Find your offline human-resources program in minutes!

Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

Whether you’re aspiring to enter the field of human resources or are a current professional aiming to elevate your career, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in human resources is an excellent choice for acquiring the management, organizational, and leadership skills needed to succeed in this field. These programs are designed to prepare students for high-paying, in-demand careers, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting over 15,500 job openings each year in the field and median salaries reaching an impressive $130,000 in 2022.

Completing this degree requires 18 months to two years of full-time study, although many part-time programs are available to cater to students needing more flexibility. Considering the substantial return on investment through career advancement and increased salary potential, the average cost of these degrees was a manageable $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

How to Choose an MBA in Human Resources Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing a specialized area within your MBA in human resources is crucial for aligning your education with your career goals, as it allows for more profound expertise in a niche field.

These options might include organizational development for those interested in shaping company culture and improving employee performance; talent acquisition, ideal for individuals passionate about recruiting and retaining top talent; or compensation and benefits, suited for those keen on developing fair and competitive compensation systems.

Selecting a focus area will enable you to customize your learning experience — potentially making you more attractive to employers seeking specialized skills.

Research schools and programs

Now that you have a specialization in mind, you can leverage that to pinpoint MBA programs that best suit your career goals. By focusing on schools that offer courses and experiential learning opportunities in your area of interest, you can ensure your education directly contributes to your professional aspirations.

To guide your research further, consider the following questions:

  • Are there opportunities for practical learning, such as internships or capstone projects?
  • What’s the faculty’s expertise in my chosen specialization?
  • How does the program’s alumni network support careers in this specialization?

The best research can be conducted through program websites, speaking directly with admissions counselors, and participating in open houses and information sessions.

Prepare for tests and applications

To best prepare for MBA applications, you’ll need to start early. Securing essential application items — like letters of recommendation and official transcripts — can be time-consuming. You will also want to dedicate ample effort to writing your personal statement, as this is a unique opportunity to convey your goals and personality to the admissions committee. Consider enrolling in a test prep course for programs requiring GMAT or GRE results to improve your scores.

By taking this approach, you can meet application deadlines comfortably while strengthening your application — illustrating your dedication and readiness for graduate-level learning.

Select your program

You may receive multiple acceptance letters if you submit multiple applications. This is an excellent time to revisit your initial research criteria, focusing on what’s most important to you — whether it’s specialized courses, faculty experience, or networking opportunities. You’ll also want to consider each program’s total cost of attendance and explore financial aid options to ensure your decision is affordable.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

To finance your MBA in human resources without accruing significant debt, you’ll first want to explore scholarships and grants, as these do not require repayment. Though grants are more common for undergraduates, some graduate programs offer them.

Assistantships, which provide a stipend and sometimes tuition remission in exchange for research or teaching, are another excellent funding option for graduate students. Additionally, ask your employer about tuition reimbursement options, especially if you plan to remain with the company post-graduation.

If you’re left with financial gaps, seek federal loans to bridge the gap. These are often preferable to private loans for their lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms.

Best 50 Accredited MBA in Human Resources Programs

Best MBA in Human Resources Degree Programs

BYU Marriott School of Business

University of North Texas

Vanderbilt University

University of Wisconsin

FSU College of Business

University at Albany

Oregon State University

Nova Southeastern University

Temple University

Adelphi University

University of New Mexico

Kent State University

California State University, East Bay

University of Houston - Clear Lake

Michigan State University

Concordia University Wisconsin

Regent University

University of Bridgeport

Saint Leo University

Wilmington University

Niagara University

La Sierra University

Appalachian State University

Winthrop University

Lindenwood University

Tiffin University

Goldey-Beacom College

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

We looked at many MBA in human resources programs to identify the best. Our list includes both on-campus and online programs, although online programs sometimes have short in-person requirements.

Every option that made our list is regionally accredited, and many also have programmatic accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

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.

What Can You Expect From an MBA in Human Resources Program?

An MBA in human resources will prepare you to become a leader in efficient workforce management. In these programs, learners delve into strategic workforce planning, employee relations, compensation and benefits, and organizational behavior.

Programs typically span 18 months to two years, combining theoretical knowledge with practical application through case studies and projects. While some MBA HR programs include capstone courses focusing on real-world issues and strategic management solutions or internships to gain hands-on experience, these components are less common than other MBA specializations.

Upon graduation, you’ll possess a holistic understanding of how human resources contributes to an organization’s success, with the skills to manage teams, resolve conflicts, and drive organizational change.

Potential courses you’ll take in an MBA in human resources program

  • Human Resources Management: Although the name may vary, many programs include a version of this course in their curriculums. During this course, students explore how HR strategies align with overall business strategies to improve organizational performance. Topics frequently include workforce planning, talent management, and how to create competitive advantage through people.
  • Organizational Behavior: Offering insights into human behavior within organizations, this course covers leadership, team dynamics, and motivation. It provides students with strategies for improving workplace culture and employee satisfaction.
  • Compensation and Benefits: This course focuses on designing and managing compensation systems that attract and retain talent. Students learn about salary structures, incentives, benefits, and the impact of these components on employee behavior and organizational performance.
  • Employment Law: In this course, students delve into the legal aspects of managing employees, covering laws related to discrimination, labor relations, and workplace safety. The course also emphasizes ethical decision-making in HR practices.

MBA in Human Resources Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an MBA in human resources degree program?

You’ll need to navigate a series of admissions requirements to apply for an MBA in human resources. While this criteria can vary by institution, many share similar requirements as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree in business, psychology, or a related field
  • Relevant work experience
  • Professional or academic letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement outlining your career goals and reasons for pursuing this degree
  • GMAT or GRE scores, although some programs may offer waivers for meeting a certain GPA

Given the competitive nature of MBA admissions, it’s essential to ensure your application is comprehensive and reflects your strengths. Contacting an admissions counselor before applying can provide personalized advice and clarify any program-specific requirements, significantly improving your application’s potential for success.

How much does an MBA in human resources degree cost?

The cost of these degrees can vary significantly by institution. However, for the 2020-2021 academic year, the average graduate program tuition was $19,749. This figure can vary depending on the institution’s reputation, whether you qualify for in-state tuition, and geographic location.

In addition to tuition, you’ll want to consider extra costs such as books, supplies, accommodation, and living expenses. These expenses can add up over time and often aren’t reflected in the school’s tuition price, so budgeting for them in advance is crucial.

How long does it take to earn an MBA in human resources degree?

Earning this degree usually takes 18 months to two years for full-time students. Since part-time students take a lighter course load each semester, they generally take longer to complete degree requirements — usually three to four years.

While full-time enrollment allows for quicker completion and a more immersive experience, it’s important to note that it demands a significant time commitment, potentially limiting your ability to work simultaneously. Part-time enrollment makes that more possible, but it will take longer to complete.

Keep in mind the number of required credits, as this can vary by institution. Generally speaking, the more credits required, the longer it will take to graduate.

Compare School Options

Related Degrees