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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources managers earned a median salary of $116,720 in 2019, which is roughly $75,000 more per year than the median pay for all other occupations. The BLS also projects that employment for human resources managers will increase by 7% from 2018 to 2028, which is more than the national average of 5%.

To qualify for the most lucrative of these opportunities, however, you typically must have an advanced degree, in addition to several years of professional experience. Our ranking of the nation's top online master's programs in human resources can help you decide where to continue your education.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Human Resources Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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Rank School Location
1 American University Washington DC
2 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
3 Clemson University Clemson, SC
4 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
5 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
6 Boston University Boston, MA
7 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
8 Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs Danville, VA
9 George Washington University Washington, DC
10 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. You can read our Ranking Methodology here. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Human Resources Programs

Many colleges and universities offer online human resource master programs, and it can be difficult to know which program is the best fit for your unique academic interests and professional aspirations. Our ranking of the best online graduate programs in human resources can make this process a little easier.

The list below includes information on each program's admission requirements, available courses and concentrations, online delivery methods, and financial aid opportunities. It also details each school or program's accreditation, a critically important factor in choosing where to earn your degree. To learn more about a particular program, try contacting the school's admissions office directly.

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Rank School Location Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

American University

Washington DC Graduation Rate: 80%

Based in the District of Columbia, American University offers a 30-creditonline master's in human resources analytics and management. Designed for HR employees working in the field, this MS degree focuses on wellness programs, modernized benefit portals, and HR technology. This online program trains students to effectively evaluate and employ HR analytics.

Using synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods, faculty deliver courses that cover topics like innovation through new technologies, intercultural communication for professionals, and evaluation of performance and employee metrics. Before graduation, learners must complete a degree-culminating capstone project.

For this online master's in human resources, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores, and there is no minimum GPA requirement.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master's in Human Resource Analytics and Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,345/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

2

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

Located in Storr, the University of Connecticut offers a hybrid master's in human resources program. This part-time, 33-credit MS degree incorporates on-campus and online coursework, and it was designed with the working professional in mind. Learners can complete the program in 20 months.

Core courses for this MS in human resources degree include organizational management, business acumen and strategic management of human resources, and human capital and workforce capability development. Before graduation, learners also complete a capstone project. This requires them to apply theoretical knowledge and develop real-world experience to find solutions to an issue in the field.

Rather than utilizing GPA and standardized test scores to determine a prospective student's value, admissions counselors review applications holistically, examining whether each applicant's career goals align with program outcomes.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resource Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $975/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 20 months
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

3

Clemson University

Clemson, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Clemson University's master's in human resources development pulls from a diverse set of disciplines, including psychology and management theory. With the goal of improving human and organizational performance, this 36-credit program challenges learners to become strategic problem-solvers. It was specifically designed for working professionals.

Clemson's human resources development core includes coursework in instructional system design, organization development, and foundations of human resources development leadership. In addition to required topics, students select a 12-credit concentration in athletic leadership, organizational development, or career development.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants are required to submit a personal statement, academic transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Human Resource Development
School Status: Public
Tuition: $770/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

4

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Western Carolina University offers one of the best online master's in human resources and seeks to teach students a broad set of analytical, interpersonal, and leadership skills. This online MS program trains future leaders and imparts HR competencies identified by established HR professional organizations.

Through its online curriculum, WCU engages students in courses such as human resources and evaluation methods, performance appraisal and management, and legal issues in human resources. Students must complete a field experience in a professional human resources environment.

Prospective degree-seekers must hold a bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants should also submit three letters of recommendation. While Western Carolina accepts GMAT scores, the institution prefers GRE scores.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resources
School Status: Public
Tuition: $247/credit in state; $757/credit out of state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

5

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA Graduation Rate: 92%

Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California provides students with one of the best online master's in human resources programs. This MS degree challenges working professionals, covering the full spectrum of human capital management concepts. Graduates prepare to advance their career in human resources.

Through 24 credits of coursework, students tackle topics such as human resource strategy, organizational culture and employee outcomes, and leadership in human resources. Designed by industry leaders, this program takes full-time learners approximately one year to complete. A two-year track is also available.

Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. As opposed to traditional admission metrics, the admissions committee reviews applications holistically, considering a student's academic, professional, and personal experience. The program does not require standardized test scores.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resource Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,995/credit
Credit Requirements: 24 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

6

Boston University

Boston, MA Graduation Rate: 88%

Founded in 1839, Boston University operates as a private research institution and offers one of the best online master's in human resources programs. BU's MS in human resources management accepts working professionals with at least five years of experience in the field. Students learn about organizational structure, HR analytics, and skills that maximize employee productivity and wellbeing.

While completing a 48-credit curriculum, learners take courses such as quantitative and qualitative decision-making; market and economic research and analysis; and international business, economics, and culture. Degree-seekers must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, and grades lower than a "B-" will not be applied toward the degree.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and provide a personal statement, resume, and transcripts from all institutions previously attended.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resources Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $925/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

7

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

Stony Brook University is a Long Island-based public research institution that offers one of the best online master's in human resources programs. Designed for both working HR professionals and those interested in joining the field, this degree provides learners with the academic preparation necessary to become effective human resources experts.

Through a curriculum designed to mirror education standards set by the Society for Human Resource Management, learners take courses such as foundations of human resources; employment law and policy; and job evaluation, compensation systems, and benefits. While not required, faculty encourage students to complete a one-credit internship.

