Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team
As colleges and universities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we're continuing our efforts to provide you with useful student resources and the latest online program information. Check our coronavirus resources page to learn more.
Requiring about two years of full-time study, MBA in human resources programs are offered both online and in person. Learners who choose to enroll in an online MBA in human resources program can schedule their studies around their existing work schedules.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% job growth for human resource managers between 2019 and 2029.
An online MBA in human resources can lead to fulfilling work and a large paycheck. For example, human resource specialists earn a median annual salary of $63,490, and vice presidents of human resources earn$138,810 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% job growth for human resource managers between 2019 and 2029.
If you're interested in helping employees and businesses succeed, an MBA in human resources can be an excellent choice. Read on to learn more about this degree, discover which positions could await you after graduation, and get answers to your most pressing questions.
What Are the Best Online MBA in Human Resources Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|Rank||School||Cost per Credit|
|1||Pennsylvania State University||$1,236|
|5||University of Nebraska - Lincoln||$650|
|6||University of Mary||$550|
|7||University of Wisconsin - Whitewater||$652|
|10||Maryville University of Saint Louis||$714|
Looking for the overall best online MBA programs? Check out our ranking here.
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
What Is an MBA in Human Resources?
An MBA in human resources combines the business administration courses of a traditional MBA with the workforce management courses of an HR master's program. These programs prepare students for high-level positions running human resources departments. Learners gain more specialized knowledge than in a traditional MBA program.
Requiring about two years of full-time study, these programs often allow students to enroll online, in person, or through a hybrid format.
Students enrolled in MBA in human resources programs can often pursue a concentration, such as training and development, employment law, healthcare management, and compensation and benefits.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Human Resources Program?
Pursuing an MBA in human resources means learning how to effectively run a modern business. Students enrolled in these programs learn how to work with both entry-level employees and top-tier managers.
Students hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills that they can use daily when working with employees. They also learn how to strategically shape a company's culture while maintaining employer satisfaction and overall profit.
Online students may need a higher level of self-motivation and discipline than their on-campus counterparts, but the advantages of earning a degree online often outweigh the disadvantages.
Still wondering if an online degree is worth it? Learn more about the differences between online and on-campus programs and find out which delivery method makes sense for you.
Example MBA in Human Resources Courses
- Business Strategy
- Managing Organizational Change
- Organizational Ethics
- Leading Effective Teams
- Personnel Staffing and Evaluation
What are Admission Requirements for an MBA in Human Resources Program?
- Test Scores
Competitive programs often require a minimum 650 GMAT score. Some schools also accept GRE scores. However, there are some programs, such as Southern New Hampshire University's MBA in human resources management, that do not require test scores. Get more information, advice, and resources for preparing for the GMAT and GRE.
- Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation provide admissions departments with insight into the type of student or employer you are. These letters demonstrate that you have the qualities they want in a future student. Ask former professors and employers for recommendations at least six weeks before the application deadline.
Most MBA in human resources programs require prior work experience. Students with experience working in human resources make ideal applicants, but even if you don't have HR-specific experience, showing that you have been a successful professional through your resume is still important.
Personal essays can give admissions departments unique insight into who you are as a person. This is your chance to tell your story and make your case. A personal essay that evokes emotion and shows a strong determination to succeed in the program can tip the scales in your favor, even if your GPA or test scores aren't as high as they could be.
- Official Transcripts
All MBA programs require official transcripts. Some schools may require a certain cumulative GPA, while others may only look at your GPA for relevant subjects. Find out the minimum GPA your school requires in case you need to retake classes to boost your score.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Human Resources Degree?
While a traditional MBA is among the most versatile degrees available, narrowing the focus of the degree can lead to specific human resources careers.
The BLS projects 6% job growth for human resource managers between 2019 and 2029. As more companies expand their operations, they will need professionals with human resources experience to run employee onboarding, training, recruitment, and retention processes.
Job candidates with advanced degrees in human resources are qualified for management positions. As such, an MBA in human resources can set you up for steady, lucrative careers.
- Human Resources Specialist
Human resource specialists are entry-level professionals in the field. They assist with recruitment, placement, and training of new employees. They may also help guide new hires through company policies and procedures.
Median Annual Salary: $63,490
- Human Resources Manager
Human resource managers develop and implement company initiatives that work with the overall business strategy and improve company profit and employee satisfaction. These professionals are often considered the go-to person for any issue an employee may encounter at work.
Median Annual Salary: $121,220
- Vice President of Human Resources
The vice president of human resources is responsible for supervising a company's HR department. They typically help other HR managers strategize a company's recruitment, onboarding, and compensation systems and deliver briefings to company executives.
Median Annual Salary: $138,810
- Employee Experience Manager
Employee experience managers create a positive work environment for employees. These professionals recruit and retain qualified and talented employees by cultivating a company culture that values every employee.
