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Best Online Bachelor's in Human Resources 2021

Best Online Bachelor's in Human Resources 2021

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The right online degree in human resources can launch you into a rewarding career in organizational change, labor relations, dispute resolution, and payroll management.

Tasked with recruiting, hiring, and training employees, human resource professionals serve vital functions in professional settings of all kinds. An online human resource degree covers topics such as business ethics, organizational psychology, and conflict resolution, while simultaneously fostering communication and decision-making skills.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7% job growth for entry-level human resources professionals between 2019 and 2029. Human resource careers also include roles as compensation specialists and training and development specialists, which are both projected to see comparable growth.

As the COVID-19 pandemic redefines the workplace, human resource professionals continue to serve a vital role. Human resource professionals facilitate remote work, help ensure effective employee and employer communication, and manage recruitment and training for the changing workplace.

Online human resources programs like those listed below prepare learners for a rewarding and exciting career working with people.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's Programs in Human Resources

#1 Colorado State University-Global Aurora, Colorado
#2 Florida International University Miami, Florida
#3 TrineOnline Fort Wayne, Indiana
#4 Davenport University Grand Rapids, Michigan
#5 Johnson & Wales University-Online Providence, Rhode Island
#6 Ottawa University-Online Ottawa, Kansas
#7 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, Minnesota
#8 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana
#9 Regis University Denver, Colorado
#10 DeSales University Center Valley, Pennsylvania

The Best Online Bachelor's in Human Resources Programs

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4

Davenport University 

Grand Rapids, Michigan Apply Now

About this school

Michigan's first online college, DU offers distance degrees through its Global Campus. The private institution offers an online bachelor of business administration program with a human resource management focus. The 120-credit degree emphasizes learning by doing, training students in areas like employee relations management, recruitment, and staffing. By studying real-world case studies, students train for leadership roles in human resources.

While earning an HR degree online, undergraduates also meet requirements from the SHRM-CP exam, allowing them to gain professional certification requirements even before completing their degrees. Incoming students can receive credit for college classes, certifications, and military experience.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
5

Johnson & Wales University-Online 

Providence, Rhode Island Apply Now

About this school

A private university founded in 1914, JWU enrolls more than 12,000 students on its campuses across four states. JWU prioritizes personalized attention and industry-focused training in its program offerings, including its online human resources degree. The fully online program offers advanced training in management concepts and human resources.

The human resources management curriculum covers core topics like employment law, workforce planning, compensation, and strategic human resource management. HR majors take courses on an eight-week term. Applicants should hold at least two years of full-time work experience before applying to the program. JWU offers college credit for life experiences and military service.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Percent Receiving Loans
73%
6

Ottawa University-Online 

Ottawa, Kansas Apply Now

About this school

A private institution founded in 1865, OU enrolls 4,000 students annually on its Kansas campus and through its online programs. OU incorporates Christian principles into its programs, including its online bachelor's in human resources degree. The degree trains graduates for leadership roles in recruiting, training, and benefits administration. Students also learn to manage employee programs and attract quality job candidates.

OU's HR curriculum covers complex topics like designing programs to increase motivation and applying legal policies in the workplace. Within the major, undergrads can concentrate in economics, finance, healthcare management, or leadership and management to prepare for specialized career paths.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
51%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
7

Concordia University-Saint Paul 

Saint Paul, Minnesota Apply Now

About this school

A private Christian university founded in 1893, CSP offers liberal arts programs with a student-centered approach. CSP also offers online degrees, including a bachelor's in human resource management. Created with busy adults in mind, the curriculum schedule prioritizes flexibility.

During the human resource management major, learners strengthen their knowledge and skills through practical assignments and explore the strategic role of human resources in organizations. The curriculum covers business analytics, employment law, strategic compensation systems, and organizational development.

CSP offers courses on an asynchronous schedule. Prospective students must submit official transcripts and hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
60%
8

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 

Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana Apply Now

About this school

A private Catholic college, SMWC grants degrees both from its campus in Indiana and through its online programs. Distance learners can earn an online human resources degree at SMWC. The HR management program builds leadership and administrative skills through a curriculum that blends business and HR courses.