This program admits students three times per year. Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. For prospective students who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement, Stony Brook may grant conditional admission on a case-by-case basis.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resource Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $471/credit in state; $565/credit out of state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1 year
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

8

Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs

Danville, VA Graduation Rate: 74%

Averett University provides learners with the opportunity to earn an MBA with a concentration in human resources. Designed for working professionals with HR experience, this degree covers executive-level topics in business administration and advances student knowledge concerning topics like labor law, compensation structure, and organizational behavior.

Students complete courses such as application of quantitative principles, marketing strategies, and managerial economics. Human resources classes include compensation and benefits management, conflict and negotiation, and recruitment and selection.

While the university does not turn away applicants who do not work in the field, the school prefers students with some HR or business experience. Prospective learners must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $655/credit
Credit Requirements: 40 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 preferred

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

9

George Washington University

Washington, DC Graduation Rate: 82%

George Washington University offers one of the best online master's in human resources. Participants develop the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the field. Designed for both working professionals and those new to the field, the program analyzes human capital theories and cutting-edge practices. Students learn from seasoned professionals and top researchers in human resources.

Full-time students can complete this HR master's program in 18-24 months. Coursework explores topics such as strategic human resource management, performance management and development, and critical thinking skills for executive leadership.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They must also submit transcripts that display strong academic performance and demonstrate a serious professional interest in human resource management.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Online Master of Human Resource Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,890/credit
Credit Requirements: 30
Program Length: 18-24 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous /Asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

10

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

The premier public research university in New Jersey, Rutgers offers one of the best online master's in human resources in the nation. Designed for working professionals with at least four years of experience, this program provides students with HR management knowledge and skills that can boost career opportunities.

Through this 36-credit online program, students gain skills in managing the global workforce, developing human capital, and linking HR to business strategy. Before graduation, learners complete a degree-culminating capstone project that addresses a specific HR challenge within an organization or company of their choosing.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The admissions committee considers other factors such as work experience, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Online Professional Master's in Human Resource Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $879/credit in state; $1,479 out of state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

11

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Located in Miami, Florida International University uses the Canvas platform for its distance learning programs. Offering one of the best online master's in human resources, FIU prepares learners for leadership roles in a variety of business environments. This MS program takes approximately one year to complete.

Through cohort blocks that last approximately eight weeks each, students explore topics such as critical thinking in human resource management, international human resource management, and human resource analytics. While not required, the department encourages learners to enroll in an HR internship that offers hands-on experience in the field.

Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The admissions committee prefers candidates who have professional HR experience, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and acceptable GRE or GMAT scores.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Human Resource Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $921/credit
Credit Requirements: 38 credits
Program Length: 12 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 preferred
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

12

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA Graduation Rate: 83%

Pepperdine University offers an immersive online MS in human resources program that introduces students to strategic business leadership skills. Students explore how human capital relates to organizational objectives. Rooted in both human resources and business disciplines, this degree focuses on leadership development, values-based management, and the practical applications of human resources theory.

In this 39-credit program, students engage with topics such as employment law, personal and leadership development, and digital platforms for human resources processes and information management. In addition to traditional coursework, students take on a degree-culminating internship.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have at least one year of professional experience in the HR field. Prospective students must provide a personal essay, resume, and official undergraduate transcripts.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resources
School Status: Private
Tuition: $27,220/term
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Program Length: 12 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

13

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University is a public research institution that offers one of the best online master's in human resources in the nation. Delivered through the Canvas online learning platform, Temple's MS in human resource management teaches HR professionals working in the field the advanced skills and information necessary to pursue career growth.

Delivering theoretical perspectives and practical knowledge, this program focuses on talent acquisition, talent management, and employee relations. Courses include human capital in high-performance organizations, business transformation through big data, and leadership in organizations.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree and provide a resume, transcripts, and standardized test scores. Applicants are also required to supply letters of recommendation and personal essays.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resource Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,114/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 13 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

14

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL Graduation Rate: 60%

Designed for working HR professionals, Florida Institute of Technology's online master's in human resources management emphasizes hands-on practical experience. This program delves into HR topics like efficient hiring, effective interviewing, and successful employee maintenance.

Taught by a team of experienced HR professionals and seasoned academics, this program features coursework in organizational planning and development, human resources management, and interpersonal relations and conflict resolution. In addition to traditional coursework, learners complete a capstone project that features engagement with real-world organizations and HR problems.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. If prospective students do not have relevant professional or academic experience, additional prerequisite coursework may be required.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Human Resources Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $777/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT recommended

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

15

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL Graduation Rate: 45%

Founded in 1889, Saint Leo University is a Florida-based, Roman Catholic liberal arts school. Saint Leo offers an online MBA in human resource management that provides a thorough understanding of both business and HR practices. This MBA provides students the chance to study current issues and challenges in the human resources field.

Students learn to appraise HR strategy, analyze HR management functions, and gain detailed knowledge of employment laws and how they relate to HR functions. Coursework includes human capital for organizational performance, HR strategic training and development, and administrative and personnel law.

Prospective MBA students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Saint Leo takes a holistic view of each applicant, reviewing academic transcripts, personal essays, and letters of recommendation. Standardized test scores are not required.


Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management Online
School Status: Private
Tuition: $740/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 12 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Read through our master's in human resources degree pages to learn more about how to choose a program, common admission standards, and the educational requirements for specific careers.

Our human resources career guide offers a wealth of information on human resources job prospects, earning potential, and professional development opportunities. It also features an interview with a current human resources director.