Why This Matters

  • 13,300 JOBS OPEN FOR HUMAN RESOURCES EACH YEAR

    A growing number of HR specialists, or a 6% increase each year, are needed to help companies understand and adhere to changing employment laws.

  • ABOUT 11% OF HR JOBS ARE IN MANUFACTURING

    Human resource managers are critical to the manufacturing industry. They help find and maintain a skilled workforce and address challenges facing the industry.

  • THE HIGHEST 10% EARN MORE THAN $205,000 PER YEAR

    HR specialists earn $116,000 per year on average. The highest-paid HR managers work in technical industries.

Our Research

Our list focuses on bachelor’s of science and business administration degrees in human resource management. For advanced occupations, there are also master of science and master’s in business administration degrees in human resources management. We reviewed programs that are offered both online and in-person.

When looking for an HR degree program, choose one that has been recognized by a specialized accrediting agency. They include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Accredited programs adhere to quality standards, and the coursework generally transfers from one institution to another.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 80 hours to write this article
  • 186 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 363 education programs we compared

The Top 49 Human Resources Degree Programs

Best Human Resources Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

A bachelor’s degree in organizational behavior studies is similar to a degree in human resources. It reflects on what motivates individuals in organized groups in both business and industrial settings. The degree also focuses more on the personal side of HR and less on the payroll and benefits side. You may also choose a degree in business administration with a focus on human resources. This prepares you with the skills needed to adapt to any industry while still being able to manage employee relations.

Human resource certifications demonstrate your HR knowledge and expertise. There are several levels of professional certifications. The Professional in Human Resource (PHR) requires you to pass an exam covering topics such as strategic development and risk management. It covers broader topics and is ideal for those just starting out. The Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) goes into greater depth. The majority of career human resource managers choose the SPHR certification. Another certification is the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR), which is ideal if you plan to work with an international company.

Human resource managers aren’t required to hold a professional license, but a professional certification can often mean a higher salary and/or increased career opportunities.

What’s Next?

When looking for a human resources degree program, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Am I eligible for this program? There are no prerequisites for those interested in a bachelor’s in human resources degree. However, you need to have excellent people skills, be organized, and have creative problem-solving abilities. You should also check the admissions requirements for each college of interest to be sure you meet all qualifications before applying.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? A bachelor’s degree in human resources is typically a four-year program, but depending on how much time you’re willing to put into your coursework, it can take longer or you can graduate ahead of schedule. Most programs require 120 to 128 credits, so full-time students can complete the degree in three to four years. If you plan to go to school online part-time, it can take six years or more to complete the degree.

While researching HR programs, keep in mind deadlines and the materials needed for each application. This information can be found through the school’s admissions department.

For help funding your degree, search for private scholarships and grants early. Also, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).