Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

Check MarkEdited By Darryl S.

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An MBA in Human Resources opens doors to lucrative and fulfilling careers. Some professionals may be interested in an MBA in HR but cannot fit the graduate degree around their busy schedules. Fortunately, many schools offer an MBA in human resources online, allowing busy students to earn their degrees while continuing to work. This resource explores the best online MBA in HR programs, potential career outcomes, and what to expect when completing your MBA in HR online.

MBA in HR online

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online MBA in Human Resource Management

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best MBA Human Resources Online Programs

The best online MBA programs in Human Resources skillfully integrate the subjective and objective aspects of the subject, assessing factors like teaching quality, faculty expertise, curriculum, timelines, cost, and job market recognition. The OMC rankings provide valuable guidance for individuals exploring optimal options for an MBA in HR studies, whether online, hybrid, or in-person. Considering the crucial factors, these rankings highlight some of the finest MBA in Human Resources programs in the United States:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
DeSales University
Center Valley, PA
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043
Concordia University Wisconsin
12800 N Lake Shore Drive Mequon, WI 53097
Johnson & Wales University
115 Cedar St. Providence, RI 02903
Central Michigan University
106 Warriner Hall, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859
California State University
One University Circle Turlock, California 95382
Webster University
St. Louis, Missouri 63119
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA 24515
University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
Averett University
Danville, VA
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
425 W. University Blvd., Durant, OK 74701-3347
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main StreetHouston, TX 7700
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road, Manchester, New Hampshire 03106

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Most Affordable MBA Human Resources Online Programs

To earn the title of the “most affordable online Human Resources degree,” the program should be cost-effective and maintain a high standard of education. Considerations like program duration, college reputation, and specific offerings are important in defining affordability. OMC’s methodology aims to be a trustworthy resource, aiding individuals in making informed decisions that prioritize cost without compromising quality. Here is a list of some of the most affordable online MBAs in human resources:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, Massachusetts 01420
Fort Hays State University
600 Park St, Hays, Kansas 67601
Columbia Southern University
21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, Alabama 36561
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
425 W University Blvd, Durant, Oklahoma 74701
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive, Maryville, Missouri 64468
Park University
8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, Missouri 64152
Saint Leo University
33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, Florida 33574
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204
Touro University Worldwide
10601 Calle Lee #179, Los Alamitos, California 90720

Understanding an MBA Human Resources Online Program

An MBA in Human Resources Online Program usually comprises 30 to 36 credits, encompassing core HR subjects and elective courses. The program utilizes a mix of synchronous sessions, enabling real-time interaction and asynchronous components for flexible engagement with pre-recorded lectures. This approach accommodates various learning preferences, offering a comprehensive and adaptable online learning experience. It provides the added benefit of securing immediate managerial roles and prepares individuals for real-world work challenges and responsibilities.

Curriculum for an Online Master of MBA in Human Resources Program

Online MBA in human resources degrees combines general business courses with an HR specialty curriculum. Specific courses vary by program; choosing a specialization could further alter curriculum expectations. However, most programs require courses similar to these:

  • Business Analytics
    This course integrates human resources with data analytics, enhancing decision-making processes. It explores analytical tools, statistical methods, and data-driven insights to optimize HR practices. Graduates gain a competitive edge by combining HR expertise with advanced analytics skills, contributing to organizational success.
  • Marketing and Strategy
    The Marketing and Strategy course merges HR principles with strategic marketing concepts. It delves into branding, market analysis, and strategic planning within an HR context. Graduates acquire a unique skill set, blending HR expertise with marketing strategies, positioning them to contribute to organizational success in dynamic business environments.
  • Ethics and Responsibility
    This course emphasizes ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility within the HR framework. It explores ethical decision-making, sustainability, and societal impact. Graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate ethical challenges, fostering responsible HR practices for organizational success.
  • Sourcing and Managing Talent
    This course focuses on effective talent acquisition and management strategies. It covers recruitment methodologies, workforce planning, and employee retention. Graduates gain the expertise to attract, develop, and retain top talent, contributing to organizational success in the dynamic field of Human Resources.

