Best Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs

Whether you want to advance your career in human resources or transition into HR for the first time, earning your online master’s in human resources can help you achieve your goals. And the right degree program can literally pay off — workers with a master’s degree in human resources earn almost $20,000 a year more than those who only hold a bachelor’s degree.

Workers with a master’s degree in human resources earn almost $20,000 a year more than those who only hold a bachelor’s degree.

Demand for highly qualified, creative and strategic leaders is increasing quickly. New challenges in the expanding global business environment will provide ample room for career growth and leadership opportunities in coming years. By choosing an online degree program, you can get the same high-quality education about leadership, management, economics, business law and ethics, accounting, finance, marketing, communication and technology as a typical degree program with the flexibility that allows you to work full-time simultaneously.

Explore our list of the best online master’s in human resources programs to find an option that meets your needs.

Choosing a Program


Yes. Whether you are already working in human resources or looking to transition your career, earning an online master’s in human resources will provide you with the skills you need to work with high-profile companies and larger organizations, as well as move into management. The typical worker with a master’s degree in human resources earns almost $20,000 more per year than workers with only a bachelor’s degree.


Online degree programs are designed for busy professionals with families, full-time jobs and other commitments. Many online degree programs, especially master’s in human resources programs, benefit from simultaneous work experience. You can apply the principals and theories you learn in your program to your daily work.


Every program is different, but in general, an online master’s in human resources will prepare you with deep knowledge about subjects like business leadership and strategy, compensation, diversity, HR development, and finance and business statistics.


There are a wide variety of high-quality schools that offer online master’s programs in human resources. In order to choose the program that fits your needs, you must take into account your career goals, budget, and lifestyle. To find the best match, check out our rankings of the best online master’s programs, and request information from multiple schools to compare and contrast.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Nova Southeastern University 3/546.11%Fort Lauderdale, FL

Established in 1964, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private research university located in Broward County, Florida. It offers more than 80 masters and doctoral degrees through its online education program and has a student to teacher ratio of 18:1.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management is offered through the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. In this online master's in human resources program, the available concentration in entrepreneurship is popular among prospective students. Also popular is the experienced faculty and extensive corporate sponsorships that offer students on-site experience, internships and networking opportunities. The M.S. in Human Resource Management earned a Certificate of Alignment from the Society of Human Resource Management.

Students learn to be leaders by balancing team dynamics, and will learn how to effectively "manage, motivate and compensate their employees." A varied approach to these core issues allows students to gain valuable perspective. Students will develop general business administration savvy, as well as a specialized HR skill set that will prepare them for success in the workplace.

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2Webster University 3/563.64%Saint Louis, MO

Founded in 1915, Webster University is located in Webster Groves, Missouri and is home to 22,000 students from all 50 states and 140 countries. The school boasts an impressive alumni network of 170,000 worldwide, and the student to faculty ratio is 14:1.

Webster offers a 37 credit-hour Master of Arts in Human Resources Management program. Through earning their master's in human resources online, students are prepared for the complexities of the modern workplace by learning to "think of themselves as strategic partners" with businesses and organizations. Strategic and operational responsibilities, paired with practical and theoretical applications, prepare students for work in business, industry, government and nonprofit organizations. The importance of the "human element" is expounded through study of social and behavioral sciences.

The school aims to improve students’ organizational skills, self-direction and motivation. An understanding of terminology, analytic techniques and theories of human resource management, as well as the application and integration of this knowledge is expected of every student. Core classes include: Managing Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, Basic Finance for Managers, Employment Law, Staffing, Compensation and Labor Management Relations, among others.

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3Pennsylvania State University 3/586.11%University Park, PA

Launched in 1998, Penn State World Campus (or Penn State Online) offers 18 graduate degrees and has students from all 50 states and over 40 countries. The World Campus offers the flexibility and customization required by the working student.

The 33 credit Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations is designed to balance advanced theory with practical knowledge. Available as online master's in human resources program, it enables students to better confront the real-world challenges they will face as they continue their work/study. Students will learn to manage compensation, benefits, labor relations and training. They'll be prepared to take on upper-level positions in HR, working in roles such as contract negotiator, mediator and arbitrator.

