Affordable Online Graduate Certificates in Human Resources

In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of human resources, HR managers must employ cutting edge practices and strategies to navigate the complex challenges the field presents. Students in these online graduate certificate in human resources programs gain management-level expertise used and developed by established HR executives and experts. Each program blends a firm understanding of contemporary research, theory, knowledge, and procedures used in the field. Graduates of these programs are prepared to design HR policies and processes that support an organization’s goals; effectively leverage organizational theory and systems thinking to problem-solve; manage talent, benefits, and compensation; and address common conflicts and employee challenges.

A graduate certificate in human resources demonstrates a mastery of these competencies, which may lead to career advancement and/or higher pay. Those seeking to pursue further education can also apply the credits earned in certificate programs on this list toward a master’s degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average growth in human resource management over the next 10 years, with a median salary in the field of $106,910 per year. These factors make a graduate certificate in human resources a good investment with robust career potential.

Online learning provides a flexible and affordable way for students to earn this credential. If you’re interested in earning an online certificate in human resources, and you value the flexibility of an online program, be sure to take a look at these top schools.


10 Affordable Online Graduate Certificates in Human Resources
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

University of Maryland-University College

Value Score 8.38
Average Tuition $8,244
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 95%
Number of Online Programs 31
Part-time cost per credit hour $458

A graduate certificate in foundations of human resource management offered at UMUC provides the necessary foundations for HR generalists and specialists alike. The 12 credit program focuses on human resource management, intercultural communication and leadership, issues and practices in HRM, and organizational development and change. Designed by employers and industry experts, this program blends theory with real-world application.

Admission into the online graduate certificate in human resources requires management (or equivalent) experience in the field, and strong writing and analytical skills. Graduate students participate in an orientation to enhance critical thinking and communication skills.


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2

SUNY Empire State College

Value Score 8.02
Average Tuition $10,870
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 86%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $453

SUNY Empire’s graduate certificate in human resource management is a 12 credit program that explores issues facing HR managers and specialists in the workplace. Aligned with the Society for Human Resources Management’s competencies, the curriculum studies issues of staffing, succession, diversity and equal employment opportunities, and compensation and benefit programs.

Admission into the online graduate certificate in human resources requires a bachelor’s degree and transcripts, and students may choose to begin in the fall, spring, or summer. Upon completion, students may transfer 12 credits into the school’s MBA program.


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3

Indiana State University

Value Score 7.82
Average Tuition $6,984
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 54%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $388

The online graduate certificate in human resource development at ISU prepares graduates to design and evaluate human resource development programs. The 12 credit program explores practices of leadership in human resource development, with an emphasis in education and industry.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA, and 3.0 GPA on courses taken at the graduate level. The program is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. ISU’s Human Resource Development Program is an affiliate of SHRM.


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4

Marygrove College

Value Score 6.97
Average Tuition $6,912
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 91%
Number of Online Programs 2
Part-time cost per credit hour $576

Current and aspiring human resource management professionals alike can benefit from graduate certificate in human resource management at Margrove. Students engage best-practices in HRM at for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations. Coursework includes HRM, employee recruitment and evaluation, legal employment practices, and human resource information systems. Students may choose to concentrate in HR or organizational behavior and training.

The six-course, 18 credit graduate certificate in human resources is delivered online, and most classes are seven weeks in length. Admission requires applicants possess a bachelor’s degree, minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, and a career plan or writing sample.


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5

Central Michigan University

Value Score 6.10
Average Tuition $11,770
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 43%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $527

CMU’s graduate certificate in human resources administration is designed for human resource management professionals looking to advance in their profession. The 15 credit program is customizable to meet students’ goals, and coursework centers on employment issues like labor relations, organizational training and development, and staff training.

The online graduate certificate in human resources requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA (or 3.0 in the final 60 credits) to be admitted. Graduate certificates at CMU are delivered in eight week terms for maximum student flexibility.


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6

Thomas Edison State University

Value Score 5.68
Average Tuition $11,610
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $645

The field of human resources management is constantly changing, and the graduate certificate in HRM at TESU is designed to help HRM managers navigate them with strategic initiatives. The 12 credit program studies strategic recruitment, intellectual capital, benefits and compensation, and the legal and ethical environment. Credits are easily transferrable to master’s programs in HRM.

Admission to the graduate certificate in human resources requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Tuition is affordable and students can study at their own pace.


