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Best online human resources degrees 2021: Top picks

Find out what to expect from the human resources field, and start your search with our ranking of the best online human resources degrees.

As organizations expand and employment laws increase in complexity, the demand for trained human resources professionals grows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of more than 73,000 human resources specialists and nearly 15,000 human resources managers between 2020 and 2030. With that in mind, a human resources degree from one of the following top-ranked schools can help graduates access this growing field.

To create the list of programs below, we collected publicly available information from the most reputable sources. Read about ZDnet's ranking methodology to learn more about what school and program information we use to build our rankings. Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, College Scorecard, and each program's website.

1. Florida International University

Miami, Florida

About the program: FIU's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources teaches students the field's professional standards. Students also study training, development strategies, improving human resources functions, and employee retention.

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 64%

Annual net price: $7,296

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: 570-650

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Mount Mercy University

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

About the program: MMU's online bachelor's in human resources trains students in labor laws, employee compensation strategies, and performance metrics design and analysis.

Acceptance rate: 66%

Graduation rate: 69%

Annual net price: $20,857

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Mount Mercy University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester, New York

About the program: Roberts' online bachelor's in human resources degree completion program teaches in financial intelligence, project management, and organizational behavior. Students need at least 60 transferable credits from a regionally accredited university.

Acceptance rate: 67%

Graduation rate: 67%

Annual net price: $23,569

Years to degree: One to two

SAT range: 510-630

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Roberts Wesleyan College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

4. Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: Temple's 124-credit online bachelor's in human resources degree trains in compensation and benefits, labor relations, and performance appraisals. 

Acceptance rate: 60%

Graduation rate: 72%

Annual net price: $23,521

Years to degree: Three to four

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Temple University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5. Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About the program: Jefferson's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources degree features courses in staffing and recruitment, employment law, and training and development.

Acceptance rate: 66%

Graduation rate: 71%

Annual net price: $25,162

Years to degree: Two to three

SAT range: 540-630

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Thomas Jefferson University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

6. University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

About the program: USM's 120-credit online bachelor's in management features an emphasis in human resources. The program offers training in organizational behavior and human resources management.

Acceptance rate: 97%

Graduation rate: 51%

Annual net price: $14,923

Years to degree: Two to four

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: The University of Southern Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

About the program: ISU's online bachelor's in human resources offers courses including work-life integration, labor relations, and occupational liability and safety.

Acceptance rate: 90%

Graduation rate: 42%

Annual net price: $13,896

Years to degree: Four

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8. Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

About the program: WGU's online bachelor's in human resources prepares students for postgraduate human resources certifications. The training includes workforce planning, human resource management, and a focus in healthcare services.

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 49%

Annual net price: $9,805

Years to degree: Three to four

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

9. Concordia University, St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

About the program: CSP's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources offers training in strategic compensation systems, organizational development, and employment law.

Acceptance rate: 98%

Graduation rate: 61%

Annual net price: $16,245

Years to degree: Three to four

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Concordia University, St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. McKendree University

Lebanon, Illinois

About the program: McK's online bachelor's in human resources emphasizes business principles, along with organizational development, employee relations, and personnel management and retention.

Acceptance rate: 63%

Graduation rate: 56%

Annual net price: $19,844

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules are available)

SAT range: 428-635

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

11. Anderson University

Anderson, South Carolina

About the program: AU's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources offers courses in employment and placement, training and development, and employee relations.

Acceptance rate: 63%

Graduation rate: 56%

Annual net price: $22,351

Years to degree: Three to four (part-time schedules may be available)

SAT range: 500-580

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Anderson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

12. Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

About the program: Saint Mary's online bachelor's in human resources features 36 core credits. Study areas include employee engagement, human resource development, and employee rewards and recognition systems.

Acceptance rate: 92%

Graduation rate: 67%

Annual net price: $19,514

Years to degree: Two to four

SAT range: 520-608

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

13. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

About the program: Regis' 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources features courses in talent and performance management, employment law and compliance, and business policy and strategy. 

Acceptance rate: 71%

Graduation rate: 57%

Annual net price: $25,483

Years to degree: Three to four years (part-time and accelerated schedules are available)

SAT range: 520-630

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

14. Georgia Southwestern State University

Americus, Georgia

About the program: GSW's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources trains students in public and private-sector labor relations, performance management, and training and career development. 