During the online HR program, learners study organizational behavior, legal issues in HR management, and business research. The program also introduces students to common issues in HR management, teaching them how to create an inclusive work environment for racial and cultural minorities. Applicants must submit an online application and official high school transcripts, and transfer students must submit official college transcripts to receive transfer credit. SMWC has a test-optional admission policy.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
57%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%
9

Regis University 

Denver, Colorado Apply Now

About this school

A private Jesuit university in Denver, Colorado, Regis dates back to 1877. At Regis, students can earn an online human resource management degree. The program trains majors to build strategic and successful teams as recruiters, trainers, and HR managers. During the degree, learners study foundational business practices, strengthen their interpersonal skills, and explore the process of staffing an organization.

Regis uses eight-week terms and requires 120 credits to complete the bachelor's degree. Prospective students must submit an online application, official transcripts from all prior colleges, a resume, and a personal statement. Incoming students can apply transfer credits toward their degrees.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
10

DeSales University 

Center Valley, Pennsylvania Apply Now

About this school

A Catholic institution in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales enrolls 3,300 on-campus and online students. At DeSales, undergraduates can earn an accelerated online bachelor's degree in human resource management. The program covers core concepts like training, recruiting, compensation, and staffing.

DeSales emphasizes employee-focused policies in its HR program. Learners examine business challenges and strengthen their problem-solving skills. The program also incorporates skills development training, which graduates can apply in their careers.

After completing the curriculum, graduates can oversee talent management programs, enforce employment laws, and build an inclusive workplace environment. DeSales admits adult learners and service members, and incoming students can apply up to 75 credits toward their bachelor's degrees.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
70%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%
11

Anderson University 

Anderson, South Carolina Apply Now

About this school

Located in South Carolina, AU is a Christian liberal arts institution. The private university offers an online bachelor's degree in organizational leadership with a concentration in human resource administration. The curriculum covers employee relations, job analysis, and Christian leadership skills. Graduates can pursue leadership positions in human resources departments.

During the program, majors take classes in business administration, training and development, and budgeting. Students can customize the 120-credit degree by choosing electives. The program operates on an eight-week term. AU's human resource administration degree also prepares students for graduate programs in HR or business administration.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
58%
12

Granite State College 

Concord, New Hampshire Apply Now

About this school

Founded as a public college in 1972, GSC offers flexible schedules for working adults. GSC's online human resource administration program blends business skills with core HR knowledge. Learners study personnel recruitment, management, conflict resolution, and employee retention. The curriculum also covers organizational development, business ethics, and leadership in HR contexts.

During the program, majors explore the decision-making process, learn how legal standards apply to human resources problems, and design strategic management plans. GSC accepts applications on a rolling basis. Incoming students can start at multiple times each year. The college admits students with a high school diploma or the equivalent.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
23%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
13

Amridge University 

Montgomery, Alabama Apply Now

About this school

A private Christian institution with an online focus, Amridge offers programs for working adults. Students can earn an online bachelor's in human resource leadership at Amridge, studying the process of building strong relationships in a work environment. The program's leadership focus prepares HR professionals to evaluate potential employees, design training programs around an organization's needs, and create HR policies.

Graduates with an HR leadership degree can implement business best practices, analyze employee behavior, and encourage workplace productivity. Amridge requires 128 credits to earn a bachelor's degree, and transfer students can apply up to 88 credits toward their degrees.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
40%
Percent Receiving Loans
90%
14

Mount Mercy University 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Apply Now

About this school

Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, MMU was founded in 1928. The private, Catholic institution enrolls more than 1,800 students annually and offers online degrees, including an accelerated online human resource management degree. The program blends experiential learning with a research focus to prepare graduates for HR careers.

This program trains students in human resource strategy, organizational innovation, and practical HR skills. Degree-seekers learn how to analyze HR metrics, design compensation programs, and interpret labor laws. The program is designed for working professionals, and students can complete the HR degree online in as little as 18 months. MMU offers nine start dates each year.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
71%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
15

University of Maryland Global Campus 

Adelphi, Maryland Apply Now

About this school

Originally founded to educate working adults and military service members, UMGC now offers a variety of online degrees. Undergraduates can earn a bachelor's in HR management at UMGC. This 120-credit program takes a comprehensive approach to human resources education, with courses offered in a flexible, fully online format.

