The 5 Best Online Master of Science in Human Resource Development Graduate Schools in 2022

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All industries and employment sectors need HR professionals. After all, every organization needs a highly skilled manager to oversee the function and development of its important asset: its employees.

That said, the Human Resources department is essential to any organization. It contributes to the company’s bottom line by providing insight into the human capital, thereby impacting the organization’s success.

After completing your undergraduate study in Business Administration, Human Resources, or any other related field, bolstering your credentials to earn higher roles should be next on your to-do list. If you’re interested in talent or leadership development, pursuing a Master of Science in Human Resource Development is the way to go.


Human Resources managers and other Human Resources professionals have an excellent job outlook, according to federal data. In fact, the demand for HR specialists is projected to demonstrate a rise of 10% in the coming decade, while HR managers are expected to enjoy a 9% employment growth.

If you’re looking to enhance your HR skills and climb the career ladder for that research-focused HR work, an online Master’s in Human Resource Development is your way in. This graduate program equips you with advanced knowledge and training for leadership positions.

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A company or business cannot function without HR professionals. By earning an online master’s in HR Development, students become fully prepared for a career that involves assisting workforce growth and development.

An unwritten rule for every prospective online graduate student is this: choose an outstanding program! Each online Master of Science in Human Resource Development program and graduate school on our list is an ideal option. 

As authorities in the discipline, they are known for these salient program features:

  • Delivery of 100% online or partially online coursework for the convenience of adult learners and Human Resource professionals seeking a graduate degree,
  • Coursework that emphasizes the concepts, theories, and applications of Human Resource Development for integration into the company structure, thereby fostering an environment of support for employees, while also fostering employee retention and growth,
  • Curricula that not only advance the students’ knowledge for workplace readiness, but also develops their leadership, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, qualifying them for higher Hr positions or HR leadership roles, 
  • Provides HR Development specialization options for graduate students, such as Employment Law, Compensation and Benefits, and Recruitment,
  • Delivered in a topnotch Learning Management System offering ease of access to coursework and other research or study materials,
  • Facilitated by teachers that are best known for their leadership roles in, and significant contributions to, the field of Human Resource Development,
  • Offers credit transfer options and accelerated tracks for faster completion of the online HR Development master’s program, as applicable,
  • Offers financial aid to eligible students,
  • Properly accredited by academic agencies that uphold the standards of instruction for Human Resource Development at the graduate level,
  • Affiliated with organizations that promote the welfare of HR professionals and the growth of HR as a profession.

Read our Methodology page to find out about our ranking process.

The Best Online MS in Human Resource Development Programs and Grad Schools

University of Louisville

University of Louisville
Online MS in Human Resource and Organization Development

The University of Louisville offers a Master of Science in Human Resource and Organization Development, where you’ll gain expertise in the field of human resources, prepare for leadership roles, and advance your career. This Human Resources program can help you stand out from a pool of candidates and offer opportunities for long-term success.

  • The program comes with 8-week terms.
  • You can choose from 5 starting dates in a year.
  • GRE is not required upon admission.
  • They are known for their expert faculty, who are valuable consultants for major companies and provide insight into the classroom that can’t be found anywhere else.
Standout Features of University of Louisville – Online MS in Human Resource and Organization Development:

Developed by industry experts, their SHRM-aligned curriculum enables students to efficiently steer the organization to change through the development of its people’s skills. It results in improved workplace performance.

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University
Online MS in Human Resource Development

Human Resource development, training, and organizational development (OD) are all areas of focus in the competency-based, application-oriented MS in Human Resource Development program offered by Pittsburg State University.

  • The curriculum prepares individuals for careers in employee training, professional development, performance improvement, or organizational development in business, industry, or government.
  • Students of this online master’s program improve organizational performance through people and processes through tools, models, and strategies.
  • The program requires 30 to 34 credit hours.

Whether you’re currently a human resource trainer, manager, or program designer, this online program would best fit your academic goals. 