Median Annual Salary: $68,770
- Senior Human Resources Consultant
These professionals spearhead human resources programs, conduct research to measure employee satisfaction, and provide actionable advice to human resources departments. These professionals typically hold years of human resources experience and are gifted in strategic problem solving.
Median Annual Salary: $90,000
Human Resources Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Is an MBA in Human Resources Worth It?
Earning an MBA in human resources can be a worthwhile pursuit for students who want to advance their career in HR while gaining the traditional business administration skills of an MBA. However, there are situations when an MBA in HR may not be the right degree for you.
Students who earned their undergraduate degree in business or a related field may be better off sticking to a non-MBA HR program. Because MBA in human resources programs equip students with foundational business, finance, and accounting skills, students who have already gained similar knowledge during their bachelor's program won't learn as much.
Furthermore, students who aren't certain about working in HR may be better suited for a general MBA or mini MBA program.
The degree you pursue should depend on your specific career goals, your current level of experience and education, and your salary ambitions. If you aren't certain about human resources, think about choosing an MBA program with a different concentration. However, if you know you want to pursue a career in HR, an MBA in human resources can be a great fit.
Why Get an MBA in Human Resources Instead of a Master's in Human Resources?
You may wonder whether an online master's in human resources or an MBA in human resources is the better fit for you. These two degrees prepare graduates for similar careers. However, an MBA can be a smart choice for students who didn't earn an undergraduate degree in a business field.
An MBA in human resources can also be a good route for students who aren't sure they want to stay in human resources. Because these programs equip students with general business, finance, and marketing knowledge, they can lead to more varied career opportunities than a master's in human resources.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
How Do I Choose an MBA in Human Resources Program?
Calculating the true cost of the degree is among the top concerns for students looking to earn their master's. Online students generally pay less in tuition than their on-campus counterparts. In-state students usually pay less than out-of-state learners, and public colleges are often more affordable than private schools.
- Program Format
Choosing synchronous or asynchronous learning is an important decision. Some students may need the flexibility of an asynchronous online program, while others prefer the structure of a synchronous program. Students must also choose whether a part- or full-time MBA makes the most sense for them.
Even online students need to take into account the location of their future college, as they may need to complete on-campus requirements. Even when visits aren't required, some students find that they feel more engaged when they can visit campus. Students who live nearby may also be able to take advantage of networking opportunities.
- Career Opportunities
Some schools offer more resources than others to help students break into the workforce. When researching MBA in human resources programs, look for schools that advertise their collaboration with corporate recruiters. If possible, reach out to alumni to see what opportunities they had to network with employers.
- Programmatic Accreditation
When researching MBA in human resources programs, finding schools with proper accreditation is of the utmost importance. Programmatic accreditation focuses on specific programs or departments rather than an entire institution.
For MBA programs, seek out accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in Human Resources Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||
Students earning an online MBA at Penn State can pursue a concentration in human resource management. All students must complete a 39-credit core curriculum covering crucial business principles.
Learners in the human resource management concentration must complete nine additional credits. Overlapping course requirements makes it possible for students to pair human resource management with another concentration.
In addition to completing asynchronous online coursework, students must attend a three-day residency, where they can network with peers and faculty members.
Pennsylvania State University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|West Lafayette, IN||
Students progress through the curriculum of Purdue's MBA with a human resources concentration in six-week terms. Learners take one or two courses per term and typically complete the program in two years. To complete the human resources concentration, students must finish core business courses and earn 16 credits of human resources-centered courses, accounting for 76 total credits.
Purdue also offers an accelerated MBA path that gives motivated students the opportunity to save time and money. Learners must complete two standard online courses and 52 one-credit modules.
Purdue University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Averett University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university offers an online MBA program in human resource management, equipping students with an academic background, exploring executive-level business principles from an HR perspective.
In this 40 credit, asynchronous program, coursework details crucial elements of human resources. Coursework explores topics, such as employment and labor laws and regulations; recruitment, hiring and training; and compensation and benefits management.
Averett University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Union University's online MBA in human resources program comprises 40 credits and delivers all coursework synchronously. Each term lasts eight weeks, and distance learners attend courses one night per week.
During the program, students complete courses in human resource management, employee training and development, and strategic conflict resolution. They also complete core business coursework. After graduating, students can pursue the professional in human resources certification.
Union University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The Financial Times ranked the University of Nebraska Lincoln's MBA program as the best value for the money in the U.S. in 2021. Students can complete all coursework asynchronously or through the Flex MBA program, a unique hybrid format in which students take core courses on campus and elective courses online.