This program is offered in partnership with the School of Labor and Employment Relations, which has been recognized since 1942 as a leading degree program. Four tracks of study are available: Benefits and Compensation, Labor and Collective Bargaining, Employment and Labor Law, Staffing, Training and Development.

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4New York University 5/583.01%New York, NY

The NYU School of Professional Studies was established in 1934 and is one of 20 degree-granting schools within the NYU system. A total of 17 graduate degrees are offered.

The 42-credit Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Development can be earned in as little as two years and is designed to help students meet the challenges of a rapidly growing and changing working environment. Leadership skills are invaluable and increasingly expected in the workplace; students will graduate from this online master's in human resources program with the knowledge and skillset required to position themselves as strategic leaders in a wide range of fields from government to non-profit.

The program is composed of core coursework, a concentration and a capstone project. All aspects of a student’s program are continually evaluated to provide the most up-to-date training possible. Core courses include: Managing in a Global Economy, Quantitative Methods and Metrics for Decision Making, Financial Management, Information Technology and Business Strategy and Ethics. The program prepares students to become human resource generalists, executive coaches, compensation analysts and organizational effectiveness managers, among others. Students value the practical and real work aspects of this degree program and the confidence it inspires.

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5Villanova University 3/589.37%Villanova, PA

The 30 credit-hour Master of Science in Human Resource Development at Villanova can be completed entirely online. This master's in human resources online program is designed around an accomplished faculty, comprehensive curriculum and a network of successful graduates. Valued for its hands-on approach and emphasis on practical solutions to the ever-changing challenges of the HR profession, this program engages students on topics of organizational change, human resource planning, compensation, international human resources, organizational training and project management. Core classes include Introduction to Human Resources, Organizational Change Management, Human Resource Metrics and Statistical Research, Employment Law and Human Resource Technology Solutions.

Students value the formal training they receive, the freedom to pursue a self-paced education and the professionalism and prestige of the program.

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6Colorado State University – Global Campus 2/5N/AGreenwood Village, CO

Founded in 2007 and based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, this program is geared towards working, professional students. The school seeks to meet the educational needs of adult learners and to offer non-traditional, high-quality online programs. It offers 5 master's degrees and 19 specializations and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The 36 credit-hour online Master of Human Resources Management teaches students advanced skills of employee management. It is designed to develop leadership qualities in its graduates and prepares them for a wide variety of roles in the field of human resources. Students learn to lead diverse teams, understand legal and ethical challenges, manage performance and plan strategically. Core classes in this master's in human resources online program include Fundamentals of Research and Writing, Effective Organizations – Theory and Practice, Managing Human Resources, Legal and Human Resource Dimensions of Business Management and others. All instructors hold doctoral degrees and are trained to teach online, enabling a closer working relationship with students.

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7Concordia University – Saint Paul 3/546.45%Saint Paul, MN

The 36 credit-hour Master of Arts in Human Resource Management at Concordia is offered fully online and designed to fit into working students’ busy schedules, offering them a flexible alternative to a traditional degree program. Courses focus on developing leadership skills and the sort of financial, strategic and innovative thinking needed to succeed as an HR manager. Graduates learn to "maximize their human capital’s return-on-investment in their organization." The online master degree fully aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. Core courses in this online master's in human resources program include HR Leadership and Ethics, Strategic HR and Measurement, Compensation and Benefits and the Legal Environment for HR Leaders.

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8Brandman University 3/5N/AIrvine, CA

Founded in 1958, Brandman University is a regionally accredited school aimed at providing education for working adults. It has over 25 campuses in California and Washington.

The online master's in human resources degree is delivered as a concentration within the MBA program, focusing on how human resources prepares students for leadership roles in the HR field through knowledge of training and development, compensation systems, employee benefits and organizational dynamics. The "unique focus on sustainability and innovation" informs the coursework; students learn to analyze and evaluate business functions and formulate effective domestic and global business strategies while being mindful of the ethical and social responsibilities driving their decision-making.

