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Top Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources

Individuals interested in human resources have several choices when it comes to degree and career opportunities. A human resources degree can equip students with the most comprehensive and applicable workplace management knowledge, regardless of the industry. But between the vast array of degrees and specialties, how can students choose which educational path is best? This in-depth guide will detail the requirements, benefits, and possible career options for graduates of human resources programs at all degree levels. Read on for information on what types of academic options are available and what earning an online degree involves.

Best Online Human Resources Degree for 2017

An online human resources degree program is accredited by at least one of a number of regional or national accrediting agencies, ensuring the program is well-designed and meets specific criteria for rigor and quality curriculum. Programs should fully support students, from flexible scheduling to access to academic counseling to internships and career counseling. Using our extensive methodology, we’ve looked at the online human resources degree programs across the country – from associate programs to doctoral degrees – and ranked them on a variety of scoring metrics. Check out our comprehensive list of the Best Online Human Resources Programs for 2017.

RankUniversity Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher RatioUniversity Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
1Pitt Community College Score97.99
Net Price
Financial aid %11%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
2Mitchell Community College Score93.49
Net Price
Financial aid %9%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
3Wake Technical Community College Score92.39
Net Price
Financial aid %2%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
4Fayetteville Technical Community College Score92.28
Net Price
Financial aid %1%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
5Central Ohio Technical College Score90.39
Net Price
Financial aid %4%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
6Milwaukee Area Technical College Score89.38
Net Price
Financial aid %N/A
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
7Lehigh Carbon Community College Score88.71
Net Price
Financial aid %2%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
8Cuyahoga Community College Score88.50
Net Price
Financial aid %2%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
9Columbus Technical College Score88.35
Net Price
Financial aid %N/A
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
10Minnesota State Community and Technical College Score86.73
Net Price
Financial aid %5%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
RankUniversity Name Score Net Price Financial aid percent Online Programs Aavailable Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateUniversity Information Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services
1University of St Francis Score99.80
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs4
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
2Webster University Score97.96
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate64%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
3Davenport University Score97.67
Net Price
Financial aid %89%
#Online programs4
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate40%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
4Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Score96.91
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate62%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
5Concordia University-Wisconsin Score96.67
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate59%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
6Saint Leo University Score96.59
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
7Briar Cliff University Score96.11
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
8Franklin Pierce University Score95.90
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate50%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
9Brenau University Score95.86
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate45%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
10Indiana State University Score95.84
Net Price
Financial aid %75%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
11Baker College Score95.82
Net Price
Financial aid %72%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate25%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
12Tiffin University Score95.48
Net Price
Financial aid %92%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate33%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
13Dickinson State University Score95.27
Net Price
Financial aid %63%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate35%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
14Colorado Christian University Score95.26
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate40%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
15Marygrove College Score95.22
Net Price
Financial aid %92%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate16%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
16Buena Vista University Score95.20
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate51%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
17McKendree University Score95.15
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
18William Penn University Score95.13
Net Price
Financial aid %96%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate31%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
19Cardinal Stritch University Score95.10
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
20Belhaven University Score95.08
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate49%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
21Central Michigan University Score95.06
Net Price
Financial aid %69%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate57%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
22University of Saint Mary Score94.97
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate37%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
23Cedar Crest College Score94.93
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate61%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
24LeTourneau University Score94.89
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate61%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
25Mount Mercy University Score94.87
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate54%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
26Lindenwood University Score94.85
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate41%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
27Siena Heights University Score94.83
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate43%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
28Geneva College Score94.79
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate62%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
29Indiana Wesleyan University Score94.74
Net Price
Financial aid %50%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate70%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
30Fontbonne University Score94.72
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate34%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
31Huntington University Score94.61
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate59%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
32Saint Francis University Score94.59
Net Price
Financial aid %98%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate65%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
33Bellevue University Score94.57
Net Price
Financial aid %51%
#Online programs3
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate31%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
34Hampton University Score94.49
Net Price
Financial aid %47%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate59%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
35DeSales University Score94.20
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate68%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
36Troy University Score94.19
Net Price
Financial aid %45%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate35%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
37Immaculata University Score94.16
Net Price
Financial aid %96%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate53%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
38Emmanuel College Score94.12
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate58%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
39Anderson University Score94.11
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate48%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
40Amridge University Score94.10
Net Price
Financial aid %100%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad RateN/A
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
41Roosevelt University Score94.05
Net Price
Financial aid %92%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate42%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
42Rochester Institute of Technology Score94.04
Net Price
Financial aid %90%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate63%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
43Concordia University-Saint Paul Score93.98
Net Price
Financial aid %85%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate47%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
44Cleary University Score93.97
Net Price
Financial aid %77%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate47%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
45Western Carolina University Score93.96
Net Price
Financial aid %67%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate48%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
46University of the Incarnate Word Score93.92
Net Price
Financial aid %99%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate48%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
47Charleston Southern University Score93.88
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs2
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate38%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
48Southwestern College Score93.84
Net Price
Financial aid %95%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate51%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
49La Salle University Score93.80
Net Price
Financial aid %94%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate68%
Credit for ExperienceNo Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less
50Pace University-New York Score93.76
Net Price
Financial aid %97%
#Online programs1
Student-Teacher Ratio
Grad Rate56%
Credit for ExperienceYes Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Read More Read Less