To complete UNL's online MBA in human resources, students must earn 48 credits, including nine credits of specialized courses in areas, such as labor and compensation administration.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
University of Mary
The University of Mary offers an MBA in human resources through the Gary Tharaldson School of Business. The program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Mary's online MBA in human resources delivers all coursework asynchronously through five-week sessions, during which students typically take one course at a time. This model allows for rolling start dates that align with the five-week cycles. Because of the program's flexibility, students can complete the 36 required credits within 16 months.
University of Mary is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
University of Wisconsin Whitewater houses the largest business school in Wisconsin. The university's MBA in human resources program delivers all coursework asynchronously and does not include any in-person requirements.
Students must take 36 credits of breadth, emphasis, and elective courses. Learners seeking additional credentials can earn a graduate certificate in human resource management by taking five additional courses.
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Students in Anderson University's MBA program can pursue a specialization in human resources. To complete the specialization, students must complete nine credits of human resources courses in addition to a core curriculum. In total, the program requires 36 credits, and most students graduate in 12-24 months.
The program delivers all coursework synchronously, aligning with the same six-week terms as in-person learners. Although this format limits flexibility, students can switch freely between online and in-person courses.
Anderson University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Boca Raton, FL||
Everglades University offers an MBA in human resources program that requires 36 credits, including 21 credits of business courses, 12 credits of human resource management courses, and a three-credit business administration capstone course.
The program's human resource management concentration equips students with the tools to navigate business management and decision-making. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously. Students complete specialized courses in advanced organizational behavior, training and development, and employment law.
Everglades University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Maryville University of Saint Louis
|Saint Louis, MO||
Maryville University offers an MBA in human resources program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously and eliminates all in-person requirements.
All students must complete 39 credits to graduate. Maryville offers six start dates throughout the year. Although exact program length varies, full-time students can graduate within one year. Courses in the human resources concentration include workforce management, employment law and compliance, and compensation and benefits.
Maryville University of Saint Louis is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University's online MBA in human resources program explores how HR professionals enforce law and policy in the workplace and helps students build crucial skills in team management. Students explore these concepts in courses, such as contemporary issues in human resource management and workforce planning and employment.
Liberty's MBA delivers coursework asynchronously, and terms last eight weeks each. Part-time students typically complete this 45-credit program in two years. Military personnel can receive a significant per-credit tuition discount.
Liberty University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette allows MBA students to pursue a concentration in human resource management. In this program, students interested in human resources can choose coursework that aligns with their career goals, exploring employment law, recruitment, and performance theory.
All students must complete 33 credits for this concentration. Courses last for eight weeks, with the program offering multiple start dates throughout the year. Full-time students can complete the degree within 15 months. In addition, online students gain access to university resources like online tutoring, technical support, and career services.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Regis University's MBA in human resources comprises 36 credits, split into eight-week terms. Students must complete 27 credits of core courses and nine credits of human resources concentration coursework. Learners typically graduate in 18-24 months.
This MBA program offers flexible, rolling admissions and does not require applicants to submit standardized test scores or meet a GPA cutoff. Although students can choose from six start dates, they should submit applications at least four weeks before their chosen date.
Regis University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Concordia University - Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin's online MBA in human resources program offers students an enriching distance learning experience. Students in this 36-credit program receive instruction from industry experts, exploring topics like employee compensation and conflict management.
In addition to taking relevant courses, such as risk management and insurance, fraud management, and public personnel administration, learners must complete a 120-hour graduate internship. Students can also earn certifications in their desired fields, prepare for industry exams, and embark on study abroad excursions to China and Austria.
Concordia University - Wisconsin is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Bryan College - Dayton
Bryan College offers an online MBA in human resources that focuses on flexibility above all. Therefore, the program delivers all coursework asynchronously through eight-week sessions. Students can complete the program's 36-credit curriculum within 14 months.
This program illustrates the importance of leadership and business proficiency in a curriculum that aligns with a Christian worldview. The MBA in human resources does not require a minimum GPA or standardized test scores.
Bryan College - Dayton is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Human Resources Programs
- Is an MBA in human resources program hard to get into?
It depends. Students applying to online programs may stand a better chance of being accepted than on-campus programs. Applicants with work experience also have better odds of earning admission. Many competitive programs require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and 650 GMAT score.
- What can I do with an MBA in human resources?
There are several HR roles and employee satisfaction-centered roles that MBA graduates can pursue. Possible job titles include human resource specialist, human resource manager, and compensation and benefits manager.
- Is human resources a good career?
Yes. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 6% job growth for human resource managers. This rate eclipses the average projected growth rate for all careers during the same period. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $121,220.
- How much money can I make with an MBA in human resources?
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in human resources?
There are several lucrative jobs that MBA in human resources degree-holders might qualify for. Vice presidents of human resources earn an average annual salary of $138,810, while compensation and benefits managers make a median annual salary of $125,130.