Standout Features of Pittsburg State University – Online MS in Human Resource Development:
  • The online graduate program’s curriculum aligns with the rules established by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Graduate students can sit for the SHRM Certified Professional exam.

Drexel University

Drexel University Online
Online MS in Human Resource Development

Drexel University’s online MS in Human Resource Development program aims to ultimately enhance employee performance across all levels of an organization by facilitating workplace learning and change.

  • The program is divided into four 10-week quarters every year.
  • The courses you can take can be increased in a short period of time. There are 1.5 quarter credits in one-semester credit.
  • The program offers 100% online classes, so you can learn whenever it is convenient for you.

Students learn to effect change and growth within a company from education, psychology, and business perspectives. They obtain the skills for retaining talent, engaging and retaining employees, training and developing leaders, and planning or facilitation. 

Standout Features of Drexel University – Online MS in Human Resource Development:
  • Students learn from and network with instructors who are leaders in the human resources and talent development fields. The school ensures you are up-to-date on this curriculum’s latest technology, tools, and trends.
  •  The Academy of Human Resource Development recognizes the legitimacy and quality of Drexel’s online graduate program. 

Indiana State University

Indiana State University
Online MS in Human Resource Development

The online MS in Human Resource Development at Indiana State University opens doors to various careers in higher education, industry, government, and other workplace settings. It is possible for students to pursue their degrees while maintaining a full-time job or other obligations.

  • This online graduate program requires 33 to 36 credit hours for completion.
  • There is a flexible core curriculum along with an option for directed specialization.
  • A full-time student may finish the program in 1.5 years, while part-timers can finish it until 7 years.
  • You have the option to attend on-campus or online classes.
Standout Features of Indiana State University – Online MS in Human Resource Development:

In preparing graduates for HR processes in international and multicultural environments, students are taught to create diverse HRD training programs. In turn, they grow and nurture their leadership skills.

Purdue University

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Online MS in Human Resource Management

It’s time to earn your online Master’s in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) from Purdue University. This graduate program, offered through Purdue’s Krannert business school, is flexible and delivered in a 100% online format that accommodates the needs of working professionals.

Courses include:

  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Talent Management
  • Human Capital Strategy
  • HR Analytics

Business Analytics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Data Visualization & Persuasion are free electives with which students may supplement HR-specific coursework. 

This fully online program requires 30 credits for completion.

Standout Features of Purdue University – Online MS in Human Resource Development:
  • Krannert’s MSHRM in-residence program features the same highly regarded faculty that develops and teaches these courses.
  • One of the perks of being an online student at Purdue University is that you’ll have access to Career support services and success coaches. 

Skills Required for Success as HR Managers or HR Specialists

The backbone of a successful organization or business is its human resources department. Human resource managers create safe, efficient workplaces by balancing employee demands with business needs. Employees often manage benefits, mediate conflicts, interview applicants, and train employees.

Here are some skills necessary to become HR managers or HR specialists:

Organization Skills

Organizational skills are necessary for managing employees and meeting business owners’ expectations. In HR offices, managers may not immediately be able to answer questions or concerns raised by employees. But when you have organization skills, you’ll be able to find suitable sources for the answers needed by the employees.

Many HR managers organize information online as well as offline. This implies that there could be collections of file folders containing general company information as well as digital files containing sensitive information. With organization skills, you’ll be able to access data conveniently and efficiently. These result in a systematic workflow.

Interviewing Skills

Sometimes department heads hold interviews for new employees, but companies can also enlist human resource department members to interview job candidates. For this reason, conducting interviews might be a fantastic technical skill for your HR resume.

Relevant skills such as active listening, evaluation, oral communication, and a positive outlook also impress employers.

Employee Relations Skills

Employees, departments, and managers are all impacted by HR professionals’ ability to promote positive interactions within the workplace. Employee relations is a skill that employers can use to determine their ability to maintain a positive work environment that contributes to the success of an organization.

This skill implies that you can also counsel employees, advocate for their interests, and develop workplace programs to foster healthy relationships.

