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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 March 1 to start May 17

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

33 Credits $950 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.

Advance Your Career with a Master’s in Human Resources and Employment Relations – 100% 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.

The Penn State online master’s program in HRER can also prepare you for upper-level positions in:

  • human resources, as manager of compensation and benefits, 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

What Makes Penn State’s Online HRER Program Different? 

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.

Penn State's Online HRER Curriculum

The HRER master’s curriculum begins by building a strong fundamental knowledge of HR and labor. Courses then help you understand the roles that employers, employees, unions, and government play in the employment relationship; analyze the complex personal, legal, and organizational issues inherent in this relationship; grasp the ethical dimensions of human resources and employment relations; analyze complex employment issues; and administer labor and human resource systems.

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.

You will choose your HR career track by selecting courses in 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)

Talk to an HRER Graduate

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 Student

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