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Best 14 Online Graduate Certificates in Human Resources in 2021

September 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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An online graduate certificate in human resources can open doors for you that wouldn’t be available otherwise. Human resource laws and regulations are constantly changing and continuing to educate yourself on these changes will make you a more promising candidate for many organizations. College students may think that the only thing they need to have to obtain a career in human resources is a four-year degree, but this is an industry the requires employees to continuously educate themselves on the evolving industry of human resources. Below are 14 colleges throughout the United States that offer an online graduate certificate in human resources that will help you get the career you have always wanted.

1. Western Carolina University (24 Points)

Ranked as one of the Top 10 Public Regional Institutions in the South, Western Carolina University has earned at least 21 special program accreditations and is a member of over 30 state and national associations and organizations. The online human resource graduate program can be completed in as little as two years on either a full-time or part-time basis and requires 36 semester hours to complete. This program has been awarded as the Best Master’s in Human Resources and teaches operational, strategic, relational, and ethical, and socially responsible competencies.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $4,277
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1

2. University of Maryland- College Park (23 Points)

The University of Maryland- College Park is a large institution that offers 115 master’s programs and 84 doctoral programs. It has also been ranked as the 19th Best Public Research Institution by U.S. News & World Report and the 11th Top Public Colleges by Forbes. This institution offers a wide range of courses that are designed to help HR professionals further their careers into a more supervisorial role. Some of the courses available include HR Personal Growth Series, HR Power Hour, HR Professional Growth Series, New Employee Orientation, and PHR Training.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $10,779
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

3. Florida International University (22 Points)

Since Florida International University first opened its doors in 1972 with an enrollment size of 5,667 students, FIU continues to grow as one of the largest public universities in the United States. Ranked as a Top 100 Public University, one of the programs offered is a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building. This 15-credit hour program teaches methodologies and theories of conflict resolution and consensus building. This certificate can be useful for human resource managers, lawyers, business professionals, and more.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $6,565
  • Graduation rate: 63%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 27 to 1

4. University of Wisconsin- Whitewater (20 Points)

The University of Wisconsin- Whitewater is a nationally accredited university that has received numerous awards, including being named the 11th Regional Public University and one of four Public Colleges of Distinction in Wisconsin. The Human Resource Management Online Graduate Certificate program requires five courses for a total of 14 or 15 credits. Discussion boards and online assignments allow students to connect outside of the classroom, while also providing a flexible schedule for working professionals. The Online MBA program has been ranked as #25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,695
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1

5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (18 Points)

As the 14th Public University in the nation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has attracted more than 47,000 students from around the world, including over 100 countries. The online certificate program consists of a variety of tracks and each track has three courses (12 credit hours total, four credit hours per course). Each course in the certificate program is either six or eight weeks long. You can choose to engage in one or more of the certificate program tracks outlined below. Once you have received one or more certificates, and decide you are interested in the full Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program, you are able to apply for the online master’s program and petition to have your credits transferred.

Each certificate program track takes between 7 to 10 months to complete. This is because you will only take one course at a time and some of the courses have small breaks between one another. For more information or questions, please email Eden Haycraft, Associate Director of Online Graduate Programs.

  • Program Cost: $740 per credit hour ($8,880 for entire program)
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: ~20 to 1

6. Penn State World Campus (17 Points)

In Penn State World Campus’ Graduate Certificate in International Human Resources and Employment Relations 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.

The program is offered in partnership with the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) at Penn State and gives students the opportunity to learn from the same faculty who teach on campus. The School of LER 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.

