If you are interested in earning a graduate degree majoring in HR or HR management, you first need to learn if you need work experience for a Master’s in Human Resources degree.

There are various admissions requirements that are dependent upon the school that you attend and also the type of graduate degree that you choose to pursue. While work experience is a requirement for some programs, it is not a universal requirement for all Master’s students. Read on, and find out if you will need to work in HR before you get a Master’s or if you can go straight from your baccalaureate program.

Master’s Degree Program Requirements

If you would like to earn your Master’s degree majoring in Human Resources, you will be taking technical coursework centered entirely around subjects that are relevant in the field. Since this is a terminal degree, the admissions requirements are more focused around the type of Bachelor’s degree that you have earned and not whether or not you have professional HR experience.

Related: Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Human Resources Degree Programs 2015

Typically, to earn an MS or an MA degree in HR you will need to have a degree in Business, Human Resources or a related field where you have taken all of the prerequisite coursework. The coursework you take for a Bachelor’s degree is more introductory and this prepares you for what you will need to know for your Master’s curriculum. It is not normal for a school offering terminal graduate programs to have any type of work experience requirement.

Master of Business Administration Degree Concentrating on Human Resource Management

If you are leaning more towards earning a professional graduate degree with a business focus, the admissions requirements are a bit different. For a Master of Business Administration with a concentration on Human Resource Management, you will need professional experience rather than a specific type of degree. Since MBA programs are meant to create well-rounded business professionals, they cover several different topics that pertain to business. With a concentration, your elective courses will all be HR-focused.

MBA programs do have work experience requirements just because they are for professionals. If you have any type of bachelor’s degree, it will meet the prior education requirements. It is the number of years that you have worked in a business setting that matters to a business school. A traditional MBA program may require between 2 and 5 years of experience. A professional or executive program may require 7 to 15 years of experience.

Are There Any Other Admissions Requirements?

Your educational performance is very important when you take a terminal degree program or a traditional MBA program with little work experience. This is why the school will look at your GPA and merit. You will also need to take either the GRE or the GMAT exam for admissions. This is a standardized test that measures your aptitude to see if you are ready to cover graduate subject matter.

As you can see, there is no definitive answer surrounding whether or not you can gain entry to a program without professional experience. You need to first decide which graduate HR degree you want the most and which will help you achieve your goals. After you do this, you can find out if you need work experience for a Master’s in Human Resources degree or not.