Overview of the HR Field

Human resources covers a wide range of skills, departments, and careers. Jobs available to those holding a degree in HR range from administration services manager, compensation and benefits manager, HR specialists, and labor relations specialists to top executives, training and development managers, and specialists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2012, the average median income for Human Resource Managers was $99,720 – well over double the national average income of $44,888.

When it comes to job growth, BLS projects a 7 percent employment gain for the field between 2012 and 2022, which is lower than the average growth rate across all industries. Because the expansion of human resources is slower than that of other fields, industry competition can be expected to increase slightly. Therefore, a degree is necessary for success in any HR position.

Types of Online Human Resources Degrees

As with almost all educational paths, there is no single way to complete a human resources degree. Some students begin learning at the associate level and don’t stop until they’ve achieved a PhD, while others may seek a sole associate or bachelor’s degree. The learning medium also varies widely, with on-campus and online classes available in any number of combinations.

In recent years, the capabilities and availability of online programs have grown exponentially, giving students the opportunity to complete their educations with far more flexibility than ever before. Now, those currently juggling jobs, families and busy schedules can acquire a human resources degree by completing courses either fully or partially online, and at their own pace. With the variety of degree levels and programs available, it’s important that the potential student chooses the one that’s best aligned to their goals and lifestyle. Below is a closer look into the human resources timeline.

Online Associate’s Degree: Two Years

Two-year associate degrees will give students a broad overview of the field. In most cases, many of the general and prerequisite course requirements necessary to continue on to a bachelor’s degree will be met during the course of the associate’s program. Graduates holding an associate’s degree may find job opportunities in entry-level positions such as human resource generalists.

Acceptance to an online associate’s degree program is generally relatively straightforward. In most cases, a high school diploma or GED is required. Once an application and all required paperwork (e.g. transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) have been submitted, applicants may also need to successfully pass a required English and math placement examinations (or other like tests), depending on the school.

Coursework is generally completed in 60 credits, though it may differ slightly between schools and programs. Curriculum should prepare students for every aspect of human resource management, including employee benefits, compensation management, labor relations, interpersonal communications and recruitment, all on a basic level.

Schools Offering Online Associate’s Degrees in Human Resources

American Public University System

Associate Degree Program Offered: Human Resources Management and Services, Other

Enrollment: 55,422

Tuition: $6,400

College Type: Private

Herkimer County Community College

Associate Degree Program Offered: Human Resource Management AAS

Enrollment: 3,212

Tuition: $6,420

College Type: Public

New England College of Business

Associate Degree Program Offered: Human Resources Management, AS Degree

Enrollment: 1,145

Tuition: $9,235

College Type: Private

South Texas College – Online

Associate Degree Program Offered: Human Resources Specialist Associates

Enrollment: 31,232

Tuition: $7,170

College Type: Public

Online Bachelor’s Degree: Four Years

A bachelor’s degree in human resource management will allow students to understand the broader aspects of the field and choose to narrow their focus down with a specialty should they so choose. Graduates will be equipped to enter HR careers in a variety of business settings and should be prepared to pursue future graduate study.

Acceptance into most online human resources bachelor’s programs requires that students submit an application and application fee, an essay stating purpose, transcripts from previous educational work, SAT/ACT test scores, letters of recommendation, a resume, and any other required documents.

Course titles and curriculum will vary by school and program, but generally, the subjects offered will be the same. For example, core subjects often include history, behavioral/social science, mathematics and natural sciences, humanities and fine arts, and written composition. Prerequisites to the professional courses include business statistics, accounting, computer applications, and introductions to business and law. Professional courses may include labor/management relations, marketing principles, employment law, compensation and benefits, organizational behavior and team building, and business policy.