Learners study resource planning, employee orientation, labor relations, and HR policy development, preparing them for roles in the private and public sectors. Course topics also include human behavior, diversity in corporate cultures, and the role of laws in employee relations. The program's project-based learning lets students diagnose problems in case studies, develop training needs assessments, and design rewards programs to improve employee motivation.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
15%
Percent Receiving Loans
19%
16

Dickinson State University 

Dickinson, North Dakota Apply Now

About this school

A public institution located in Dickinson, North Dakota, DSU offers a personalized approach to higher education with a low student-to-faculty ratio. At DSU, undergraduates can earn an online human resources degree that emphasizes compensation management, workforce diversity, and labor relations. The degree strengthens core business skills while keeping a focus on human resources.

During this human resources management program, learners take general education courses, pre-major courses, business core classes, and HR management classes. The HR curriculum covers topics like human resource development, business law, and staffing.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
34%
Percent Receiving Loans
41%
17

Rutgers University-New Brunswick 

New Brunswick, New Jersey Apply Now

About this school

A public research institution, Rutgers offers both on-campus and online bachelor's programs. Distance learners can choose the online bachelor's in business administration with a focus on strategic human resource management, where they build general business skills while studying best practices in HR management.

The fully online program prioritizes flexibility. Within the strategic human resource management concentration, majors prepare for leadership roles in HR departments. Rutgers also offers internship opportunities for online learners, which provide course credit and a chance to gain practical experience. Prospective students need at least 18 credits from a regionally accredited school to gain admission at Rutgers.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
18

LeTourneau University 

Longview, Texas Apply Now

About this school

A private, Christian university, LETU enrolls over 3,100 students annually on its campus in Longview, Texas. At LETU, distance learners can earn a bachelor's in business administration with an HR management concentration. The fully online program teaches majors how to hire, retain, and train employees, ensuring a productive and healthy work environment.

HR management majors take core business classes to strengthen their communication and interpersonal skills. The business curriculum includes training in business ethics, management principles, and organizational behavior, while the 12-credit HR management concentration includes coursework in conflict resolution, staffing, and compensation and benefits. LETU's program integrates Christian views with business skills to prepare graduates for HR careers.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
45%
19

Western Governors University 

Salt Lake City, Utah Apply Now

About this school

A private institution, WGU uses a competency-based approach to higher education, focusing on professional outcomes. In its online bachelor's degree in human resources management, HR majors learn how to manage HR policies, recruit employees, and assess a company's staffing needs. Students progress through the coursework when they meet competency standards, with the ability to take multiple courses each semester for one flat fee.

The curriculum includes both core business concepts and specialized HR courses. At WGU, HR majors can also pursue a micro-credential to specialize their training. The university also offers micro-credentials in applied business skills, management, and healthcare management.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
29%
Percent Receiving Loans
55%
20

Georgia Southwestern State University 

Americus, Georgia Apply Now

About this school

GSW is a public university with a scenic campus in Americus, Georgia. Online students at GSW can earn a bachelor's in human resources management. The program introduces learners to resource planning, labor relations, performance management, and employee recruitment. Students also study topics like employee training, career development, and HR strategies for private and public organizations.

In addition to coursework, HR students complete real-life projects to apply their skills. Seniors must also complete a capstone course, in which they present a project to HR professionals. GSW offers small class sizes and an interactive classroom community where HR majors build ethical leadership skills.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
29%
Percent Receiving Loans
50%
21

Thomas Jefferson University 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Apply Now

About this school

A private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jefferson emphasizes collaborative learning with a liberal arts perspective. Jefferson's online HR management degree trains students in workplace law, conflict management, and employee relations. During the program, majors also build strong business and leadership skills. The curriculum includes training in HR research, best practices in human resource management, and employee training and development.

Students complete the 120-credit bachelor's program through eight-week terms. Jefferson uses a rolling admission policy, allowing prospective students to submit an application at any time. Applicants must provide official transcripts from high school and all colleges previously attended to receive transfer credit.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
70%
22

Bellevue University 

Bellevue, Nebraska Apply Now

About this school

A private institution in Nebraska, BU emphasizes affordability and career preparation in its programs. The university offers an online human resources program that blends theory with experiential learning, including courses on staffing, employee development, compensation planning, and employment law.

