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Bachelor of Arts in
Labor and Human Resources

Program Summary

Build a solid foundation in human resources, labor, and employment relations while focusing on humanities and social sciences. This online degree program is designed for students who want to pursue careers in organizational culture, workforce diversity, labor relations, and other HR areas.
How To Apply
Apply by March 15 to start May 15

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

123 Credits $620/$664 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

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Our bachelor's degrees are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Advance Your Career with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources Online

Globalization, growing workforce diversity, and the changing role of unions are just some of the challenges facing employees and employers in the dynamic field of human resources. An education in labor and human resources can help you understand all aspects of the employment relationship in order to help your organization value its most important asset — its workforce.

The Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Human Resources is designed for students who want to concentrate on the roles of various relationships in the human resources and employment relations environments. Graduates can prepare for positions in human resources, labor relations, training, employment law, and occupational analysis. Others may continue their education and work toward a master's or doctoral degree.

Why Study HR, Labor, and Employment Relations Online at Penn State?

In this program, you will have the opportunity to study with highly regarded faculty from the School of Labor and Employment Relations, part of the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, one of the premier liberal arts institutions in the world. The School of Labor and Employment Relations has offered undergraduate degree programs since its founding in 1942, including one of the largest undergraduate programs for labor and human resources in the United States. Our faculty has an extensive range of expertise in fields such as employment and labor law, international human resources and employment relations, organizational behavior, and workforce diversity and can help you gain the comprehensive knowledge you need to address today’s most important employment issues.

Choose the Online HR Bachelor's Degree That Fits Your Career

  • The bachelor of arts program relies on a curriculum steeped in the social sciences, humanities, and language as a supplement to the prescribed labor and human resources courses. It helps you explore the world of work from the perspectives of sociology, rhetoric, and literature. This option is best suited for you if you wish to focus your human resources career in the fields of employment law, organizational culture and behavior, or workforce diversity.
  • The bachelor of science program offers the prescribed curriculum in labor and human resources, with additional course electives in management, communications, and accounting to prepare you for the more quantitative aspects of a career in human resources. This degree may be your best choice if you wish to work in training and development, staffing, recruitment, compensation, or benefits. This degree offers two options: Human Resources or Labor and Employment Relations. The choice a student makes will appear on the Penn State diploma that the University awards upon completion of the program.

Both degree programs are excellent pre-law majors and can also prepare you to pursue a graduate degree in human resources management, industrial and labor relations, social sciences, or public administration. One such graduate degree opportunity is the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations that is also offered online through Penn State World Campus and can help you advance your career into top management positions.

Who Should Apply?

The bachelor's degrees in labor and human resources are designed for people who are currently working in human resources or labor relations or who are interested in pursuing a career in these areas.

Advance Your Career in Human Resources Management

Most of our graduates pursue a career in human resources working with private companies, health care facilities, educational institutions, or other nonprofit organizations. Others may choose instead to work with government agencies such as the Department of Labor or the National Labor Relations Board to administer and enforce labor and employment laws. Still others have used their new skills in dispute resolution to pursue careers as arbitrators or mediators or in labor unions as representatives of the interests of employees in the workplace.

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Human Resources program, you can prepare for positions such as:

  • human resources specialist
  • human resources generalist
  • benefits and compensation specialist
  • staffing and placement specialist
  • human resources consultant
  • training and development specialist
  • employee recruiter
  • union representative and negotiator

Talk to a 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.

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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.

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