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 44%

Annual net price: $11,157

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: 480-580

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Four

Course delivery methods: Online, synchronous and asynchronous

Accreditation: Georgia Southwestern State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

15. Dickinson State University

Dickinson, North Dakota

About the program: DSU's 117-credit online bachelor's in human resources features courses in advanced business law, staffing and workforce diversity, and compensation management. 

Acceptance rate: 100%

Graduation rate: 35%

Annual net price: $10,855

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: 490-560

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Dickinson State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

16. Houghton College

Houghton, New York

About the program: Houghton College's 124-credit online bachelor's in human resources provides training in personnel policies, employee benefit management, and handling grievances.

Acceptance rate: 81%

Graduation rate: 73%

Annual net price: $22,233

Years to degree: Four (part-time schedules are available)

SAT range: 540-660

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Six

Course delivery methods: Online, synchronous and asynchronous

Accreditation: Houghton College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

17. Concordia University Wisconsin

Mequon, Wisconsin

About the program: CUW's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources teaches about state and federal labor legislation, effective compensation plans, and organizational development. 

Acceptance rate: 64%

Graduation rate: 54%

Annual net price: $23,855

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Two to four

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Concordia University Wisconsin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

18. Colorado State University Global Campus

Greenwood Village, Colorado

About the program: CSU-Global's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources features core courses in human resources in a global world, employment law, and business policy and strategy. Students can specialize in project management, emergency management, and healthcare management. 

Acceptance rate: 99%

Graduation rate: Not publicly available

Annual net price: Not publicly available

Years to degree: Three to four (accelerated and part-time schedules are available)

SAT range: 460-600

Minimum GPA: 2.8

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous

Accreditation: Colorado State University Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

19. Geneva College

Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

About the program: Geneva's online bachelor's in human resources offers courses in career and professional development, business and interpersonal communication, and policy and personnel management. 

Acceptance rate: 53%

Graduation rate: 67%

Annual net price: $19,778

Years to degree: Three to four (part-time schedules may be available)

SAT range: 520-630

Minimum GPA: Not publicly available

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: Geneva College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

20. Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

About the program: TESU's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources offers courses and training in management development, employee selection, and industrial relations. 

Acceptance rate: Not publicly available

Graduation rate: 46%

Annual net price: Not publicly available

Years to degree: Three to four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous 

Accreditation: Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

21. DeSales University

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

About the program: DeSales' 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources features courses in quantitative business analysis, the business legal environment, and compensation and benefits strategies. 

Acceptance rate: 79%

Graduation rate: 61%

Annual net price: $28,309

Years to degree: Four (part-time and accelerated schedules are available)

SAT range: 520-640

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Two

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: DeSales University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

22. William Penn University

Oskaloosa, Iowa

About the program: WPU's online bachelor's in human resources degree offers courses in international business, strategic management, and strategic staffing. 

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 44%

Annual net price: $20,637

Years to degree: Three to four (part-time and accelerated schedules may be available)

SAT range: 440-530

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: William Penn University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

23. Metropolitan State University

St. Paul, Minnesota

About the program: Metropolitan State's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources trains in staffing organizations, employee development and training, and employee benefits management. 

Acceptance rate: 56%

Graduation rate: 57%

Annual net price: $15,225

Years to degree: Three to five

SAT range: Not publicly available

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Three

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Metropolitan State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

24. Huntington University

Huntington, Indiana

About the program: HU's online bachelor's in human resources degree's courses include organizational culture and behavior, employment and training law, and staffing and recruitment.

Acceptance rate: 75%

Graduation rate: 62%

Annual net price: $22,869

Years to degree: Three to four (part-time and accelerated schedules are available)

SAT range: 480-580

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online and asynchronous 

Accreditation: Huntington University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

25. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

West Terre Haute, Indiana

About the program: SMWC's 120-credit online bachelor's in human resources degree includes 48 major credits. Required courses include legal issues in human resources, racial and cultural minorities, and organizational behavior.