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9Tiffin University 3/538.82%Tiffin, OH

Tiffin University was founded in 1888 and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Tiffin does not distinguish online degrees from traditional in-class degrees when awarding diplomas. The school prides itself on delivering the same high-level education to its online students as it does in the traditional classroom setting.

The MBA Human Resource Management degree is offered fully online. Students benefit from exposure to theories and application as they learn to develop talented employees, manage ongoing relationships and provide competitive advantages through strategic human resource policies and practices. Tiffin is committed to ensuring that their students have "the ability and background to be successful," and emphasis is placed on having real-world experience prior to enrollment. The average MBA student has 10 years of postgraduate work experience.

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10Golden Gate University 3/5N/ASan Francisco, CA

Founded in 1901 and located in downtown San Francisco, Golden Gate University offers 13 online graduate degrees. Its distance education program was established in 1993 with the online degree program becoming fully accredited in 1998.

The MBA Human Resource Management degree offered through Golden Gate University’s Ageno School of Business is designed to "groom MBA students for a career as an HR manager." Students learn to hire, train and manage a workforce and are fully trained in benefits information, labor relations and current employment laws. Core classes include Human Resource Management and Strategic Human Resource Management; popular electives include Benefits Administration and Employment Law.

The MBA program instills in the skills to work effectively in teams, sell ideas, apply theory to practical situations and manage and develop your career. Students will be fully prepared to succeed in their future careers with an understanding of current international and global issues, ethical and diversity issues, current management trends and current technology and environmental issues.

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11Stony Brook University 3/568.57%Stony Brook, NY

Founded in 1996, the Stony Brook School of Professional Development offers 100 online courses. Classes are asynchronous and offered fully online in 10-week segments geared toward working professionals.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management curriculum is fully aligned with standards established by the Society for Human Resource Management. Required courses include: Foundations of Human Resources, Employee Relations and Labor Management, Organizational Development and classes on the topics of law, job evaluation, technology, compensation and others.

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12Benedictine University 3/550.92%Lisle, IL

Founded in 1887 and located near Chicago, Illinois, Benedictine University is home to over 3,000 postgraduates and has a student to teacher ratio of 14:1.

The online Human Resources Management certificate is offered through the Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies and Benedictine University. Geared towards experienced human resource professionals "interested in expanding their knowledge and career potential," this program focuses on fundamental issues of the HR field, including recruitment, training and retention strategies, employee relations, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits and legal issues. Comprised of three 6 credit-hour courses, this program can be completed as a standalone certificate or as part of a bachelor's program.

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13Western Carolina University 2/558.29%Cullowhee, NC

Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina University (WCU) services more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 48 states and 35 countries. WCU’s master degree in human resources program began in 1984.

The 36 credit-hour Online Master Degree Program in Human Resources is offered through the College of Education and Allied Professions and prepares students to become "strategic HR leaders for the profession." Courses are designed around the most current guidelines of the Society for Human Resource Management and focus on evidence-based practices, global perspective and learning through community service.

Students are drawn to the program for the opportunity to work with seasoned professionals, internship opportunities, the "friendly, supportive, and accessible professors" and the daily networking opportunities. The program has made a great impression on students who are passionate about their work and value real life, hands-on experience in learning.

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14Central Michigan University 3/555.54%Mount Pleasant, MI

Central Michigan University was established in 1892 and is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It is the third largest university in the state and serves more than 20,000 students, 7,000 of whom attend online and hail from over 60 locations worldwide. The school maintains a student to teacher ratio of 21:1 and distributes $361 million in scholarships and financial aid yearly.

The 36 credit-hour online MBA Human Resource Management program is AACSB accredited. Courses are under constant review to ensure they are aligned with current business trends. The program is designed for compensation and benefits specialists, talent management professionals, trainers and recruiters and human resource professionals. Students learn how to enhance efficiency of their workforce with the goal of enhanced productivity, increased employee retention and development of more engaged employees.