Every online MBA in HR program ends with a capstone project. The capstone allows learners to demonstrate the skills they learned in a real-world scenario while building their resumes and learning even more new skills. Students usually select the subject matter of their capstone, ideal for those interested in working for a specific industry.

Skills Gained in an Online MBA in Human Resources Program

An Online MBA in Human Resources program equips students with diverse skills crucial for navigating the dynamic landscape of HR management. These acquired skills prepare professionals to address contemporary challenges and contribute significantly to organizational success in the field of Human Resources. Accredited online MBA programs should help students develop the following skills:

  • Strategic HR Management
  • Talent Acquisition and Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Compensation and Benefits Design
  • Employee Relations
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • HR Analytics and Data Management
  • Legal and Ethical HR Practices
  • Leadership and Communication
  • Change Management and Innovation

MBA in Human Resources vs. MSW in Human Resources: Understanding the Differences

Returning students looking for a graduate degree in human resources have several options, including an MBA or a master of social work (MSW). While both options lead to high-paying careers in human resources, the two have different program structures and outcomes.

Includes foundational business coursesIncludes foundational courses in social sciences and research
Covers topics like HR planning, strategy, and managementCovers the methods of social work, including working with groups
Prepares students for careers in businessPrepares students for careers in communities
Professionals often find careers working with white-collar employeesProfessionals often find careers working with unions

Specializations for Human Resources Students

In complement to an online MBA in Human Resources, individuals can enhance their career prospects by pursuing further studies and specialization in a specific industry. This focused expertise not only deepens knowledge but also significantly augments the potential for securing desirable employment opportunities. Some of the specializations in an MBA in  Human Resources are:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Talent ManagementThis specialization emphasizes attracting, retaining, and developing a skilled workforce. It delves into strategies for recruitment, performance evaluation, and employee development. This focus equips professionals with the expertise to optimize organizational talent, fostering a dynamic and competitive workforce for sustained business success.Talent Acquisition Specialists, HR Managers, and Training and Development Managers
Organizational DevelopmentThis specialization concentrates on enhancing workplace effectiveness and adaptability. It covers change management, leadership development, and fostering a positive organizational culture. Professionals specializing in Organizational Development contribute to creating resilient, innovative, and high-performing workplaces to meet evolving business challenges.Organizational Development Specialists, Change Management Consultants, and Leadership Development Managers
Compensation and BenefitsThis specialization focuses on designing and managing competitive and equitable reward systems. This specialization covers salary structures, employee benefits, and incentive programs, ensuring organizations attract and retain talent while aligning compensation strategies with business objectives for optimal employee satisfaction and organizational success.Compensation Analysts, Benefits Managers, and Total Rewards Specialists
Employee RelationsThis specialization centers on managing and fostering positive workplace relationships. It covers conflict resolution, communication strategies, and creating a harmonious work environment. Professionals with this specialization excel in cultivating a conducive atmosphere that promotes employee engagement, satisfaction, and overall organizational success.Employee Relations Specialists, HR Business Partners, and Conflict Resolution Managers
Diversity and InclusionThis specialization focuses on creating inclusive workplaces that value and leverage diversity. It addresses equity, bias reduction, and cultural competence, empowering professionals to build diverse teams and foster environments that promote equality, innovation, and organizational success in a globalized business landscape.Diversity and Inclusion Managers, Equity and Belonging Specialists, and Cultural Competence Consultants, 

Graduation Timeline

The graduation timeline for an MBA in HR varies. Full-time programs generally take two academic years, with core courses in the first year and specialization in the second. Part-time options extend the duration to accommodate working professionals. Accelerated programs may condense the curriculum for quicker completion. Program lengths may differ based on individual paces and structures.

