HRMBA Top Degree Programs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for human resources managers is expected to grow by 6% through 2029, an increase of over 10,400 jobs. Human resource professionals find and recruit talent, engage in strategic planning efforts, and coordinate organizational functions of their business or organization. Earning a master’s degree is human resource management gives students the knowledge and experience needed to take on leadership and supervisory roles. These programs take a deep dive into HR specific content and best practices including employment laws and benefit administration.

To identify the top 20 best master’s in human resources, we started with a search on College Navigator to find out which schools offered these programs. We narrowed our focus to include only programs with a curriculum that aligns with the guidelines set by the Society for Human Resource Management. We then compared student to faculty ratios, average graduate tuition rates, and graduation rates. Where there are ties, we favored the school with the lower average graduate tuition rate. From our list, we created a rating system as seen below to select our top 20 on-campus master’s in human resources .

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 10:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 11:1 to 15:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 3 Points
  • More than $15,000 per year= 1 Point

Overall Graduation Rate

  • Less than 50%= 1 Point
  • Between 50% and 75%= 3 Points
  • Greater than 75%= 5 Points

SUMMARY RANKING OF THE TOP 10 BEST MASTER’S IN HUMAN RESOURCES:

  1. Purdue University
  2. Drake University
  3. Texas A&M University
  4. New York University
  5. University of Texas at Arlington
  6. Concordia University
  7. Florida International University
  8. Villanova University
  9. Pepperdine University
  10. Columbus State University

#20 –DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

Master of Science (MS) in Human Resources

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,584/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Points: 5

The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University features a top value master’s in human resources in the heart of Chicago’s business district. Students will study a variety of key HR functions including:

  • Labor relations
  • Talent management and recruitment
  • Employment law and ethics

This 12-course program includes HR and business electives which help students customize the program. New students are admitted to the program for the fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters. Over 90% of graduates reported being employed, continuing their education, or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

#19 – Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,912/year in-state and $33,600/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 46%
Points: 5

The high-quality Master of Science in human resources and organizational development from Eastern Michigan University is a flexible program available to both full and part-time students. This 30-credit hour program can be completed in two years by most full-time students. Program goals support students to:

  • identify organizational and HR needs and implement appropriate systems and strategies
  • improve organizational effectiveness by linking HRM and organizational development
  • work to identify, plan, implement and manage change

Graduates are successfully employed at top organizations like Bank of America, Ford Motor Company, and the Department of Agriculture.

#18 – The Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania

Masters of Science in Human Resources and Employment Relations

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $21,960/year in-state and $37,694/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Points: 7

Penn State University College of Liberal Arts offers a high-value MS in human resources and employment relations (HRER). This 39-credit hour program prepares students for a variety of HR and employment relations roles while emphasizing diversity in the workplace. Students can complete the base program or choose a more focused study with an HR or ER option. The ER option prepares students for a career in employment relations and the HR option is for those in the human resource management field. For students interested in pursuing both a law degree and a master’s in human resource management, Penn State offers a joint JD/MS in HRER. Both a thesis and capstone track are available for students to choose from depending on their future professional and educational goals.

#17 – Roosevelt University – Chicago, Illinois

Master of Science, Human Resource Management (MSHRM)

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $20,858/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 41%
Points: 7

Roosevelt University offers a top master’s in HR management through the Heller College of Business. The program is designed to appeal to current HR professionals and those looking for a career change. Small class size and student-focused faculty give students a personalized education. Core courses include:

  • Compensation Management
  • Employee Selection and Staffing
  • Organizational Change and Development

New students are admitted for the fall, spring, and summer terms. The flexible and convenient schedule meets the demands of working professionals who benefit from evening and weekend courses.

#16 – Loyola University – Chicago, Illinois

Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR)

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,594/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Points: 7

The Loyola MSHR is a top-value human resources master’s degree program that promotes career advancement. Students will develop HR management and employment relations skills that are in demand by top employers. The curriculum fully aligns with the SHRM guidelines and gives students a global perspective of the industry. Courses are offered during the evening and follow a 10-week quarter system. Required courses include:

  • Analytical Problem Solving
  • Staffing
  • Global Human Resource Management

Students with less than three years of professional HR experience and complete an internship, giving them valuable hands-on training and professional development.