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15Eastern Michigan University 3/536.55%Ypsilanti, MI

Eastern Michigan University was founded in 1849 and is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It has a student to teacher ratio of 18:1 and serves over 23,000 students.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development strives to prepare students to implement organizational development techniques and create greater organizational effectiveness, to plan and implement change processes as either internal or external consultants and to implement appropriate systems related to structure, process and human resources. EMU takes pride in offering online students the same quality education as on-campus students.

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16Wilmington University 2/535.06%New Castle, DE

Benefits of online education at Wilmington University include the ability to transfer up to 75 credits of coursework, affordable tuition, an award winning faculty and military friendly offerings. Wilmington is also committed to providing their students with a positive return on investment (ROI) and provides data to support its successes. Over 19,000 students are enrolled online and on campus annually.

The 36 credit-hour online Master of Science with a Concentration in Human Resource Management allows students to complete coursework at their own pace. Students learn the role of the manager at the micro and macro levels, how to be leaders and how to adapt to an ever-changing global work environment. The program strives to give students a competitive edge by embracing adaptability. Students learn to apply contemporary leadership and management models, change frameworks and legal principles. Coursework guides students to a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge required for decision making in the field; they must confront the challenges of global diversity, innovation and technology. The program culminates in an independent project.

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17Upper Iowa University 3/538.3%Fayette, IA

With a priority of meeting individual needs, Upper Iowa University distinguishes itself through its self-paced online program. Three master's degrees are available, and graduate students can transfer up to 12 credits. Established in 1857 and fully accredited, UIU offers flexibility scheduling, manageable 8-week terms, student diversity and military-friendly support.

The MBA Human Resource Management degree is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management. Coursework explores theories and methods of managing personnel and offers students in-depth knowledge of employment laws, hiring procedures, and the ways different cultures shape their human resources. Students learn to implement succession plans and crisis management plans.

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18University of Houston-Clear Lake 2/5N/AHouston, TX

The University of Houston Clear Lake School of Business is accredited by the AACSB and certified by the Society for Human Resource Management. The online program is designed to focus on five core areas: human resource processes, general business management, strategic decision-making, change management and personal mastery and influence. Students are encouraged to gain real-world experience through internships and the on-campus student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. The program prepares students for careers as compensation and benefits specialists, human resource managers, labor relations managers, organizational effectiveness specialists, recruiters and training and development directors. Students value the highly trained faculty, who all hold PhDs.

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19Robert Morris University 4/562.17%Moon Township, PA

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and founded in 1921, Robert Morris University enrolls over 1,000 graduate students annually and offers 20 master's and doctoral programs.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management trains students to excel in a highly competitive field through practical skill and a strong theoretical foundation. Courses address the concepts of employee retention, development, succession planning, benefits administration, retirement planning and more. A study abroad component is available for students wishing to gain a global perspective.

Students praise the school for its "incredible staff," who are known for encouraging critical thinking and personal growth. The school strives to maintain focus on the student's' needs and to provide the same level of support and access as afforded to traditional, on-campus students. Online students have access to a student counselor, a career advisor, a wellness counselor, a financial aid counselor and 24-hour technology support.

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20University of St. Francis-Joliet 3/556.16%Joliet, IL

This Catholic, Franciscan University is one of the largest providers of online education in Illinois. The online program started in 2000 and is geared towards working adults who desire real-world experience and an expert faculty. 120 online courses are offered and over 1,500 students are enrolled per semester.

The MBA in Human Resource Management prioritizes staying up to date on current trends and teaches students to think analytically, understand the value chain of businesses and develop leadership and decision making skills. Other benefits of the program include the 12-18 month duration and the experienced faculty. Students have the opportunity to delve into a concentration of their choosing immediately, which is a boon for non-traditional, working students.

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21Drexel University 4/567.36%Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University’s online education program started in 1996 and has since expanded to serve more than 7,000 students from all over the world. They offer 130 online degree and certificate programs.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Development program prepares students to enter a fast-paced working environment through a practice-oriented and research-based curriculum. Courses prepare students to use technology to support organizational learning, to promote employee learning and to work in national and multinational organizations.

