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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Human Resources (HR) Management

Majors Overview May 6, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in human resources management and their education requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Degree Programs in Human Resources (HR) Management

Human resources, or HR, managers hire and train personnel as well as oversee the payroll processing of small and large businesses. HR managers employed in many organizations are required to have a graduate degree to qualify for the role.

Schools most commonly offer a Master of Human Resource Management (M.H.R.M.), although human resource management is also available as an area of concentration in many Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) programs.

HR management master’s programs combine classroom instruction, individualized research sessions, and group projects aimed at enhancing students’ analytical and communication skills. Students examine advanced management principles, in addition to employee training practices and hiring strategies. Flexible programs are offered at many four-year schools, with online, weekend and evening classes to facilitate working HR professionals.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in administration, human resources, business, or a related field. Applicants to a few programs are also required to have prior professional experience in HR.


Coursework in an HR management master’s degree program is a combination of a series of electives, core business courses, and human relations skills. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Strategic staffing
•Employment law
•Training and development
•Human resources planning
•Human resource management
•Organizational behavior
•Leadership skills
•Legal and ethical aspects of business
•Managerial applications of information technology
•Compensation and payroll

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, there were about 102,700 employed as human resources managers in the country (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The most common employers of HR managers were insurance businesses, health care companies, and scientific and technical firms, among numerous other industries. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 13% has been predicted for HR managers; in 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $99,720 (BLS).

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