Acceptance rate: 67%

Graduation rate: 43%

Annual net price: $15,669

Years to degree: Three to four (accelerated and part-time schedules are available)

SAT range: 470-570

Minimum GPA: 2.5-3.0

Enrollment periods per year: Rolling

Course delivery methods: Online, asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

What to expect in an online bachelor's in human resources degree program

A bachelor's in human resources provides learners with business and human resources fundamentals. Students learn about labor laws and business operations, along with training and development strategies, compensation and benefit programs, and organizational behavior. 

The programs often include theoretical and practical training plus individual and group assignments. 

Human resources students learn how to manage people, resolve conflicts, and improve performances and operations. In addition to having communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills, online human resources learners need self-motivation and dedication to complete the rigorous training. 

HR degrees may include concentrations such as healthcare management or project management. 

Human resources courses

Courses commonly offered during a human resources degree include:

Labor law

This course provides information on collective bargaining agreements and state and federal employment laws. It may delve into occupational health and workplace safety issues.

Organizational behavior

In this course, students learn how organizational culture and behavior can impact performance. Learners may examine methods and strategies for improving employee morale, motivating staff, and shifting culture to improve outcomes.

Compensation and benefit strategies

This course explores the most effective strategies for developing a compensation and benefit system. Students look at the processes involved and the impacts these systems can have on employee performances and morale. 

Training and development

In this course, students learn how to create and run training and development programs. Learners explore methods for identifying inefficiencies in organizations, along with the motivational techniques and leadership strategies.

Human resources degree levels

Each subsequent HR degree level provides more in-depth and specialized training and may qualify graduates for more advanced careers. 

Prospective students should identify their area of interest and pursue the degree level that best satisfies that goal.

Certificate in human resources

Length: Less than one year

Cost: Varies

Post-grad careers: Customer service representatives, administrative assistants, and human resources specialists

A human resources certificate includes condensed and focused training. The programs typically emphasize practical training for career-minded students.

 Learners may pursue an introductory certificate for quick entry into the human resources or business career fields, or they may tackle a graduate certificate in HR to complement previous training and upskill.

Certificates may be offered in-person or online. 

Associate in human resources

Length: Two years

Cost: $11,389 per year in 2018-19

Post-grad careers: Human resources assistants, customer service representatives, and labor relations specialists

Associate human resources degrees cover business and human resources principles and fundamentals. Learners may develop an understanding of labor laws, management strategies, and basic compensation programs. The training aims to develop a solid foundation of applicable skills and knowledge for students to build on through experience and further training. 

Graduates can pursue various entry-level careers or continue into a more advanced bachelor's program. Associate degrees may feature internships, but most practical training comes from hands-on assignments. 

Bachelor's in human resources

Length: Four years

Cost: $28,123 per year in 2018-19

Post-grad careers: Human resources specialists, compensation and benefits specialists, and training and development specialists 

A bachelor's in human resources degree features comprehensive training that develops well-rounded professionals. Learners gain intermediate and advanced business and human resources skills and knowledge. They learn about compensation and benefits programs, training and development strategies, and management and motivational tactics. 

Bachelor's programs often include practicums and internships to help students develop practical skills. Graduates can pursue many business and human resources careers, though additional training and experience may be required.

Master's in human resources

Length: One to two years

Cost: $19,792 per year in 2019-20

Post-grad careers: Human resources managers, compensation and benefits managers, and training and development managers

A human resources master's degree tackles advanced and specialized human resources topics. Learners develop a research concentration that may help them establish a career path. Graduates qualify for most human resources management careers, along with leadership positions in many business-related fields.

Master's degrees typically focus on management training, including risk, innovation, and human capital management. Students also learn how to analyze and improve organizational talent and behavior. Master's programs combine in-depth research with theoretical and practical training.

Learners may pursue a master's or an MBA in human resources.

Doctorate in human resources

Length: 4-6 years

Cost: $19,792 per year in 2019-20

Post-grad careers: Postsecondary teachers, top executives, and instructional coordinators

A doctorate in human resources equips learners to teach future human resources professionals and impact policy and laws at the ground level. Students in these programs develop a research specialization and aim to advance scholarship. 

While many graduates teach at the postsecondary level, they may also access many human resources and business positions. They might work with the government and labor organizations developing new and improved workplace programs and initiatives.

In conclusion

Human resources degrees include comprehensive and widely applicable training in business, labor law, and employee management strategies. 

Prospective undergraduate learners can start their program search here with the top-ranked human resources degrees in the country.