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Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Human Resources

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 12/07/2018
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Behind every well orchestrated organization is a strong human resource team. This department handles recruitment, training, compensation, benefits, employee relations, and organizational development. Therefore, students who earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources qualify for a variety of lucrative career paths upon graduation. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earn an average of $110,120 per year.

A bachelor’s in human resources exposes students to human resource principles and practices. This degree also establishes a bridge between technology and business while developing pertinent collaboration and communication skills. Additionally, many learners gain an understanding of finance or education. While students can attend on-campus programs, online programs have emerged that provide students with the flexibility to balance work, family, and school commitments.

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Human Resources 2018-2019

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Online universities vary in both quality and accreditation. Students should explore programs details to identify a suitable match. However, without knowing what to look for, students often struggle with this research process. The list below contains online human resources degree programs vetted through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. IPEDS examines information such as the cost of tuition, graduation rate data, program-specific resources, and overall student services.

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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, New Jersey$11,40846%57%86%2No Yes Yes School website
2 Southern Nazarene University Bethany, Oklahoma$23,70098%-47%1Yes Yes Yes School website
3 Columbia College Columbia, Missouri$7,88727%-40%1Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$15,38483%52%71%1Yes Yes Yes School website
5 Bellevue University Bellevue, Nebraska$6,84062%-32%2Yes No Yes School website
6 Florida International University Miami, Florida$4,72144%50%60%2No Yes Yes School website
7 Dickinson State University Dickinson, North Dakota$5,13854%92%34%1Yes Yes Yes School website
8 Colorado Christian University Lakewood, Colorado$22,36096%-41%2Yes Yes Yes School website
9 Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, Indiana$9,08755%79%80%1Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Davenport University Grand Rapids, Michigan$15,93693%78%41%2Yes Yes Yes School website
11 University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona$10,16074%79%63%1No Yes Yes School website
12 Fontbonne University Saint Louis, Missouri$24,25096%90%48%1Yes Yes Yes School website
13 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, Kentucky$9,00061%91%40%1Yes Yes Yes School website
14 Cleary University Howell, Michigan$17,50094%47%39%1Yes Yes Yes School website
15 Nyack College Nyack, New York$24,50099%100%42%1Yes Yes Yes School website
16 Pennsylvania State University-Worldwide University Park, Pennsylvania$16,95235%56%87%2Yes Yes Yes School website
17 Wilmington University New Castle, Delaware$10,6203%-31%2Yes Yes Yes School website
18 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, Maryland$6,81611%-10%2Yes No Yes School website
19 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, Minnesota$21,25097%57%49%2Yes Yes Yes School website
20 Hampton University Hampton, Virginia$21,55267%65%58%1Yes Yes Yes School website
21 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas$7,20437%63%65%1No Yes Yes School website
22 Huntington University Huntington, Indiana$24,55499%89%60%1No Yes Yes School website
23 Indiana State University Terre Haute, Indiana$8,54668%86%41%1Yes Yes Yes School website
24 Hawai?i Pacific University Honolulu, Hawaii$23,16087%75%44%1Yes Yes Yes School website
25 Granite State College Concord, New Hampshire$7,2006%-21%1Yes Yes Yes School website
26 Indiana University-South Bend South Bend, Indiana$6,47843%77%32%1Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, Utah$5,7801%-19%1No No Yes School website
28 Baker College Flint, Michigan$9,00080%-18%1Yes Yes Yes School website
29 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, Indiana$8,14154%74%48%1Yes Yes Yes School website
30 Colorado State University-Global Campus Greenwood Village, Colorado$8,400---2Yes No Yes School website
31 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, Texas$18,90070%23%42%1Yes Yes Yes School website
32 Central Baptist College Conway, Arkansas$13,50086%62%39%1Yes No Yes School website
33 Ohio Christian University Circleville, Ohio$10,46847%-30%1Yes No Yes School website
34 Charleston Southern University Charleston, South Carolina$24,10098%61%35%1No No Yes School website
35 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, New York$6,47074%-17%1Yes No Yes School website
36 Franklin University Columbus, Ohio$11,856--16%1Yes No Yes School website
37 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, New Jersey$6,350---1Yes No Yes School website
38 William Penn University Oskaloosa, Iowa$23,78099%59%31%1No Yes Yes School website
39 Limestone College Gaffney, South Carolina$23,90097%48%29%1No Yes Yes School website
40 Texas A & M University-Central Texas Killeen, Texas$4,174---1Yes No Yes School website
41 Peirce College Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$13,87294%--1Yes No Yes School website
42 Golden Gate University San Francisco, California$15,120---1No Yes Yes School website
43 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, Minnesota$6,563-10%33%1Yes No Yes School website
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Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, North Carolina$2,1284%13%2Yes Yes Yes School website
2 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, North Carolina$2,4322%12%2Yes Yes Yes School website
3 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, Wisconsin$3,9106%58%2Yes Yes Yes School website
4 Central Carolina Community College Sanford, North Carolina$2,4328%25%2Yes No Yes School website
5 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, Georgia$2,136-23%1Yes Yes Yes School website
6 Pitt Community College Winterville, North Carolina$1,82416%10%1Yes Yes Yes School website
7 Cuyahoga Community College Cleveland, Ohio$3,9534%9%1Yes Yes Yes School website
8 Pima Community College Tucson, Arizona$1,88410%14%1Yes No Yes School website
9 Saint Paul College Saint Paul, Minnesota$4,802-21%1Yes Yes Yes School website
10 Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota$4,7223%21%1Yes Yes Yes School website
11 Clackamas Community College Oregon City, Oregon$4,05018%19%2Yes No Yes School website
12 Mitchell Community College Statesville, North Carolina$2,4328%22%3No Yes Yes School website
13 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, Georgia$2,136-42%1No Yes Yes School website