#15 – Azusa Pacific University – Azusa, California

Master of Arts in Management (MAM) Concentration in Human Resource Management

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,592/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 68%
Points: 7

Azusa Pacific University offers one of the best value human resources master’s degree programs in the country. Students can choose to study at the main campus or at one of four regional campus locations. Courses are offered in eight-week terms, and full-time students can earn their degree in just 12 months. The human resource management concentration is approved by the SHRM and provides students with a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses like:

  • Labor Law and Negotiations for Human Resource Professionals
  • Designing and Managing Compensation and Benefit Systems
  • Human Resource Law

Students are engaged in real-life case studies and hands-on experience which prepare them for the workforce. New students are admitted in any of the six terms offered during the academic year.

#14 – University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master of Arts in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,580/year in-state and $27,204/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 83%
Points: 7

The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota has been educating HR leaders for over 75 years. Their innovative curriculum includes hands on experience working on multicultural teams. Core courses include:

  • Using Data and Metrics in HRIR
  • Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
  • Compensation and Benefits

Full-time students complete an internship, gaining valuable professional experience. Students complete 22 credit hours of elective coursework that allows them to tailor the program to meet their professional goals. Full and part-time program options are available. Over 90% of recent graduates accepted employment offers within six months of graduation.

#13 – University of Rhode Island – Kingston, Rhode Island

Labor Relations and Human Resources M.S.

Image result for the university of rhode island logo

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,734/year in-state and $26,512/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 69%
Points: 7

The affordable labor relations and human resources master’s degree from the Univerity of Rhode Island is a 30-credit hour multidisciplinary program. Courses are offered during the evenings and weekends to both full and part-time students. Applications are accepted year-round and new students are admitted for the fall and spring semesters. Courses include:

  • Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
  • Work, Employment, and Society
  • Global Politics of Work and Social Welfare

Graduates are well prepared for HR roles in a variety of professional settings including labor unions, business firms, and government agencies.

#12 – University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Tennessee

Master of Science in Management and Human Resource Management

Image result for the university of tennessee knoxville logo

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,458/year in-state and $29,656/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 72%
Points: 7

Today’s HR professionals make important business decision and help shape their organization’s culture. The University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business offers a master’s in management and human resources that prepares students for these expanded roles through their dual focus program. Students will gain a strong foundation in HR while developing their leadership, analytical, and decision-making skills. Courses are offered during the evening hours and students can complete the program at their own pace in one, two, or three years. New students are admitted during the fall semester.

#11 – Houston Baptist University – Houston, Texas

Master of Science in Human Resources Management

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,350/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 44%
Points: 7

The affordable master’s in human resource management offered by the Archie W. Dunham College of Business at Houston Baptist University is an innovate program with on-campus and online program options. Students gain a global view of human resource management while learning how to improve individual and organizational performance. There are no electives and core requirements include courses in:

  • Transformational Leadership and Ethics
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Staffing and Performance Management

Classes meet one evening per week, allowing working students to balance their education with other life obligations.

#10 – Columbus State University – Columbus, Georgia

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership-Human Resource Management Track

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,300/year in-state and $11,394/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 38%
Points: 7

Columbus State University features a high-quality Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a program track in human resources management. Columbus Sate offers courses with small class size, giving students the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with faculty and peers. Courses cover areas like:

  • resource planning
  • recruiting and training
  • performance management and disciplinary processes

Graduates are prepared to sit for certification exams including the Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources. Both full and part-time students are considered for admission. Full-time students can earn their degree in just four semesters.

#9 – Pepperdine University – Malibu, California

Master of Science in Human Resource

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $34,900/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 86%
Points: 9

The top master’s in human resources from Pepperdine University is a 39-credit hour program that can be completed in just 12 months. Pepperdine offers the only AACSB accredited human resources master’s program on the West Coast. The curriculum aligns with the SHRM HR Curriculum Guidelines and courses are taught by outstanding faculty with professional real-world experience. Internships are available for students who want to strengthen their resume through professional experience. There is no GMAT/GRE required for admission.

