international relations meetings

Graduate Certificate inInternational Human Resources and Employment Relations

Program summary

Explore how differences in culture, policies, practices, and perspectives apply to human resources and employment relations within multinational organizations. The skills learned in this program can make you a valuable asset to companies competing in the increasingly global business landscape.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply Now to start May 13

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,017 per credit

Gain Human Resources Skills for the International Market

  • Analyze employment relations systems in developed and developing areas.

  • Understand how international labor standards are created and adopted.

  • Identify and analyze practical, legal, and ethical HR challenges.

  • Recognize how institutions and culture at the national level shape management practices.

  • Compare how legislation, state intervention, trade union influence, education systems, and the power of shareholders impact HR practices.

Online International Human Resources Courses Deliver a Global Perspective

This 12-credit program explores how the differences in culture, expectations, law, policies, practices, and perspectives apply to human resources and employment relations within multinational organizations.

In this online HR program, you will study contemporary topics like global sweatshops, child labor, the diffusion of human resource practices, and corporate social responsibility. As an online learner, you will engage with subject matter experts in fields such as employment and labor law, international human resources and employment relations, organizational behavior, and workforce diversity. 

You will also explore how different legal regimes affect compensation, firing or layoff of employees, anti-discrimination measures, works councils, and mergers and acquisitions.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3

    Course exploring human resource management from an international perspective.

  • 3

    Survey of employment and labor laws around the world that shape the practice of international human resource management (IHRM).

    • Prerequisite

      LHR 403

  • 3

    This course examines current human resource management (HRM) systems worldwide and the influence of globalization on HRM practice.

    • Prerequisite

      LHR 403

  • 3

    Analysis of structure and elements of employment relations systems in developed and developing areas.

    • Prerequisite

      LHR 403

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

Hiring manager reviewing a resume or CV with a job candidate

The increasing globalization of today’s economy underscores the importance of a deep understanding of international human resource management.

As facilities continue to open in other countries, the need for HRER practitioners who are skilled in international human resources and employment relations (IHRER) continues to grow. Penn State's IHRER certificate can equip students with the tools and knowledge they will need to compete in this growing market. 

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply now to start May 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,017 per credit
12 or more$12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,027 per credit
12 or more$12,325 per semester

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

A figure walking on a path that includes a certificate part of the way through their progress

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Program Related to This Certificate

9 of the 12 credits from the certificate program may also count toward the following program, should you apply and be accepted:

Learn to factor human resources in the strategic plans of organizations. This online master's degree aligns with SHRM's highest standards, so you can feel confident that you will gain the relevant skills and knowledge to advance your career in HR, labor management, and employee relations.

Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Certificate in One Year

  • Take 2 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Certificate in Two Years

  • Take 1 course each semester


Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

Penn State students wearing caps and gowns at their commencement ceremony

Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

How to Apply to Penn State

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

Apply now to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply now to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by August 21 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply now to start January 13, 2025

Steps to Apply

  1. For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

    • To enroll in 400-level courses, you must have completed 60 credits of undergraduate work or the equivalent.
    • All applicants must have at least two years of full-time (or an equivalent period of part-time) work experience either in human resources/employment relations (or with equivalent responsibilities), or in an international role. Alternatively, a student can substitute an undergraduate or graduate degree in human resources, employment relations, or international management for the work requirement.

    GPA — Postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required. All applicants are expected to have earned a junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

  2. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

    Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

    Test Scores — GRE or GMAT scores are NOT required.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

    Program-Specific Questions/Materials

    Résumé — Upload your résumé (one page) to the online application.

    Statement of Purpose — A brief statement addressing your reasons for pursuing a certificate in international human resources and employment relations.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

    • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
    • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

    Checking Your Status 
    You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form. 

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this program.

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the International HRER graduate certificate, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Learn from the Best

Offered in partnership with Penn State's nationally recognized School of Labor and Employment Relations, this online program gives students the opportunity to learn from many of the same faculty who teach on campus.

School Director

Elaine Farndale

Director, School of Labor and Employment Relations

  • Degree
    Ph.D., Cranfield University of Management, United Kingdom
  • Degree
    M.A., Personnel Management, Kingston University, United Kingdom
  • Degree
    B.A., French and Modern Dutch Studies, University of Hull, United Kingdom

Dr. Elaine Farndale ​is director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations and a professor of human resource management. Dr. Farndale's areas of specialization and research include international and comparative human resource management (HRM); the power, professionalism, and roles of the HR department; HRM and firm performance; change management and HRM; eHRM and new HR delivery mechanisms; and HRM and employee engagement. She has presented numerous papers at international conferences and has published articles and chapters in both the practitioner and academic press. Dr. Farndale has also worked as an HR specialist for several years.


  • Akram Al Ariss

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia
    • Degree
      B.S., Engineering, Lebanese American University

    Dr. Akram Al Ariss lectures at Champagne School of Management, ESC Troyes in France. His research focuses on international human resource management (IHRM). He has written several book chapters, book reviews, and journal articles — in English, French, and Arabic — on interdisciplinary issues related to IHRM, including articles in British Journal of Management; Thunderbird International Business Review; Career Development International; Work, Employment and Society; and Personnel Review.

  • Jackie Brova, MBA

    Jackie Brova is executive vice president, human resources at Church & Dwight, Co. Inc., a $2.5 billion consumer products company headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. Jackie’s more than 30-year career spans three industries (mining, steel, and consumer products), and she has worked in both union (UMWA, USWA, Teamsters, IAM) and non-union settings. Her experience includes support of acquisitions, divestitures, shutdowns, and start-ups, and it encompasses all aspects of the human resource function. In her role at Church & Dwight, she has corporate-wide responsibility for global HR matters. Jackie received her B.A. in labor studies from Penn State and her MBA from Moravian College, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

  • Robert Ostrov

    • Degree
      J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance and Strategic Planning, Roosevelt University
    • Degree
      B.S., Labor and Industrial Relations, Cornell University

    Robert Ostrov's most recent position was senior vice president of human resources for Central Parking System, Inc. He previously served as senior vice president, chief human resources officer at the former ArvinMeritor, Inc.; vice president of human resources and labor relations, FedEx Corporation; senior vice president of human resources for True Value Company; and senior vice president of human resources at GE.

  • Paul Whitehead

    • Degree
      J.D., Harvard Law School
    • Degree
      M.S., Industrial Relations, University of Wisconsin
    • Degree
      B.S., Labor Studies, University of Wisconsin

    Paul Whitehead is a professor of practice specializing in labor and employment law. He practiced labor, bankruptcy, and benefits law for more than 30 years for the United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving as general counsel from 2001 to 2009. His career has included, in addition to years of collective bargaining, the representation of workers and retirees affected by corporate restructurings, foreign trade disputes, and the design of benefit programs.

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply now to start May 13. How to Apply