BU's accelerated program lets learners focus on one class at a time in a cohort format, helping them build strong relationships with classmates. Prospective students need either an associate degree or at least 60 undergraduate credits before they can apply to the major. After completing the 127-credit degree, graduates can apply legal regulations in HR departments and analyze a company's human resources needs.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Percent Receiving Loans
40%
23

Colorado Christian University 

Lakewood, Colorado Apply Now

About this school

CCU is an interdenominational Christian college that dates back to 1914. Located in Lakewood, Colorado, CCU also offers online degrees, including an online bachelor's program in human resource management. The major combines HR training with biblical principles of leadership, and focus areas include workforce planning, training and development, employment law, and performance management.

Online learners must complete 30 credits in the major and a total of 120 credits to earn a bachelor's degree. At CCU, undergrads take classes one at a time during a five-week term. The program prioritizes small class sizes, networking opportunities, and faculty attention.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
24

Indiana State University 

Terre Haute, Indiana Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1865, ISU is a public institution that offers over 70 online programs. Undergraduates can earn a bachelor's in human resources online at ISU. This fully online program prepares graduates for human resources careers, both in business sectors and in higher education. In addition to the core curriculum, HR majors can specialize their degrees by choosing electives.

ISU's human resources curriculum trains students in work-life integration, labor relations, and performance evaluation. Prospective HR majors can join the program as first-time freshmen by meeting general admission standards, which include a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program also admits transfer students with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public
Graduation Rate
41%
Percent Receiving Loans
57%
25

McKendree University 

Lebanon, Illinois Apply Now

About this school

A private college founded in 1828, McK enrolls 2,500 annually students on its campus in Lebanon, Illinois. At McK, distance learners can earn an online human resources degree designed for busy adults. The program uses an eight-week term to help students complete the degree on their own schedules.

HR majors at McK study core business principles, labor relations, and organizational development. They also learn about employee retention and personnel management. McK prepares graduates for the workforce with training in business ethics, business strategy, and employee policies. Prospective students must work with a student services specialist to enroll in the program.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Human Resources Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Human Resources Degree?

Online bachelor's degrees in human resources typically comprise around 120 credits and take four years of full-time study to complete. Courses may cover topics like international human resource management, compensation and benefits, human relations and development, and managing diversity in organizations.

Outside of general education and major courses, many programs require students to complete a culminating project that demonstrates the skills and knowledge they gained throughout. Some programs also include an internship, which online students may usually complete at approved local sites.

The degree appeals to students who want to help companies manage their employees more effectively and efficiently. HR students should enjoy working with different people and problem solving.

Choosing an Online Human Resources Degree Program

Students should consider multiple factors when choosing an online human resources degree. Bachelor's degrees in human resources typically span four years, but schools that allow transfer credits may allow learners to earn a degree on an accelerated timeline.

Curricula also vary by program, giving learners the opportunity to choose a degree based on what coursework meets their personal and professional goals. Additional considerations are discussed at the links below.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

What to Expect From a Human Resources Major

Online human resources bachelor's degrees vary by school, but common core classes cover fundamentals of the discipline, like organizational structures, finance basics, and employment law. Additional classes introduce learners to common methods and tools used by human resources professionals, while concentrations emphasize specific subsets of the field.

Human Resources Curriculum

  • Compensation Management: Compensation management coursework explores payment methods, benefits and compliance, and nonfinancial rewards in the workplace. Students learn both the strategic and technical aspects of compensation distribution.
  • Employment Law: Coursework in employment law introduces students to federal, state, and local regulations as they apply to wages, safety, and worker rights. Learners explore statutes, administrative regulations, and judicial decisions as they relate to the workplace.
  • Financial Accounting: Financial accounting classes train students to record, summarize, and report on monetary transactions. Coursework emphasizes the five main classifications of financial data: revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Marketing: A marketing course introduces students to common principles and methods of market research, strategy, and management. Learners explore communication, public relations, and consumer behavior, helping them understand and implement marketing practices.
  • Organizational Change: This course focuses on common types of organizational change, including their outcomes and how to manage transitions within the workplace. Students learn to combat organizational inertia and resistance to change while building leadership skills, training them to effectively guide organizations through periods of transition.