Students benefit from Drexel's teaching staff of recognized experts, its far-reaching professional network and counseling and academic support. The university also offers the chance to gain a global perspective through unique study abroad options.

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22Florida Institute of Technology 4/554.96%Melbourne, FL

The Master of Science in Human Resource Management program at the Florida Institute of Technology addresses the demands and challenges of a rapidly changing field. The program aims to prepare students to understand these challenges and to "accurately and efficiently recruit, interview, hire, train and maintain employees." Students go on to work in training, development, labor relations and employee relations. Lecture and discussion form the basis for this program and students will engage in group work, case study analysis, role-playing and organizational consulting activities. In their final year, students work in a real-world scenario with organizations needing human resource consulting. Students are also encouraged to submit research papers and articles to noted publications.

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23Catholic University of America 5/566.59%Washington, DC

Founded in 1887 by U.S. Catholic bishops, Catholic University of America is located in Washington, D.C. and serves over 6,000 students from across the nation using a faith-based learning approach. The student to teacher ratio is 8:1.

The 36 credit-hour Master of Arts in Human Resource Management program prepares students for a growing field with increasing responsibilities. A tuition-free course designed to prepare students for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification gives students a competitive advantage. This program will appeal to those wishing to attain general management and top management positions in the HR field. The online platform will appeal to working professionals balancing personal commitments and work with their education. Emphasis is placed on practical implementation of theory and students can expect to engage in teamwork, group projects, field research and experiential activities to develop real-world experience. The program can generally be completed in 22 months if attending part-time. Two tracks are available: HR Generalist and Federal HR.

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24University of Colorado – Denver 2/539.96%Denver, CO

University of Colorado Online was founded in 1996 and offers 450 online courses, 18 degree programs and 12 certificate programs. The student to teacher ratio is 17:1. The school provides the same level of quality and service to online students as those attending on-campus. Courses are self-paced and asynchronous, which will appeal to students in need of extra flexibility.

The Master of Science in Management with Managing Human Resources Specialization program trains students in the skills and knowledge required to work in recruiting, hiring, developing, motivating and rewarding managerial and nonmanagerial employees. Attention is also given to technology solutions and online training and performance management programs. The specialization under the MS Management in Managing Human Resources provides a deeper understanding of legal and ethical issues in business, managing global talent, staffing, training, performance management and leadership development, among other topics.

Students will appreciate the convenience, collaborative learning, concentrated timeframe, lack of schedule conflicts, affordability, diversity and personal advancement afforded by this online program.

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25Clemson University 2/582.31%Clemson, SC

Founded in 1889 and located in Clemson, South Carolina, Clemson University has a student to teacher ratio of 16:1 and is among the most highly ranked public universities in the nation.

The 36 credit-hour Master of Human Resource Development, offered through the Eugene T. Moore School of Education, is aimed at working professionals pursuing careers in business, industry, government and nonprofit organizations. A unique, intercollegiate athletic leadership concentration is available for students who want to advance in that profession. Courses are taught by "practitioner-scholars" and incorporate the latest technology available to deliver a forward-looking scholastic experience. Emphasis is placed on the practice of concepts and theory to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to become leaders in their field.

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Human resource managers work in almost every industry, from government to nonprofit, and are responsible for planning, directing and managing administrative functions of organizations. They are responsible for hiring new employees, training them and acting as liaison between employees and management.

The field of Human Resource Management is vast and constantly changing due to the vicissitudes of the global business environment and rapidly evolving technology. As businesses grow and change, well-trained HR professionals will be in high-demand and faced with complex challenges. For this reason, pursuing a master’s in human resources online makes a lot of sense for professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve.

