What are Human Resources Degree Requirements and the Core Courses in a Bachelor’s Program?

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subjects required for human resource management

Human Resources Degree Requirements

Are you interested in human resource management degree requirements? Maybe you are thinking about an on-campus or online bachelor’s. You may be wondering which classes to take for human resources major. It is important that you are aware of the core courses in a bachelor’s in human resources program to know exactly what you will be studying. Then you can decide if a major in HR is right for you. In most cases, undergraduate programs in HR are housed within a college’s business school. This is to offer students the specialized learning needed to lay the foundational knowledge for playing a prominent role in managing today’s diverse work forces. HR professionals deal with topics such as:

  • compensation and benefits
  • talent acquisition
  • project management
  • hiring and training
  • employee relations
  • strategic planning

Bachelor’s degree in human resources programs are typically aimed at providing the decision making, leadership, interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills most needed in company HR departments. Below we will take a look through the courses that are generally found within the curriculum of bachelor’s in human resources programs aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) guidelines.

Related Resource: What is Workforce Diversity?

General Education and Business Courses

Which classes for human resources degree are required? In the first and second years of the program, most bachelor’s in human resources degree courses will focus on offering a well-rounded education with general or liberal arts course requirements. HR majors will usually need to take at least three credits of coursework in:

  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • English
  • writing
  • communications
  • history
  • political science
  • psychology
  • social science

While completing these classes for human resource degree, students will also start delving into the dynamic business world by taking fundamental business coursework. Human resources professionals are given the responsibility of motivating employees, adhering to federal regulations, and developing successful workplaces. Having sound business knowledge is a must for human resource professionals. HR majors will likely have to complete general education courses in:

  • business administration
  • finance
  • management
  • accounting
  • marketing
  • business law

Major Human Resources Coursework

Which human resources college courses should you take? As you progress through the four-year curriculum, human resources programs will begin to specialize studies in coursework directly related to the knowledge needed to effectively manage an organization’s human capital. According to the SHRM curriculum guidebook, required content areas will include:

  • labor relations
  • employment law
  • ethics
  • globalization
  • job analysis
  • workplace diversity
  • organizational behavior
  • performance management
  • staffing
  • recruitment
  • strategic HR
  • compensation and benefits
  • training and development
  • talent management
  • workforce planning

In some cases, undergraduate programs will also deal with secondary content areas like:

  • career planning
  • human resource information systems
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • corporate social responsibility
  • outscoring
  • workplace health

All of these core hr college courses will be critical components to securing the future success of your career in HR.

Related Resource: Top 25 Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees Ranked by Graduation Rates

Recommended Electives

Although it may seem like your 120-credit curriculum is already full with all of these required core courses, the vast majority of bachelor’s in human resources programs will allow room for students to select their own electives, too. This will round out the human resource education requirements. In order to further supplement your learning in HR, you will take not only courses to take for human resources but other courses as well. It is suggested that you consider taking courses related to:

  • gender studies
  • sociology
  • industrial/organizational psychology
  • international business
  • economics
  • public relations
  • organization theory
  • ethical leadership
  • information systems
  • computer science
  • politics

Many students tend to think of free electives as a chance to pad their rigorous schedule with easy classes that boost their GPA. It is recommended that you select electives from other areas of study that will complement your HR major to boost career development.


Now that you have asked questions, done some critical thinking, and know what courses for human resources degree are required, you can take the next step and start to make a plan for HR jobs as an HR manager. Overall, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human resources will provide an excellent academic foundation for entering a field projected to grow at the fast rate of 9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). HR management professionals have a median annual salary of $126,230. An entry level position makes less. Earning a master’s degree in HR and gaining real world experience can help you move toward the median salary. You may even be interested in earning a bachelor’s degree through an online human resources degree program. Once you complete the core courses in a bachelor’s in human resources program and human resources education requirements, you will be well-equipped with the professional abilities to work in HR departments for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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