Human Resources Professional Certificates

Professional organizations and certification bodies offer human resource professionals opportunities to build niche knowledge and skills as they grow their careers. For example, human resource professionals who wish to focus on compensation and benefits can earn a certification in the topic. Other certification options include multinational human resources, conflict resolution, and training and development.

Society for Human Resources

SHRM offers two certifications: The SHRM certified professional (SHRM-CP) credential helps early- to mid-career professionals advance their careers, while the SHRM senior certified professional (SHRM-SCP) credential supports senior-level professionals looking to shape long-term policies in their workplaces. Both certifications require candidates to pass four-hour exams comprising 160 questions. SHRM members receive a discount on the exam fee.

Human Resources Certification Institute

HRCI offers eight professional certifications, including aPHR -- a foundational certification for professionals new to HR. GPHR, the capstone credential, is for professionals with global HR experience who want to advance their international HR careers. All HRCI certifications require candidates to pass an examination, and some require specific degrees and years of relevant experience.

Human Resources Organizations

Human resources students and professionals alike can benefit from joining professional organizations. Many organizations offer professional development, continuing education, and networking opportunities. They may also offer professional discounts and financial aid opportunities for students.

  • Society for Human Resource Management Founded in 1948, SHRM is the largest professional association for human resource specialists. It has 300,000 members from 165 countries.

    Members can access certification programs, local chapters, an executive network, and a young professionals group designed for new HR professionals. Other membership perks include industry trends and forecasting data, career preparation and planning resources, domestic and international events, and both online and in-person training programs.
  • National Human Resources Association Established in 1951, NHRA is a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization devoted to furthering the skills, knowledge, and careers of U.S. human resource professionals. The association provides career advancement opportunities and reports on HR news and trends.

    Members can access an exclusive job board, professional conferences, training programs, and networking opportunities. The group maintains affiliate groups in several cities, including Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Rochester.
  • Academy of Human Resource Development AHRD is a global membership organization that serves HR academics and professionals. The group encourages academic research, data collection, and the study of trends, theories, practices, and processes.

    Members can access four sponsored journals: Human Resource Development Quarterly, Human Resource Development International, Advances in Developing Human Resources, and Human Resource Development Review. The organization also hosts an annual research conference and a faculty mentorship program.
  • International Public Management Association for Human Resources Established in 1906, IPMA-HR has more than 40 chapters across the country, representing the interests of human resource professionals. The association provides educational resources, professional development opportunities, and industry news. Members can access an HR policies toolbox, local and national events, peer networking opportunities, and professional certifications.
  • Human Resources Certification Institute A leading organization for human resource credentialing, HRCI has promoted HR excellence for more than 40 years. The organization offers eight professional certifications for professionals at various stages in their careers, plus certification opportunities for qualifying organizations. HRCI also offers upSkill, an online program that helps HR professionals learn more about the discipline

Human Resources Careers

Careers in human resources, especially in managerial roles, offer lucrative opportunities. The BLS reported that human resources, training and development, and compensation and benefits managers all earned mean salaries above $110,000 in 2019. Specialist positions in those aspects of human resources also boasted mean salaries over $60,000 in 2019.

An online human resource degree also opens opportunities for careers beyond those listed below. The knowledge and skills gained through an online bachelor's degree in human resources can apply to roles within healthcare, information technology, and academic settings, alongside traditional business environments.

Career 2019 Median Pay
Compensation and Benefits Managers $122,270
Human Resources Managers $116,720
Training and Development Managers $113,350
Labor Relations Specialists $69,020
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists $64,560
Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Human Resources?

Human resources refers to the management of a company's employees and employee needs, including talent acquisition, training, and benefits management.

What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources?

A bachelor's degree in human resources prepares students for entry-level human resources positions. The degree typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

What Type of Degree Do I Need for Human Resources?

Degree requirements vary by job. For example, human resource managers typically need a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field, plus previous management experience.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Human Resource Management?

Graduates with a bachelor's in human resources can compete for administrative and managerial human resource positions in diverse fields, such as human resource manager or compensation and benefits manager.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Human Resources Degree Online?

An online bachelor's degree in human resources typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, though some programs offer accelerated timelines.