To meet these challenges, students must become fluent in a range of topics, such as:

  • Benefits; Develop affordable plans for employees
  • Business Leadership and Strategy; Meet challenges of team leadership and develop confidence in the workplace
  • Compensation; Meet challenges of increasing base salaries and company dynamics
  • Diversity; Organize multinational and multigenerational workforce and create transparency
  • Employee Relations; Cover bargaining, contract negotiation, arbitration and other dispute resolution scenarios
  • Human Resource Development; Cover the design of systems for instruction, corporate training and methods of delivery
  • Finance and Business Statistics; Cover real-world application and analysis of principles and problems related to modern corporate environments

The main principles schools hope to impart to Human Resources students are: exceptional written and oral organizational skills, the ability to work with and lead diverse teams of people, a deep understanding of technology and finance in relation to business, a global perspective and the ability to meet new challenges. HR professionals must be able to analyze and revise standards in occupational safety, wages, retirement, healthcare, legal issues and equal employment opportunities.

All colleges listed above emphasize the real-world, practical application of these skills. Great care is taken to ensure students participate actively and gain relevant work experience as they pursue their degrees. Students are taught by highly trained and experienced professionals, and can expect to learn much from the wealth of practical experience they bring to the virtual classroom.

As cited by the Board of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for this field is projected to grow by 13% through 2022. This pace is in line with the average of all occupations; “very strong” competition can be expected in this area, though companies and organizations will need more highly trained HR staff as they expand their operations. The median salary for human resource professionals was $99,720 annually in 2012. Typically, five years of experience is required for hiring and an HR professional can fill a variety of roles. Below, you’ll find examples of the average salaries of several common HR positions.

Average HR Salaries

Source: PayScale; Collected August 2015

Original Research

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, the need for financial aid is still a reality for most students. But rest assured, loans aren’t your only option. Explore our collection of financial aid resources or dig into one of the following guides to read more about financing your education.

An Overview of Financial Aid

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options savvy students can use to reduce the total costs of their education.

Understanding the FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most crucial step for any student seeking financial aid. Follow our step-by-step guide for answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial Aid for Online College Students

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place and funding opportunities for online students.

Scholarships for Women

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

Scholarships for Single Parents

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for single parents looking for a more secure financial future for their children. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships for these hard-working parents.

Financial Aid for Veterans and Active Military

Millions in education benefits are available for veterans and active members of the military. Unfortunately, much of this goes unused. Find out if you’re entitled to help with college and start planning for your future.

Best Online Master's in Human Resources Degrees of 2015
Rank School Location
1 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
2 Texas A&M University College Station, TX
3 Clemson University Clemson, SC
4 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
5 Boston University Boston, MA
6 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
7 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
8 University of Arkansas Little Rock, AR
9 Florida International University Miami, FL
10 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
11 Towson University Towson, MD
12 Strayer University Washington, DC
13 Catholic University of America Washington, DC
14 University of St. Francis-Joliet Joliet, IL
15 University of Michigan - Dearborn Dearborn, MI
16 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
17 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
18 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater, WI
19 Nazareth College Rochester, NY
20 Regis University Denver, CO
21 Saint Francis University Loretto, PA
22 Concordia University - Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
23 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
24 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon, WI
25 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
26 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
27 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
28 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH
29 University of Denver Denver, CO
30 Emmanuel College Boston, MA
31 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
32 Brandman University Irvine, CA
33 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
34 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
35 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
36 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
37 North Park University Chicago, IL
38 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
39 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
40 Gannon University Erie, PA
41 Pittsburg State University Pittsburgh, KS
42 Troy University Troy, AL
43 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
44 University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI
45 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
46 Bowie State University Bowie, MD
47 Upper Iowa University Fayette, IA
48 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
49 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS


The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:

Minimum Requirements

  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, not-for-profit institution.
  • Must offer an online master’s in Master’s in Human Resources degree program
  • Must submit an annual report to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Ranking Factors

All eligible institutions are ranked on a 100 point scale. A perfect score of 100 is earned by ranking #1 for all ranking factors.


  • Admissions Rate – 25%
  • Enrollment Rates – 15%
  • Retention Rate – 15%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate – 25%
  • Number of Master’s in Master’s in Human Resources Graduates – 20%


  • Average Net Price – 40%
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans – 20%
  • Loan Default Rate – 40%


  • Percentage of Graduate Programs Offered Online – 40%
  • Graduate School Enrollment – 40%
  • Percentage of Programs Offered at the Graduate level – 20%