Tech Savvy

The HR department needs to incorporate different software and tools for their tasks. Hence, HR specialists and managers must be tech-savvy and well-versed in using such technologies. From spreadsheets to online databases, HR workers need to have technical skills in using them.

Recruitment Skills

A company’s recruitment process involves seeking out qualified candidates for internal positions. Many companies have a department within HR dedicated to recruiting employees, so this is an essential skill for HR managers.

Adding recruitment to your resume illustrates your expertise in recruitment as an HR professional. Your ability to identify the best candidates for your company further helps employers to hire you.

Online Master of Science in Human Resource Development - fact

Everything You Need to Know about Human Resource Development

Organizations need to invest in developing their human resources. As soon as a new employee is on board, formal or informal, strategic human resource management and development can begin.

HR managers must coach, monitor, and collaborate with other trainers to develop HR laws and regulations. The various aspects of Human Resource programs include the facilitation of employee training that is performed internally. HR development is essential for healthy organizations, and they cover all the crucial points. 

For example, when hiring a new employee in the marketing department, the HR department provides formal training and informal coaching. The new hire will be assigned to their department after the training and onboarding period.

More formal internal training opportunities are given to employees and are executed by the HR department. The same employee is guided toward a path of advancement tailored to their unique abilities and desires. With help from a mentor, students will find it easy to navigate their difficulties and help identify their individual strengths.

The employee may be promoted to a leadership role upon gaining more experience, knowledge, and training. The HR Development team’s goal is to produce workers who continue to grow their leadership skills to grow the company, ultimately.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an online MS in Human Resource Development cost?

Contrary to what some would-be students expect, an online MS in Human Resource Development isn’t as ridiculously expensive as others say.

The average cost of a master’s program for the 2019-2020 academic year was $19,792, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Numerous schools provide inexpensive and reasonable online tuition rates. Online students get access to free online education resources. 

What can you do with an online Master of Science in Human Resource Development?

MS in Human Resource Development graduates can fill various executive positions at different companies and industries.

As a specialist, you can also work independently and provide company retention and development services. This means you can work as a freelancer and provide your services to clients.

An HR manager’s role in a company may include training, organizing, guiding, and motivating employees. You can also create programs for the HR department to train employees. 

Are there accelerated programs for online Master of Science in Human Resource Development?

HR professionals can earn a master’s degree online in just one year at some schools, as long as they enroll and attend classes full time. By delivering courses in shorter, more focused sessions, students complete the program at a faster pace without compromising academic quality.

Online graduate programs in Human Resource Development may be offered as an accelerated track. You can enroll in programs that don’t require GRE or GMAT scores, so you can start your classes sooner.

Is a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development worth it?

Enrolling in this online program is definitely worth it since the demand for such jobs continues to grow yearly.

An online Master’s in Human Resources Development prepares students for advanced leadership roles by developing specialized HR skills. HR managers, information systems managers, and compensation and benefits managers are among the most common titles after finishing an online master of science in human resource development. 

HR advisors will be crucial to every company’s success. As industries become more diverse and inclusive, adapt to trends like remote working and become more competitive with benefits and employee wellness programs, they must focus on important matters like diversity and inclusion.

Human resources leadership positions often benefit from the additional training and expertise gained through a master’s degree in human resources. Most human resources careers only require a bachelor’s degree, however.

Key Takeaways

  • Across all industries, HR departments are responsible for dealing with administrative tasks such as distributing paychecks and reviewing insurance benefits, as well as implementing visionary initiatives such as creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • Workers in HR are also responsible for negotiating contracts and addressing workplace bias complaints.
  • In essence, HR professionals help both employers and employees thrive by effectively managing an organization’s most valuable resource: its people.
  • Human Resources Management (HRM) integrates human psychology and organizational behavior to recruit and retain talent and promote ethical cultures.
  • Indeed, the management of Human Resources is one of the most important functions in most enterprises. 

Additional Resources:

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor