HRER professionals sitting at a table

Master of Professional Studies in
Human Resources and Employment Relations

Program Summary

Learn to factor human resources into the strategic plans of organizations. This comprehensive online degree program balances advanced theory with practical knowledge that can be used right away in your current HR position and as a foundation for future career growth.
How To Apply
Apply by April 1 to start May 15

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

33 Credits $1,007 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

HRER Study Abroad: Scotland

World Campus HRER students met in Scotland for a week-long study abroad experience at Napier University.

Earn a Human Resources Master's Degree Online

Penn State’s online Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) degree program balances advanced theory with practical knowledge, making it an important credential for you, the experienced HR professional. You can be prepared to help top executives factor human resources into their strategic plans.

As you earn your degree online while continuing to work, you can meet the challenges of complex employee benefit plans, new labor laws, and employee rights more efficiently and with greater confidence.

Prepare for a Leadership Role in HR or Employment Relations

Penn State's graduate program in human resources and employment relations delivers the depth of knowledge you need to serve as a functional leader within your organization. You can prepare for upper-level positions in:

  • human resources, as manager of compensation and benefits, recruitment, or training and development
  • labor relations, to meet the growing demand for a graduate degree needed for a position as union leader, professional staff, director of industrial relations, contract negotiator, mediator, or arbitrator

Why Study HR Management Online at Penn State? 

In this program, you will have the opportunity to study with highly regarded faculty from Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts, one of the premier institutions in the world to study and work in the liberal arts disciplines. As a student studying online, you can expect the same quality education that our residential students experience — high academic standards for courses taught by the same faculty with real-world experience, who have been trained to teach online.

Penn State’s online HRER program is offered in partnership with Penn State’s renowned School of Labor and Employment Relations, which has been designing high-quality degree programs since 1942. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has determined that this program is aligned with SHRM’s HR Curriculum Guidebook. It is one of only 400 degrees worldwide that have received this distinction. It has also been granted Approved Provider status by the HR Certification Institute.

SHRM–Aligned Curriculum Builds In-Depth Expertise

This specialized graduate degree program begins by building a strong fundamental knowledge of HR and labor. Course work will help you:

  • grasp the ethical dimensions of human resources and employment relations
  • analyze complex employment issues
  • administer labor and human resource systems
  • understand the roles that employers, employees, unions, and government play in the employment relationship
  • analyze the complex personal, legal, and organizational issues inherent in employment relations

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.

Customize Your Human Resources Degree Program

As an online learner, you can create a program that is relevant to your unique career goals. Simply select a personalized HR track from one of eight concentrations:

  • benefits and compensation
  • labor and collective bargaining
  • employment and labor law
  • staffing, training, and development
  • ethics and leadership
  • international human resources and employment relations
  • labor unions: organization and strategy
  • HR analytics and artificial intelligence (AI)

Connect with an Alumni Ambassador

If you would like to speak to a graduate of the program, complete this form to be connected with an Alumni Ambassador. These alumni have offered to answer specific questions about the student experience and discuss any concerns you may be having before you apply.

Penn State World Campus Graduate

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