking, labor management relations, staffing, and compensation. General business courses include statistics, performance management, and leadership. Classes in HR management teach students about labor law and procedure, employee compensation and benefits, organizational leadership, labor unions, training, and dealing with disputes among workers.

Some programs require students to choose a specialization in a particular HR area, such as diversity and inclusion, benefits and compensation, international HR management, or human capital management. Many programs also require an internship or a capstone course. The capstone course involves working on a research project to address a human resources problem.

Master's degree holders are prepared to apply for human resources specialist or management positions. Both specialists and managers may focus in a particular area of HR, such as labor relations, recruiting, payroll management, placement, or employee development. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a human resources master's degree and/or professional experience should have the best opportunities for landing HR management positions. (BLS)

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