Best Online Human Resources Degrees

by Tessa Cooper, Maura Deering
reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Online HR Degrees

Many schools offer human resources degrees online. These programs prepare learners to pursue a variety of careers in the human resources (HR) field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for HR specialists to grow 10% from 2020-2030. These professionals only need a bachelor's degree to enter the field.

This page lists the best online HR degrees. Read on to learn the benefits of online human resources degrees, including costs and common classes. The final section explains how to become a human resources specialist.

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Questions About Human Resources


Which degree is best for HR?

Most employers look for job candidates with a bachelor's in human resources. A master's degree in this subject may help graduates qualify for more advanced roles.

What are some HR career options?

HR graduates may work as HR managers or specialists. Some degree-holders work as training and recruitment coordinators or benefits specialists.

How long does it take to become an HR manager?

Most professionals take about four years to become a human resources coordinator. This career only requires a bachelor's degree.

Why Get a Degree in Human Resources?

Earning this degree may lead to HR jobs that pay above-average salaries. HR specialists earn a median $62,290, according to the BLS. This figure surpasses the median annual salary of $45,760 for all occupations. Human resources managers earn $126,230.

Professionals who pursue human resources careers often find meaning in their work. HR professionals get to create functional and healthy work environments. They advocate for employees and create competitive benefits packages. These workers may also engage in conflict resolution practices.

Online human resources degrees provide convenience and flexibility. Many online programs run asynchronously. This format lets degree-seekers complete their studies around work and family.

How Much Does a Human Resources Degree Cost?

Online bachelor's degrees cost an average of $51,090, according to EducationData.org. However, cost varies by school and learners' residency status. Students attending public, in-state schools typically pay the most affordable tuition.

Master's degrees range from $30,000-$120,000. Students pursuing online human resources degrees can enroll in the most affordable program without relocating or commuting. This may help them save money on their degree.

Featured Online HR Programs

Additional Online Student Fees

Some colleges waive fees for in-person services for online students. However, online enrollees typically pay the same fees as in-person students. Online degree-seekers should budget for extra expenses, like graduation or technology fees.

Learners pursuing human resources degrees online should also plan to buy books. Students can save money by buying used or digital versions. HR degree-seekers may also need to buy special software. Additionally, online students need a reliable computer and internet.

How Much Do Human Resources Majors Make?

Salaries vary for different human resources jobs. Many factors influence pay, including employer, geographic location, and years of experience. HR managers in New York earn a mean annual wage of $84,200. The same professionals in Ohio only earn $63,910.

HR managers with less than one year of experience earn an average of $54,000 annually, according to April 2022 Payscale data. The same professionals with more than 10 years of experience earn $77,000.

Courses in Human Resources Programs

An associate degree in human resources requires about 60 credits and takes full-time learners two years to finish. A bachelor's degree in this subject requires about 120 credits and takes four years to complete.

Earning a human resources degree online provides flexibility. Colleges may offer asynchronous or synchronous online classes. Some colleges provide a combination of both.

Many programs let HR degree-seekers choose a concentration. Some schools may refer to this as a specialization, minor, or track. Common concentrations include business administration and organizational leadership.

See below for three common classes in an online human resources program.

How to Become a Human Resources Specialist

Aspiring HR professionals need an undergraduate degree. Some employers hire human resources specialists who only hold an associate degree. These professionals usually work in assistant or specialist roles. Human resources management jobs typically require at least a bachelor's degree.

Graduates can apply for jobs after earning the required degree. Learners should create a resume that lists professional references and related experience. A cover letter may also help an application stand out.

The HR field does not require certification. However, earning certifications may help candidates stand out in a competitive job market or help them qualify for higher-paying jobs. The Society for Human Resource Management and the HR Certification Institute both offer certifications.

Best Online Human Resources Degrees

#1 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

FIU's online human resources degree requires 120 credits. Learners take classes like compensation and benefits, managing diversity, and recruitment and staffing. 

First-year applicants submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students provide college transcripts. Those with fewer than 60 transferable credits send high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Admitted transfer students complete a math placement assessment.   

FIU requires a 2.5 GPA in college-level accounting, calculus, economics, microcomputer applications, and statistics. 

Available Scholarships: The FIU Online Distance Learning Scholarship

#2 Online College in Colorado

Colorado State University-Global Campus

School Information
Location Aurora, Colorado
Admission Rate 99%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Emergency management; foundations of accounting; healthcare management; marketing; project management; public and nonprofit management

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

CSU-Global's online human resources degree prepares graduates to work as HR coordinators, HR managers, and training and development specialists.

Optional specialization areas add 15 credits to the program. Online learners can finish their degrees sooner through alternative credit. Options include credit by examination, prior-learning assessments, and self-study assessments.