  • Tuition: $950/credit
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1

7. University of West Florida (16 Points)

The University of West Florida was established in 1963 and has grown into a massive university compared to its earlier days. This university is home to five academic colleges and more than 100,000 degrees, including graduate certificates. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, while also being ranked as the 36th Best Regional Universities in the South and the 15th Top Public University. The AACSB-accredited Human Resource Management Online Certificate is a 12-credit program that takes 12 months to complete. It is only available to graduate non-degree-seeking students.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $6,360
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21 to 1

8. Villanova University (15 Points)

Villanova University is a private, Catholic institution that offers a large array of online, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, law, and certificate programs. The six-college campus is located 12 miles outside of Philadelphia and has an alumni network of over 130,000 graduates. The Human Resources Development certificate program has five areas of concentration: Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, HR Business Partner, HR Leadership, Organizational Development, and People Analytics and Research. Each certificate requires 15 credits, which can be transferred to complete a Master of Science in Human Resources Development.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $55,280
  • Graduation rate: 90%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11 to 1

9. Central Michigan University (13 Points)

Central Michigan University offers over 200 degree and certificate programs, some of which are recognized nationwide. The Human Resources Administration Graduate Certificate is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and requires 15 credits. To qualify for this program, students are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have received at least a 3.0 in the last 60 credits of this degree. This program is available online and at many of the campus locations.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $12,960
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1

10. Brandman University (12 Points)

Located in Irvine, California, Brandman University is a small institution that has been recognized as one of the Safest College Campuses in America, one of the Best College Locations in America, and one of the Most Liberal Colleges in America. One of the many online graduate certificates offered includes one in Human Resources. This program is comprised of three foundation courses and two electives for a total of 15 credits. These credits can be used towards a Master of Science in Human Resources, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, or a Master of Health Administration.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $12,440
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1

11. Empire State College (11 Points)

Empire State College was established in 1971 and offers flexible educational options for students who are just starting and those who are working professionals looking to further their career. One of the 110 online degrees and certificate programs offered is an online Human Resource Management Certificate. This 12-credit program will dive deeper into topics related to staffing and selection issues, compensation structure and systems, benefit programs, internal talent development, and more. Students can begin the program during the fall, spring, or summer semesters and are required to complete the following four courses: High-Performance Management, Managing Human Capital, Performance Management and Total Rewards, and Strategic Human-Resource Management.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,605
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1

12. University of St. Francis (10 Points)

Located in Joliet, Illinois, the University of St. Francis is a private, Catholic institution that is nationally recognized as a “Best Regional University,” “Best Value School,” and “Best Online Programs,” according to U.S. News & World Report. While the entire college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, specialized accreditations have been given to numerous degree programs and departments. The Human Resource Management Graduate Certificate will teach students the skills and techniques needed for recruitment, hiring, and mentoring people. The program is taught by instructors who have experience in human resources and requires a total of 12 credits to complete.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $34,000
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1

13. Indiana State University (9 Points)

The online graduate certificate in Human Resource Development from Indiana State University is for those professionals wanting to excel in social agency, industry, higher education, or government careers. The 12-credit program is available both online and on-campus and includes topics that focus on designing, implementing, facilitating, training, and providing other human resource responsibilities. This certificate program can be used to go towards a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $9,236
  • Graduation rate: 41%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

14. Webster University (8 Points)

Webster University was established in 1915 by the Sisters of Loretto. Today, this university continues to be a highly ranked private university with more than 12,000 students attending from around the world, including from 138 countries. The online Organizational Development and Change program is designed for managers and middle-managers to organize their company efficiently. Professional frameworks, skills, and theories are used to teach real-world organizational dilemmas in the corporate world. While the program is offered online, it is also available at the St. Louis campus.

  • Annual in-state tuition: $28,700
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12 to 1

How the Institutions Were Ranked

You may have noticed that points are listed behind the name of each college. This is because a point system was used to determine how these institutions should be ordered. We began by placing all of the schools in a spreadsheet with their annual in-state tuition and graduation rate information. Then, we placed between 1 and 15 points to each school for the tuition cost, 15 points going to the lowest cost and 1 going to the highest. This was also done for the graduation rate, except 15 points were given to the highest graduation rate and 1 was given to the lowest. These points were then added together and put in order from the most points to the least.

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