The Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) is a 33-credit graduate degree program designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Students can typically complete their master's degree on a part-time basis in about two years, without ever setting foot on campus.
Online Learning Experience
Courses are structured to allow you to complete assignments when and where it's most convenient for you. While our 100% online courses are autonomous and asynchronous, you will have the opportunity to interact and engage with fellow classmates through integrated experiences. This peer-to-peer interaction enhances your learning experience while strengthening your professional network on a global scale.
Earn HRCI Recertification Credits
The Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations is an Approved Provider of the HR Certification Institute. Completing the entire program can grant you credits toward your PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertifications.
This customizable program consists of nine required courses (27 credits) and two elective courses (6 credits). Elective courses are paired to create a concentration, which allows you to develop expertise on a topic specific to your personal career goals.
Your course work culminates in a capstone class in which you will demonstrate an understanding of the curriculum and apply it to your professional areas of interest in human resources and employment relations.
Optional Engagement Opportunities
Each summer, select core courses are also offered at Penn State's main campus. This 5-day intensive session allows you to earn credits while enjoying the University Park campus experience. Participants can even enjoy an overnight stay in the dorms. This immersion experience is completely optional and ideal for students who seek a high level of engagement with faculty and peers. Learn more about these optional intensive courses.
Required Courses (24 credits)
Culminating Experience (3 credits)
Elective Courses (select 6 credits)
Select six credits from one of the following concentrations.
Benefits and Compensation (6 credits)
Employment and Labor Law (select 6 credits)
Ethics and Leadership (select 6 credits)
HR Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) (6 credits)
International Human Resources and Employment Relations (select 6 credits)
Labor and Collective Bargaining (6 credits)
Labor Unions: Organization and Strategy (6 credits)
Staffing, Training, and Development (6 credits)
Each summer, the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations offers a selection of the core program courses as five-day intensive courses at Penn State's University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania. This unique blended course experience allows you to fulfill a three-credit course requirement in a condensed format while experiencing campus life at Penn State.
Class activities such as lectures, case studies, and individual and team exercises will be scheduled for six hours each day, and you may also be required to complete additional assignments outside of the classroom. Approximately two-thirds of the course work for a course will be completed during the five days you are on campus, with some preparation work required before arriving on campus, and a follow-up project to be completed after the week concludes. Because of this intensive schedule, you are only permitted to take one in-residence course at a time.
While this is not a required aspect of the master's degree program, students are encouraged to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to interact and network with your peers and the faculty and staff for the program. More information about registration for these intensive courses will be available upon your acceptance to the degree program. Please email the program office at [email protected] with questions.
*The use of the HRCI seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute's criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.
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