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7

Brandman University

Value Score 5.62
Average Tuition $10,980
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 78%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $610

Brandman’s graduate certificate in human resources is a 15 credit program that develops students’ skills and training in HRM. The curriculum for the graduate certificate in human resources focuses on areas such as talent management, total rewards, conflict and negotiation, and human resources information systems.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA or a master’s degree. Brandman’s online learning is delivered asynchronously and students have access to student support services to ensure successful program completion.


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8

Southern New Hampshire University

Value Score 4.25
Average Tuition $18,810
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Online Programs 19
Part-time cost per credit hour $627

One of the largest online colleges in the nation, SNHU offers a graduate certificate in human resource management dedicated to creating leaders in workforce management. The 15 credit online graduate certificate in human resources includes coursework in leading change, leadership and ethics, and leading not-for-profits.

The program is taught by skilled instructors with professional experience in HRM and organizational behavior. The school’s tuition is among the lowest in the nation, making this an affordable option to earn the credential.


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9

Eastern Michigan University

Value Score 3.79
Average Tuition $14,328
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 32%
Number of Online Programs 2
Part-time cost per credit hour $597

EMC’s 15 credit graduate certificate in human resource management highlights the effective application of human resource practices and strategies. The curriculum prepares entry-level HRM practitioners to excel in the field, while also qualifying experienced professionals to step into managerial roles.

Courses in the graduate certificate in human resources include organizational theory and behavior, employment law, HR technology, and benefits administration. Admission into the program requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA and school transcripts. Up to three graduate credits can be transferred into the program.


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10

Davenport University

Value Score 3.73
Average Tuition $12,330
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $653

At DU, the graduate certificate in human resource management is a 12 credit program that deepens students understanding of the HRM field. Coursework includes study of international human resources, the financing of compensation benefits, employment law, and advanced problem-solving in HRM.

A prerequisite course in managing human resources is required prior to entry into this online graduate certificate in human resources. Online courses at DU are seven weeks long, with start dates six times a year to accommodate student schedules. Classes are delivered via Blackboard.


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11

Franklin Pierce University

Value Score 3.61
Average Tuition $15,605
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 49%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $639

Designed for working professionals, the SHRM-recommended graduate certificate in human resource management at FP helps professionals leverage human capital within an organization. Coursework in this five-course, 15 credit online graduate certificate in human resources includes organizational behavior, diversity, staffing, compensation, and regulations.

Upon completion, students may continue in FP’s MBA in human resource management. The New-Hampshire-based institution is affordable, and the online programs offer the flexibility to accommodate busy schedules.


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12

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Value Score 3.51
Average Tuition $19,328
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 20
Part-time cost per credit hour $805

Penn State’s international human resources and employment relations certificate is designed to address the needs of human resource professionals in the face of increasing globalization. The 12 credit online graduate certificate in human resources is offered in partnership with Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations.

The curriculum includes study of international labor and employment law, human resources in multinationals, and comparative employment relations. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Online programming at PSU’s World Campus uses best practices in delivery and instruction, and students have full access to a portfolio of support services.


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13

Emmanuel College

Value Score 3.20
Average Tuition $14,319
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 30%
Number of Online Programs 3
Part-time cost per credit hour $796

An abridged version of Emmanuel College’s MS in human resources is available through a six-course, 18-credit graduate certificate in human resource management. The curriculum focuses on managing diversity, labor and employee relations, compensation and benefits, and strategic planning and management.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA throughout the program, and the credits in this online graduate certificate in human resources can be applied toward the 36-credit master’s program. Courses are delivered in a seven-week format and offered throughout the year.


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14

University of Virginia

Value Score 3.15
Average Tuition $14,518
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 10%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $802

UVA’s certificate in leadership in human resources management is ideal for early to mid-career human resource professionals. The 15 credit graduate certificate in human resources is designed for those seeking increased responsibility within an organization, and allows students to complete the program in 12 months with part-time enrollment.

The curriculum of this human resources certificate includes the study of staffing and career management, strategic compensation, and transformational leadership in HRM. To apply, students must have a bachelor’s degree, and admission is offered in the fall, spring, or summer. Students take two courses per term, including summer, to earn the degree in one year.


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15

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

Value Score 2.97
Average Tuition $16,830
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $935

Those with interests in a specific area of human resource management can tailor the versatile curriculum of GGU’s 18 credit graduate certificate in HRM to their needs. Offered as a shortened version of the school’s master’s program, the curriculum explores benefits administration, training and development, technology applications in HRM, and employment law.

Students may select specific topics to complement their studies, while an internship provides real-world, graduate-level work experience. Some courses have prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to entry. Admission requirements for the graduate certificate in human resources include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts.


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