An advanced degree can open the door to more opportunities in HR, and in order to achieve this, a future student needs to complete the general prerequisites for a Master’s in human resources. Higher education prepares professionals for positions in leadership and policy development among others. The skills taught in a graduate program build off previous knowledge in the field, so it is important to have a strong foundation. Some key requirements for a Master’s programs are as follows.

Educational Requirements

While the admissions requirements for human resources graduate programs can vary, all schools require a Bachelor’s degree. While it does not have to be completed before applying to the program, the student needs to have finished before classes start. Most programs also have a cut-off for minimum GPA around 3.0. Some programs have more specific stipulations and require a degree in a specific field. In other cases, there are recommended classes for students to take during their undergraduate career, like a statistics class, but usually, if not taken, students can take this as an extra class in the graduate program.

Read: Top 50 Best Online Master’s in HR Degree Programs (MSHR)

Examination: The GRE and GMAT

Another metric that admissions boards use is a standardized test score. While not all programs require this, the majority do. These tests allow for more objective comparison between candidates. Students must check with their prospective schools to see which scores they accept. Each test is computer-based and 3-1/2 hours long. The GRE includes two essays, two language sections, and two mathematics sections. The GMAT is similar but only has one essay and one test each for the verbal and math components but also includes a logic and reasoning test. According to U.S. News & and World Report, students who excel in math will do better on the GMAT, whereas those who have better language skills should opt for the GRE when given the choice. After determining which test is the preferred prerequisite for a particular human resources graduate school, many students enroll in a prep class.

Admission Interview

Not every school requires an interview for admission to a human resources graduate program, but the more selective institutions use this as an opportunity to learn about the candidates on a more personal level. One of the main questions asked involves a student’s motivation for pursuing this career. Students have a chance to give an in-depth explanation of where their passions lie within the field of human resources, whether that be recruiting, training, or employment wellness management. During the interview, admission boards look for things that set each applicant apart including other work or volunteer experiences and leadership positions. This requirement for an advanced degree in HR is very beneficial to students as well because it gives them an opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the specific program.

The above list includes the necessary steps for admission into graduate school. It is also advantageous for students to think about what area of human resources they want to pursue. Other related classes and skills like computer programming and networking, organizational psychology, and foreign language proficiency in addition to the official prerequisites for a Master’s in human resources can also help an application.