How Much Can You Make in a Human Resources Career?

Human capital is a key factor in understanding an organization’s bottom line. Human resource departments in large companies often require teams of professionals who specialize in a particular area, while smaller organizations seek talented professionals who can handle multiple human resource responsibilities. No degree guarantees a particular job or salary, but an online human resources degree provides students with skills that make them an asset to employers and leads to a variety of career opportunities in this field. According to the BLS, human resource professionals are projected to see a 9% increase in job growth through 2026.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +7%
Job Description

Human resource specialists collaborate with employers to outline their talent needs, including interviewing applicants, verifying references, hiring, training, and monitoring employees. Other duties may include processing payroll and educating stakeholders about best practices and policies. To qualify for this role, most employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +9%
Job Description

Human resource managers devise plans and coordinate daily functions for incumbents. Additionally, these managers oversee benefit programs and advise other managers where conflict resolution is needed. At times, these managers must respond to harassment and equal opportunity complaints. Depending on the size of the organization, HR managers might oversee recruiting efforts including screening candidates, hiring, training, and performance management.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +9%
Job Description

These specialists are part of a human resource team, and they strive to assist organizations with monetary decisions and policy structures. Other duties include developing strategies that lead to an increase in worker productivity, but responsibilities may be more narrow depending on the size of the organization. For instance, a specialist might only be responsible for managing pensions.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +10%
Job Description

Training and development managers are responsible for outlining action plans for overall talent management. This includes creating course content for training and overseeing training programs, which may require professionals to collaborate with subject matter experts who know what should be included. These managers may also need to collaborate with peers to understand what additional needs must be addressed.

JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: +11%
Job Description

Training and development specialists assist with the creation of training materials and often lead courses themselves. These specialists conduct needs assessments through interviews, surveys, and one-on-one meetings with managers. Other responsibilities include maintaining systems and equipment needed for development purposes. To qualify for this role, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree.

Sources: BLS 2018

Students should understand job growth data when considering an online human resources degree, as multiple factors influence a graduate’s earning potential and number of opportunities. For instance, California, Texas, and New York have the highest level of employment for human resource specialists, which indicates these states are good geographic locations for this career path. However, the District of Columbia, New York, and Massachusetts are the highest paying states for this career path.

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Human Resources Degree?

Students should not assume that every human resource program offers what they need to pursue their ideal career. While general education requirements tend to be similar, core human resource content varies by school. Influential factors include accreditation and available resources the school has for program development. The list below contains common courses students may take. Students should consider the skills needed for their future career when assessing curricula.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior teaches student analytical skills used for assessing group behavior in professional settings. Ultimately, students should use data for management improvement, efficiency, and professional environment development for incumbents.

Human Resource Management Information Systems

This course teaches operation and integration practices that establish a connection between human resource information systems and professional environments. Students also learn alternative methods for increasing recruitment and simplifying the hiring process.

