Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

An interview in a the human resources department

Check out our Human Resources and Employment Relations master's program video.

Paul Clark receives 2014 President's Award

Paul Clark, director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations

The award recognizes scholars and teachers who exemplify research, outreach, leadership, and administrative excellence. Paul Clark, director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations, has been instrumental in developing World Campus programs in HR and LER.

This is my life

Daniel Geltrude
Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations
Nutley, NJ
Daniel Geltrude
“It doesn't matter that you are doing your school work at 11 in the morning or at midnight, during the week or over the weekend — you design the schedule that works for you. But that's the beauty of the World Campus; it is designed to fit into the rest of your life and not the other way around.”Read more

Get the HR Credential You Need to Advance Your Career

In the past, human resources workers primarily managed the administrative functions of an organization’s workforce. Today, HR and employment relations professionals not only manage these important tasks, but are increasingly called on to help top executives with strategic planning.

Complex employee benefit plans, new labor laws, a focus on employee rights, and the increasing need for organizations of all kinds — corporations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, etc. — to hire and retain talented employees mean that you need to upgrade your knowledge and abilities in human resource management to advance in your career.

A master’s degree is an important credential — whether you’re seeking a top management position in human resources or labor relations.

Why Human Resources and Employment Relations at Penn State  

Penn State’s online master’s degree program balances advanced theory with practical knowledge. In addition to basic human resource management, the curriculum covers labor and employment law, employment relations, compensation, staffing and training, and labor and collective bargaining. This comprehensive approach can help prepare you for whatever HR career path you pursue. 

This degree program is offered in partnership with Penn State’s renowned School of Labor and Employment Relations. Since its founding in 1942, the department has offered high-quality degree programs, engaging students in employment-related research, and conducting outreach education programs for unions and other organizations. The program is aligned with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) HR Curriculum Guidebook and Template and has been granted Approved Provider status by the HR Certification Institute. Our faculty has extensive expertise in fields such as labor law, employment relations, global human resources, labor economics and organizational behavior.

Choose Your HR Career Track

To help you meet your HR career goals, you can focus your studies in one of the following four concentrations:

  • benefits and compensation
  • labor and collective bargaining
  • employment and labor law
  • staffing, training, and development

Who Should Apply?

The Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations is designed for people who are already working in a human resources or employment relations field or have a strong fundamental understanding of HR and labor.

Career Opportunities for HRER Graduates

As an experienced professional with a master’s degree, you can be better prepared for a variety of positions in upper-level human resource management or labor relations, including:

  • director of human resources
  • director of industrial relations
  • human resources manager
  • compensation and benefits manager
  • training and development manager
  • labor relations manager
  • contract negotiators, mediators and arbitrators

Online Education at Penn State

Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than a decade of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.