#8 – Villanova University – Villanova, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Human Resource Development

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $20,506/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 90%
Points: 9

Villanova University offers a high-value, comprehensive MS in Human Resource Development for students planning a career in HR. This 36-credit hour program is comprised of eight-week core classes and a capstone experience. Required courses include:

  • Employment Law
  • Training and Development
  • Strategic Workforce Planning

Certificates are available to complement the master’s program and add value to the program. Available certificates include:

  • HR Business Partner
  • HR Analytics and Research
  • HR Leadership
  • Organizational Development

Villanova welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences into their HR master’s program.

#7 – Florida International University – Miami, Florida

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,912/year in-state and $21,393/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
Points: 9

Florida International University created a high-quality master’s in human resource management that prepares students to effectively manage a diverse workforce. Full-time students can complete the program in about one year while part-time students can expect to finish in two years. The flexible weekend schedule is taught by HR executives and uses case studies and other forms of applied learning to keep students engaged. Classes are offered on Saturdays and students take four courses each semester. Courses include:

  • Performance Management
  • Staffing Organizations
  • Rewards Systems Management

Students complete three professional development seminars that help students in their job search.

#6 – Concordia University – St. Paul, Minnesota

Master of Arts in Human Resource Management

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,550/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 51%
Points: 9

The affordable, 36-credit hour human resource management master’s degree from Concordia University-St. Paul is offered in a residential, online, and blended format. The program covers essential human resource competencies that are in-demand by organizations in every sector. Courses include:

  • Strategic Human Resources and Management
  • Legal Environment for Human Resource Leaders
  • Recruitment, Retention, and Selection

Students can choose to study abroad, gaining unique insights into global organizations. Courses are taken in a sequential order and there are no electives. Graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce with 95% of grads reporting they received a job offer within a year of graduation.

#5 – University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, Texas

Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,474/year in-state and $21,206/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 51%
Points: 9

The inexpensive human resource management master’s program at the University of Texas Arlington is a specialized program for entry level to mid-career HR professionals seeking to enhance their career. This 36-credit hour program offers evening courses to full or part-time students. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, or summer terms. Courses include:

  • Compensation and Reward Systems
  • Training and Development
  • Human Resource Law

Students without industry experience can complete an internship with a local firm, preparing them to launch their career after graduation.

#4 – New York University – New York, New York

MS in Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD)

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $33,408/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Points: 11

New York University features a master’s in human resource management and development taught by some of the top scholar-practitioners in the country. Students will explore management principles while gaining an understanding of data-driven metrics and business strategy. The cutting-edge curriculum aligns with the SHRM guidelines, making it easy for students to transition from the classroom to the real-world. Students have four concentration options to choose from, including:

  • Human Capital Management
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Global Talent Management
  • Learning, Development, and Executive Coaching

Over 95% of HRMD graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

#3 – Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas

MS in Human Resource Management

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,677/year in-state and $18,700/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 82%
Points: 11

The Mays Business School at Texas A&M University offers a low-cost human resource management master’s degree program focused on leadership development and strategic thinking. Students take specialized coursework where they are exposed to key business components and HR competencies. Courses include:

  • Organizational Change and Development
  • Organizational Staffing
  • Talent Management

This full-time program includes a professional summer internship which gives students valuable hands-on experience. Students can complete their degree in just 16 months of study.

#2 – Drake University – Des Moines, Iowa

Master of Science in Leadership Development-Talent Development

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,568/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 81%
Points: 13

The School of Education at Drake University offers a high-value MS in leadership development that is ideal for current and aspiring human resource professionals. Courses are offered online or face-to-face. Unique course offerings include:

  • Learning and Technology
  • Designing, Developing, and Delivering Learning

The collaborative learning environment allows students from different industries and disciplines to develop their leadership ability and experience unique perspectives. There is no application fee and no admittance exams, so what are you waiting for?

#1 – Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana

MS in Human Resource Management

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,208/year in-state and $28,010/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 82%
Points: 13

Our top choice for a master’s in human resource management is offered by Purdue University. Purdue’s Krannert School of Management is dedicated to the development of HR-focused leaders. This full-time, 18-month program includes courses in:

  • Industrial Relations
  • Human Capital Consulting
  • Compensation and Rewards

Purdue offers their HR students career building experiences through leadership development and hands-on training. During the final semester of the program, students complete a Human Capital Consulting project. This unique opportunity allows students to work in small teams to assist an organization to work on a problem or challenge.

Other Rankings of Interest:

By HRMBA Staff