Schools Offering Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources

Anderson University

Bachelor’s Degree Programs Offered: Bachelor of Organizational Leadership in Human Resource Administration; Organizational Behavior Studies

Enrollment: 5,408

Tuition: $20,900-$28,170

College Type: Private

Excelsior College

Bachelor’s Degree Program Offered: Business Management – Human Resources

Enrollment: 39,897

Tuition: $17,000

College Type: Private

Fort Hays State University Online

Bachelor’s Degree Programs Offered: Bachelor of Business Administration in Management – Human Resources; Bachelor of Science in Business Education – Training and Development

Enrollment: 13,441

Tuition: $5,778

College Type: Public

Lewis University

Bachelor’s Degree Program Offered: Organizational Behavioral Studies

Enrollment: 6,525

Tuition: $26,780

College Type: Private

Rasmussen College Online

Bachelor’s Degree Program Offered: Accelerated Human Resources and Organizational Leadership – Bachelor’s Degree

Enrollment: 15,446

Tuition: $10,764

College Type: Private

Florida International University
  • Enrollment: 51,334
  • Tuition: $6,417
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Human Resource Management
University of Maryland
  • Enrollment: 43,574
  • Tuition: $6,384
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Maryland
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management
Thomas Edison State College
  • Enrollment: 19,596
  • Tuition: $5,508
  • College Type: Public
  • State: New Jersey
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) - Human Resources Management/Organizational Management

Online Master’s Degree: Six Years

An online master’s degree in human resources should allow students to develop the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to take on leadership positions, such as director or vice president of human resources. Learn more about obtaining a master’s in human resources with our guide on the topic.

Online Doctorate Degree: Eight+ Years

Doctorate degrees are the highest level of education attainable for students of human resources. They are typically pursued when the student’s goal is to teach human resources or achieve an executive position in the workplace. Online doctorate programs are designed to be flexible for the students managing families, busy schedules and careers.

Doctoral programs can be achieved in roughly 60 credit hours depending on the school and program, totaling two years. Many programs can be completed wholly online, while others may require occasional or regular on-campus meetings.

To enroll in most online human resources doctoral programs, applicants must:

  • Possess a graduate degree from an accredited institution
  • Submit an admission application
  • Provide transcripts for all graduate coursework (and possibly previous coursework)
  • Have maintained a GPA that meets the standards of the program to which they are applying
  • Provide letters of recommendation
  • Provide a current resume
  • Submit an essay or statement of purpose describing the student’s interest in HR
  • Have relevant professional experience (two to five years or more, depending on the school)

Common coursework includes managing global challenges; advanced operations management; and strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Students may also choose an area of focus, including areas such as international business, management and marketing. In addition to class work, some programs require that students complete a dissertation.

Schools Offering Online Doctorate Degrees in Human Resources

University of Arkansas

Doctorate Degree Program Offered: Educational Doctorate in Human Resource and Workforce Development

Enrollment: 25,341

Tuition: $16,260

College Type: Public

University of South Florida

Doctorate Degree Program Offered: Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (Career and Workforce Education concentration)

Enrollment: 47,965

Tuition: $19,057-$22,993

College Type: Public

Bellevue University

Doctorate Degree Program Offered: PhD in Human Capital Management

Enrollment: 9,788

Tuition: $9,210

College Type: Private

Signs of a Quality Online HR Program

Whether students are interested in an online associate degree in human resources or pursuing their advanced educations with a master’s or PhD, they’ll want to be sure to choose the program that best fits their occupational goals, schedule, budget and timeline. When deciding between online schools with which to pursue a degree in HR, it’s important to be aware of the following criteria.

Accreditation

In many disciplines, accreditation agencies approve degree programs in their own field, such as AASCB accreditation for online MBA programs. For human resources programs, however, there is no single national accrediting agency, so schools are instead accredited at the regional or national level. If the degree program you’re interested in is accredited by an agency or organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, you can trust that the curriculum is well-designed and applicable in the field. Below is a very brief sampling of some of these accrediting agencies; this is by no means a comprehensive list. Students are encouraged to research accreditation associations for further information.

Regional accreditation agencies include:

  • ACCJC-WASC: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • HLC: Higher Learning Commission
  • MSCHE: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • NEASC-CIHE: New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • SACS COC: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • WASC-SCUC: WASC Senior College and University Commission

National accreditation agencies include:

  • DEAC: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • AACSB: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Scheduling Flexibility

Online education is centered around the idea that students should be able to achieve their educational goals on their own timeline, while maintaining their daily lives. It is important to make sure that courses are available on a part-time or full-time basis, day and night, to suit the changing schedules of students working jobs and taking care of families.

Student Support

In a distance learning program, it is important that students have the technical and academic support required to achieve their degrees. Students should investigate the available resources outside of the classroom, including financial aid programs, career and academic counseling, availability of professors and advisors, communication technology, academic resources, and employment assistance programs. Quality programs will offer online students the same supportive programs that those attending classes on-campus enjoy as well.

Internships and Employment Assistance Programs

Student support goes beyond the educational years. Schools should provide support to both students and alumni in career advancement with job placement and HR internship programs, and assistance in pursuing post-graduate education.

Online Human Resource Degree Search Tool

Online degrees in human resources range from associate to doctorate, and each provide graduates with different opportunities. Before selecting an online program, prospective students must ask themselves what type of career they aspire to. Once decided, the search tool below can find the best program matched to those needs while also factoring in important program characteristics such as accreditation, flexibility, concentration areas, and student support services.