Introduction to Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions can lead to disruptions in professional environments. This course helps students adopt a strategic management viewpoint to address these scenarios. This course also provides insight on challenges professionals in the field experience currently.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Organizations directly impact their stakeholders by the decisions they make. CSR examines and sets standards for ethical and socially just organizational behavior. Course objectives include examining motives and methods of integration for CSR.

Performance Management

Human resource professionals use performance management systems that create higher productivity and quality of life for incumbents. This course also teaches students about different types of performance assessments, methods for coaching, and common mistakes.

How to Choose the Best Online Human Resources Program

Multiple components should be examined when choosing an online human resources degree. The accreditation of a university can impact marketability when applying for jobs or if a student needs to transfer. On the other hand, students considering an advanced degree in their field may want to identify a school’s program offerings or alumni tuition assistance. In this section, common questions about online human resources degrees are addressed.

How long does it usually take to complete an online human resources bachelor’s degree?

An online bachelor’s degree in human resources generally takes four years to complete if students attend full time. If attending part time, or if students choose a speciality or minor, program lengths may extend. There are also accelerated programs that allow students to graduate in under four years.

Which organizations provide accreditation to online human resources degree programs?

While the focus of human resource and business degrees differ, the curriculum shares commonalities. Therefore, students may want to consider programs accredited by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students should also consider regional accreditations for general education standard reassurance.

Does this degree lead to licensure or prepare me for certifications?

Multiple certifications exist for students through universities and professional organizations. For instance, the HRCI offers a PHR certification that indicates students thoroughly understand strategic development or risk management; field experience or an exam may be required.

Is it better to choose a bachelor of arts or science for a human resources degree?

While both options include similar content for major requirements, general education courses are quite different. A bachelor of arts focuses on liberal arts including sociology or psychology, which could prove useful for understanding others. Alternatively, a bachelor of science emphasizes math and science and develops problem solving and strategic thinking skills. Students should consider what skills they will need most for their chosen career path and decide on a bachelor of arts or science based on that information.

How much does an online human resources degree cost?

The cost of tuition depends on the type of school that interests the student. Online programs without brick-and-mortar facilities often charge less because they do not have the same overhead cost. Furthermore, many on-campus schools charge the same tuition rates for online students. In general, students should expect to pay between $6,000 and $10,650.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Human Resources Programs

Students who need financial assistance often resort to aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study. Both grants and work-study programs work in the student’s favor because they do not have to be repaid. However, loans collect interest and must be paid back after graduation. Scholarships are another aid option for students to consider, as they do not have to be repaid. Many organizations and foundations make it their mission to support specific populations of students and offer scholarship awards to help offset the cost of higher education. This list below includes scholarships for HR students.

Art Edgarian/Charles Umshied Scholarship

The San Antonio Human Resource Management Association offers a $1,000 scholarship to undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited university. Students must submit transcripts, recommendation letters, and an evidence-based essay using a SHRM article. Students who have won this scholarship in the past may reapply each year, and those involved in volunteer work and SHRM activities are given preference.

Drew Young Scholarship

DallasHR offers the Drew Young Scholarship to full-time undergraduate students who are in the last two years of their program. If applicants have not already joined, they must obtain a SHRM student membership and participate in functions throughout the year. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, submit official transcripts, and complete a 100-word essay explaining what inspired them to study HR. Winners receive $2,000 and free registration to The HRSouthwest Conference.

Gillette/National Urban League Scholarship and Internship Program for Minority Students

Each year, the National Urban League offers this scholarship to undergraduate students in their junior year who are enrolled full time at an accredited university. Students must rank within the top 25% of their class. Ideal candidates can provide proof of volunteer work, professional experience or internships, and leadership skills. In addition to the $5,000 scholarship, the winner also receives a paid internship at a Gillette company the following summer.

HRIS Payroll Software HR Scholarship

The HRIS Payroll Software company offers a $1,000 scholarship to students studying human resources in the U.S. Awards are given directly to the student’s university to cover tuition, books, or fees. Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and be able to prove their commitment to human resources in a personal statement. Letters of recommendation and transcripts are also required.

Walter Vaughn Excellence in Human Resources Scholarship

The National Forum for Black Public Administrators offers this $2,500 scholarship each year to students enrolled in an accredited bachelor’s degree in human resources. Students attending historically black colleges and universities have preference. Additional requirements include participation in extracurricular activities (besides athletics), exemplary communication skills, leadership skills, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students should also have work or volunteer experience and be able to provide letters of recommendation. Those working 35 or more hours per week are not eligible for this scholarship.