One-Year Programs: Online MBA in Human Resources Program

Part-time online MBA in human resources learners might complete the program in 2-3 years, but some students prefer accelerating their education. One-year online MBA programs allow students to complete a quick, intensive program in under 12 months, shortening the time until they advance their careers. Some one-year online MBA in HR programs to consider include the following:

Online MBA in HR Admission Requirements

Every school sets its own requirements for admission, though most online MBA in HR programs set similar admissions requirements. Potential requirements for admission include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution
  • Submission of official transcripts
  • Résumé detailing work experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose outlining career goals
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional, program-dependent)
  • Application form and fee

MBA Human Resources Online No GMAT Programs

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam assessing analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills commonly required for admission to graduate business programs worldwide. Applying to an online MBA in human resources with no GMAT programs saves applicants time and money by avoiding the standardized test. Here are a few universities that offer online MBA human resources no GMAT programs:

Accredited Programs

Accreditation is a crucial validation for MBA in HR students, signifying program quality and adherence to industry standards. Accredited degrees carry enhanced credibility and recognition in the job market, providing students with a competitive edge. Employers value accredited qualifications, ensuring that graduates possess a high-caliber education and skills, ultimately contributing to advancing their careers in Human Resources.

 Here are three accreditation bodies for MBA programs in the United States:

  1. AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)5
  2. ACBSP (Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs)6
  3. IACBE (International Accreditation Council for Business Education)7

Universities can also be accredited nationally or by one of six regional accrediting agencies:

Free Online Human Resources Management Courses

Free online courses offer students valuable knowledge and skill enhancement without financial constraints. While these courses aren’t accredited, they provide accessible learning opportunities. MBA in HR graduates can broaden their understanding, explore new subjects, and acquire practical skills, contributing to personal and professional growth at no cost. Here are a few programs or courses to consider:

CourseFundamentals of Human Resources8
Offered byAlison
DescriptionThis free online course explores the basics of human resources, exploring essential functions, responsibilities, and objectives of HR professionals. Human resources plays a crucial role in organizational success. For those considering a career in Human Resources and uncertain about the initial steps, this course serves as a valuable starting point, providing preparation for an esteemed HR career.
CourseStrategic Human Resource Management9
Offered byUdemy
DescriptionThis free Strategic Human Resource Management course explores essential aspects for navigating unprecedented uncertainty, emphasizing collaboration, communication, and cultural sustainability in organizations. It positions learners as strategic partners, offering insights into HR’s role across talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, and employee development, fostering a shift from administration to strategic planning.
CoursePreparing to Manage Human Resources10
Offered byClass Central
DescriptionThis course lays the groundwork for skillfully managing employees by illustrating various human resource management (HRM) strategies, emphasizing the legal context, and examining employee motivation. The content provides a factual and conceptual basis for developing critical HRM skills in subsequent courses on hiring, performance management, and employee rewards.

How to Pay for an MBA in Human Resources Degree

As tuition fees escalate annually, pursuing an MBA in Human Resources online becomes progressively expensive. Before applying to any program, prospective students should seek funding options like scholarships, grants, federal loans, and FAFSA. Navigating these financial avenues is crucial to managing the increasing costs of an MBA in Human Resource Management education. Here are a few ways students can fund their degree programs:


Scholarships, granted for academic, extracurricular, or demographic merit, ease the financial strain of education, enhancing accessibility. Acknowledging and rewarding student achievements, scholarships encourage academic excellence and contribute to diverse educational pursuits.


Similar to scholarships, grants provide what is essentially free money to MBA students. Human resources students earn grants for different reasons, including financial need and academic excellence.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships offer financial support to graduate students, providing valuable professional experiences. These roles often include teaching, research, or administrative responsibilities and may come with stipends, tuition waivers, or additional benefits, contributing to academic and professional growth.


Fellowships provide financial aid and professional development opportunities to graduate students pursuing advanced degrees. These competitive programs often include stipends, tuition coverage, and additional benefits, fostering academic excellence and research contributions. Securing a fellowship enhances a student’s educational experience and contributes to the overall advancement of their field.

Student Loans

Student loans are financial tools that enable individuals to fund their education, covering tuition, living expenses, and other associated costs. While they offer immediate financial support, students must repay the borrowed amount with interest after graduation. Careful consideration of terms and repayment plans is crucial.


FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is crucial for U.S. students seeking financial assistance for higher education. It determines eligibility for federal grants, scholarships, and loans by assessing financial need.

