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 10 Best Human Resources Degree Programs

Eastern Michigan University

Intelligent Pick

Eastern Michigan University’s Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development program has been recognized as the #1 “Master’s Program with Emphasis in HR” in hr.com’s 2021 LEAD Awards. The program is optimized for flexibility, enabling you to work toward your degree online or in person, part-time or full-time. The program is home to an award-winning student organization, Society for Human Resource Management, which was named Outstanding Chapter nationally in 2020. The curriculum consists of 30 credits, 18 of which are required courses and 12 of which you can put toward electives of your choice. Some of the elective classes you can choose from are Employment Law, HR and Technology, and Compensation Management.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Ypsilanti, MI
  • Cost per credit: $920.10 (in-state); $1,594.60 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 30
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $11,036 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 50%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 734-487-3240

Learn more

Georgia Southwestern State University

Best Scholarships

Georgia Southwestern State University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources (HR) program offers a project-based curriculum meant to simulate the types of scenarios you will encounter as an HR professional. You have the opportunity to participate in real-life projects and experiences that put into practice the concepts that are discussed in class, so everything you learn is relevant and applicable to the real world. You take an even balance of general education classes (60 credits) and business/HR classes (60 credits). In your major courses, nine credits are reserved for electives, so you can round out the curriculum with courses best suited to your specific interests and goals. Georgia Southwestern State offers numerous scholarships, including a guaranteed $1,000 or $2,000 scholarship to all-new, traditional-aged freshmen who meet certain qualifications and live within a defined area of Georgia.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Americus, GA
  • Cost per credit: $169.33
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $$15,088 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 44%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 229-931-2090

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Regent University

Best for Transfer Students

Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management degree program offers a program that has been singled out by numerous media outlets for its quality. Regent has been home to the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia for 10 years in a row (2013-2022), and has been ranked among Top National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report for three years (2019, 2020, and 2022). If you intend to study on campus, you are eligible for Regent’s generous scholarships that help make the cost of attendance more manageable. As a Christian university, Regent anchors its pursuit of knowledge and cultivation of skills on Christian principles and values, helping you pursue a career with integrity.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
  • Cost per credit: $574
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $7,220 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 27%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 757-352-4550

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Valdosta State University

Best Online Program

Valdosta State University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Management offers a dynamic, well-rounded program that includes close interactions with faculty, co-op and internship opportunities, an honor society, and an optional study abroad experience. Valdosta’s program emphasizes hands-on experience through the Valdosta State Co-op Program as well as internship opportunities and the unique opportunity to accompany faculty on a trip to Germany, where you learn about the German work environment and take field trips to major German corporations. You can also seek acceptance to the Honors College to earn that extra distinction and rigorous academic experience, or you can elect to pursue an accelerated Bachelor/Master of Business Administration in five years. You can complete your degree online or in person.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Valdosta, GA
  • Cost per credit: $182.13 (in-state); $642.73 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $8,476 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 43%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 229-333-5991

Learn more

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Best in the Midwest

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program offers a curriculum that is fully aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) HR curriculum guidebook and templates. This means that upon graduation, you are eligible to take the SHRM Certified Professional exam. The college has received numerous distinctions for this HR management program, which you can choose to complete in person or online. Bachelor’s Degree Center named this one of the 30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Resources Programs, and Human Resources MBA named it the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management. This human resources management major requires 27 credit hours of a business core and 21 credit hours of human resource management courses, as well as 33 credit hours for electives, which you can use to earn a minor if desired.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
  • Cost per credit: $496
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: ​​$11,240 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 43%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 812-535-5106

Learn more

New York University School of Professional Studies

Best in the Northeast

NYU School of Professional Studies’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Development program offers a cutting-edge curriculum that focuses on firsthand, practical experiences. In addition to the eight-course, 24-credit core curriculum, one elective course, and a research- or practice-based capstone project, you can also choose one of four concentrations: human capital management, organizational effectiveness, global talent management, or learning, development, and executive coaching. The program also houses an award-winning student chapter of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which has been awarded the SHRM Student Merit award for the past five years owing to their professional outreach, programming, and networking events. Graduates of the program tend to see great success on the job market, with 95% employed within six months of graduation.

Things to consider:

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Cost per credit: $23,584 per semester
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $19,682 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 85%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 212-998-7100

Learn more

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Best Alumni Network

University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management degree offers you a chance to join one of the most robust alumni networks. University of Michigan alumni hold leadership positions at some of the most influential companies in the world, which makes the opportunity to network with this community particularly valuable. The human resource management major consists of seven courses: Human Resource Policy/Administration, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition, Compensation and Performance Management, Legal Issues in Human Resources, and Talent & Leadership Development, along with two electives chosen from a list. Some of these elective courses include Data Mining for Business Intelligence, Digital Consumer Search & Marketing, and Negotiation & Conflict Management.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Dearborn, MI
  • Cost per credit: $559 (in-state); $1,552 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $9,048 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 55%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 313-593-5460

Learn more

School of Industrial & Labor Relations at Cornell University

Best Ivy League Program

Cornell University’s Masters of Human Resources Studies in Industrial & Labor Relations (MILR) pairs you with a graduate field faculty member as an advisor to offer guidance on course selection and other academic matters. As an Ivy League institution, Cornell is known around the world for its rigor, quality, and cutting-edge research contributions, so a Cornell degree can open professional doors after graduation. The MIRL curriculum comprises at least 16 courses (and at least 48 credit hours), of which six concentration courses and four elective courses center on human resource studies. The MILR degree is practitioner-based (as opposed to research-based), meaning that it is focused on preparing you for a career outside of the academy.

Things to consider:

  • Location: Ithaca, NY
  • Cost per credit: $60,286 per academic year
  • Credits required to graduate: 48
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $15,756 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 95%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 607-255-1522

Learn more

Department of Educational Administration & Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University

Best in the Southwest

The Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development program at Texas A&M University includes a strong internship component that ensures you get firsthand experience working in an HR department (or a similar role) in a company that best fits your background and goals. This allows you to gain valuable work experience while also earning a degree from a reputable program. The first two years of the program are spent building a solid general education foundation, which you then build upon in your third and fourth years when you take more specialized HR coursework. Junior and senior year classes include topics like Applied Human Resource Development in the Workplace, Organizational Development, and Conflict Management and Dialogue.

Things to consider:

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Cost per credit: $700.76 (in-state); $1,630.27 (out of state)
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $11,400 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 64%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 979-862-4345

Learn more

Eli Broad College of Business - Michigan State University

Best Advisors

Eli Broad College of Business – Michigan State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management program offers a degree that fares well on the job market, with recent graduates being hired by powerhouse companies such as Amazon, Amway, and General Motors. The curriculum emphasizes a general education foundation coupled with a solid business core. HR-specific courses account for 12 credits in total, leaving you free to choose which HR classes you take. Some options include Organizational Staffing, Diversity in the Workplace, and Compensation and Reward Systems. You also benefit from dedicated advisors who can give you personalized advice on how best to make your way through the degree program as well as how to secure your dream job after graduation.

Things to consider:

  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Cost per credit: $491.75
  • Credits required to graduate: 120
  • Academic calendar: Traditional semester
  • Room and board: $10,676 per academic year
  • Graduation rate: 80%

More program information:

  • Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 517-355-7605

Learn more

Other Human Resources Degree Programs to Consider

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).