Applicants submit a high school transcript and a resume detailing two years of work experience. They may also submit college credit totaling 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours. First-year students submit ACT or SAT scores and transcripts showing a 2.8 high school GPA.

Available Scholarships: Career Enhancement Scholarship; CSU Global Mission Scholarship

#3 Online College in Utah

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Salt Lake City-based WGU offers an online human resources degree that runs asynchronously. The program targets working professionals who want to gain HR skills and advance their careers. Self-paced study allows 70% of learners to complete the program in 41 months. 

Degree-seekers take classes in business management, general education, and IT fundamentals. Students conclude with a capstone and portfolio project that involves solving a real-life issue in their workplace. 

Prospective students submit official transcripts and work with an enrollment counselor. WGU provides enrollees with one-on-one mentoring and access to online student communities. 

Available Scholarships: WGU Leadership Scholarship; WGU Resiliency Grant; Year of You Scholarship

#4 Online College in New Jersey

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

School Information
Location New Brunswick, New Jersey
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Rutgers offers a bachelor's degree with a concentration in strategic human resource management. The program runs fully online. Students can participate in an optional study-abroad experience. They can also complete an internship or earn a concurrent MBA or master of business analytics.

Coursework emphasizes skill-building using real-world scenarios that learners can apply in their workplaces. Learners study topics like compensation, employee development, and employee relations.

This degree-completion program requires at least 18 credits from a regionally accredited school. 

Available Scholarships: Francis B. and Paige D. L'Hommedieu Scholarship

#5 Online College in New Jersey

Thomas Edison State University

School Information
Location Trenton, New Jersey
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

TESU's online human resources degree requires 120 credits. Coursework covers compensation, industrial relations, and management development. Learners also study the dynamics of organizational behavior. Degree-seekers complete a required capstone.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They must be at least age 20 or show active military status. TESU may grant admission waivers to applicants ages 18-19 with 24 college credits from a regionally accredited school.

Available Scholarships: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund; Thomas M. Eklund Endowed Scholarship

#6 Online College in North Dakota

Dickinson State University

School Information
Location Dickinson, North Dakota
Admission Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: International Accreditation Council for Business Education 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

DSU in Dickinson, North Carolina, offers an online human resources degree. The program includes major courses in advanced business law, compensation management, and labor relations. Enrollees also study staffing and workforce diversity.

Admission requires official transcripts and a 2.0 GPA. Applicants younger than age 25 must submit high school coursework in English, math (algebra 1 and above), laboratory science, and social studies. DSU makes ACT and SAT scores optional.

Remote learners can access online advising, library services, and technology help.

Available Scholarships: Presidential Scholarships

#7 Online College in Maryland

University of Maryland Global Campus

School Information
Location Adelphi, Maryland
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Largo-based UMGC offers an online human resources degree that requires 120 credits. Coursework covers employee training and development, labor relations, and organizational communication. Students also explore information systems in organizations.   

The program runs asynchronously. Enrollees participate in online discussions and group projects. Online learners can also access tutoring and writing center services.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students need an associate degree or 60 credits from an accredited school. 

Available Scholarships: Welcome to MD Scholarship

#8 Online College in Rhode Island

Johnson & Wales University-Online

School Information
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Admission Rate 41%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Learners complete JWU's human resources degree online. Industry experts teach classes with a 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Classes last eight weeks and cover topics in human resource strategy and operations, professional communication methods, and ethical decision-making. The curriculum includes a global strategy capstone. Students can complete optional internships or directed experiential education.  

Applicants need a high school diploma and two years of full-time work experience. Prospective enrollees submit transcripts and resumes. 

Available Scholarships: Campus Award

#9 Online College in Nebraska

Bellevue University

School Information
Location Bellevue, Nebraska
Graduation Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: International Accreditation Council for Business Education 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Nebraska-based BU offers a human resources degree online that prepares graduates for HR certification. The curriculum combines theory with hands-on learning. Coursework emphasizes HR planning and staffing, employee training and development, and understanding employment law.

Online learners receive support from a student coach. They move through the program with a cohort of online peers. Students take one eight-week class at a time. Enrollees can transfer up to 60 credits. Degree-seekers complete an HR capstone research project they can use for career advancement. 

Available Scholarships: Bellevue University Scholarship Program

#10 Online College in Pennsylvania

Thomas Jefferson University

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: N/A

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Based in Philadelphia, Jefferson offers an online human resources degree that requires 120 credits. Learners can complete the program in 2-3 years. Eight-week classes include general education and major requirements. Students also complete creativity and leadership core classes. 

HR topics cover staffing and recruitment, global HR management, and employment law. The program finishes with an HR management capstone. Online learners can access bookstore and library services, advising and counseling, tech help, and career services.  

Jefferson uses rolling admissions. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Prospective students submit transcripts.    

Available Scholarships: Thomas Jefferson University Scholarships & Grants 



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