Scholarships for Online MBA in HR Students

Scholarships for online MBA in HR students offer financial support to individuals pursuing advanced education in Human Resources management. These scholarships aim to alleviate the financial burden, enabling dedicated students to excel in their studies and contribute significantly to the field of HR through academic excellence and leadership. Here are two scholarships MBA in HR graduates can consider:

CXR Foundation Scholarship11

Every year, the CXR Foundation awards a scholarship to a U.S. resident linked to a talent acquisition sector professional intending to enroll or currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university. Qualified applicants encompass those engaged in corporate recruiting, talent acquisition, or affiliated roles within the industry.
Award/ Amount: $10,000
Deadline: Varies

J.C. Cote Scholarship12

The J.C. Cote Scholarship, awarded by the Arkansas SHRM State Council, recognizes and supports exceptional graduate students pursuing Human Resources or related degrees. This prestigious scholarship provides financial assistance, fostering academic achievement and leadership potential in advancing the HR profession.
Award/Amount: $1000
Deadline: September, annually

Career and Salary Outlook for Online Human Resources MBA Graduates

Human resources is broad, and professionals work in various positions and industries. Common career titles include human resources manager, training and development manager, and compensation and benefits manager. Regardless of the position an online MBA in HR graduate earns, most individuals work for businesses, corporations, or the government. While no amount of education guarantees any specific career title, salary, or position, an MBA in HR can lead to many positions, including the following.

OccupationMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (2022-2032)Job Description
Human Resources Manager13$130,0005% (faster than average)Human resources managers perform all types of administrative functions for businesses and organizations, including recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. These professionals also oversee benefits, staffing, and internal problems.
Human Resources Specialist14$64,2406% (faster than average)A human resources specialist performs many of the tasks of an HR manager, only with fewer responsibilities. Tasks included conducting internal research to determine new employment needs, performing background checks on applicants, and participating in interviews. 
Training and Development Managers15$120,0006% (faster than average)Instead of hiring new talent, training and development managers train current employees to align skills with the business goals. Other tasks include creating training programs, managing a training budget, and updating programs to remain relevant. 
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists16$67,7807% (faster than average)Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists compare different compensation plans, compare benefits and drawbacks, and then recommend packages to other HR professionals. Daily tasks include conducting surveys, creating job descriptions, and figuring out insurance. 

Resources for MBA Human Resources Online Students

In the Human Resources field, individuals, whether students or working professionals, frequently need to expand their knowledge and stay abreast of emerging market trends. HR practitioners should seize every chance to remain engaged with global HR communities, as these connections can provide valuable insights, current expertise, and effective problem-solving strategies. Here are some excellent resources for MBA in Human Resources graduates to start with:

  • Association of MBAs17
    Established in 1967, the Association of MBAs connects MBA, DBA, and master’s degree holders who work in business. AMBA publishes industry research and information, and members can access career advice and a job board.
  • Association for Talent Development18
    Created for those who develop talent, the Association for Talent Development connects professionals, shares innovative ideas, and publishes research. Members also gain access to an extensive job board.  
  • International Association for Human Resources Information19
    Founded 40 years ago, IHRIM is a global leader providing certification, education, and professional development for human resources professionals. Along with these benefits, members also get invited to an annual conference. 
  • National Black MBA Association20
    The National Black MBA Association educates and empowers Black students, entrepreneurs, and professionals. NBMBAA provides scholarship opportunities, networking opportunities, and professional development.
  • The Society for Human Resource Management21
    With over 300,000 members worldwide, SHRM is one of the largest organizations for HR graduates. SHRM provides certification, networking, and e-learning resources to members.

FAQs About MBA Human Resources Online Programs

What is an MBA in Human Resources?

An MBA in Human Resources is a graduate-level program focusing on developing managerial and strategic skills to manage an organization’s human capital. It covers areas such as recruitment, training, employee relations, and organizational development, preparing professionals to lead HR functions and contribute to overall business success.

How long does it take to complete an online MBA in Human Resources?

Are online MBAs in Human Resources programs easier to get into?

Do I need work experience to apply for an online MBA in the Human Resources program?

Can I interact with professors and peers in an online MBA in Human Resources program?

Can I do an MBA in Human Resources without a bachelor’s?

Is an MBA in Human Resources worth it?