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Best MBA in Human Resource Management OnlinePrograms

Best MBA in Human Resource Management OnlinePrograms

Are you a problem solver? A natural leader? Then a career in Human Resource management might be right for you. Make your next move by earning your MBA in human resources online. This guide will demystify the world of online MBAs and help you get moving on to your new career.

If you’re already working in HR or would like to move in that direction, an MBA in human resource management might be your ticket to career advancement. HR management MBAs do more than provide necessary knowledge in the field. They help you develop the communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills needed to excel in the HR field. After graduation, you can look forward to applying your talents in roles like organizational analyst, HR consulting, and compensation management.

Even better, there is a host of excellent online MBA programs that specialize in human resource management. The flexibility and affordability of online MBA programs make them an attractive option for advancing your education. In addition, these online programs are designed so you can continue working full-time as you study for your career advancement. 

But, with so many options out there, it can be difficult to select the right program for you. Remember that your needs may be different than other people’s so be sure to choose a program that best suits you. To aid you, we’ve compiled this guide with a list of great schools and factors to look out for during your search. We’ll start by featuring some exemplary online MBA programs. From there we’ll explore what you can expect from your classes, how to pay for your degree, and the potential salary increases you can expect after graduation.

Spotlight on 3 Top MBA in HR Management Online Programs for 2023

Let’s start with a few real-world examples of online MBA programs for HR specialists. We’ve searched far and wide to identify some top programs where you can earn your MBA 100% online. Each of these programs stands out for its flexibility, affordability, and quality. And, of course, they are all AACSB accredited to ensure their legitimacy.

  • Pittsburg State University

    The Master of Business Administration in Human Resources Online program at Pittsburg State University (PSU) is designed to get you back onto the job market ASAP. Students can complete their MBA in as little as one year. Although you can finish this 30-credit program can be completed in less than a year, PSU’s quality curriculum ensures that you will be well-prepared for the job market after graduation.

    As an MBA student at PSU, you can expect to develop a broad base of skills. These skills are not limited to the HR department, but they can be applied to any area of the business world. Focused electives give you the chance to go deep into HR-specific topics. Across the board, you can expect a strong focus on decision-making skills, leadership development, and systems thinking. 

    PSU is also incredibly affordable! Total tuition for their online MBA is only $11,250 regardless of your residency status. 

  • Capella University

    We love online degree programs for the flexibility they offer. But the MBA in Human Resource Management at Capella University goes above and beyond in this respect. The school offers two tracks for MBA students: GuidedPath and FlexPath. The GuidedPath route offers more structure. In the GuidedPath, students take between one to three courses each ten-week semester with the option to vary their courseload and take breaks as needed.

    Capella’s FlexPath self-paced option is where the real innovation comes in. In this format, students are entirely self-paced. You’ll start by enrolling in one or two courses for a 12-week term. But, as soon as you complete a course, you can sign up for another without waiting for the next semester. This means, if you’re cruising through a class and finish in three weeks, you can go ahead and move onto the next class. This allows you to finish the program as early as you can. Most importantly, it will also save you some money since you pay a flat rate per 12-week session, the faster you work, the less your degree will cost.

  • University of Illinois, Chicago

    The Online MBA HR Management program at The University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) checks all our boxes for flexibility and academic excellence. But where UIC stands out is its student support. The school’s student-centered approach prioritizes small class sizes, meaning that students will have better access to instructors, and dedicated advising. This ensures that the students are getting the most out of their coursework and are being supported academically. This student-first attitude expands beyond the virtual classroom. Online students benefit from a diverse range of networking opportunities and perspectives throughout the course of the program.

    We are also very impressed by UIC’s curriculum for students who are pursuing an online master’s in business administration in human resources. Their core courses and management concentration courses cover all the essentials. But, for HR-minded MBAs, their elective options really shine. You’ll be able to select from a well-rounded list of special topics in management, leadership, and decision-making that add extra value to your degree.

Cost of an MBA in Human Resources Online Program

If you want your MBA to pay off, you must pay for it first. To do that, let’s strap on our math glasses, bust out our calculators, and figure out how much this MBA is going to cost. 

As you’ll see in the table below, the price tag for earning your MBA in HR online can range from $12,500 to upwards of $34,500. The good news is that a more expensive education doesn’t necessarily mean a better one. As long as you opt for an accredited institution, picking a program that matches your goals and learning style is going to be better than judging a school based on its price tag. Remember that the price you see advertised on a school’s website isn’t necessarily what you’ll pay. You can apply for financial aid and scholarships to lower your tuition cost. If you are a working professional, your employer might offer tuition reimbursement.  If you are unable to pay for the school upfront, student loans can also be a last resort. If you’re at the stage where you’re considering how to pay for school, we can help! We’ve written in-depth guides to FAFSA, student financial aid, and scholarships to help you get the funding you deserve. In the meantime, we’ve summarized the costs of some excellent online MBA programs in the table below to help you get started on your tuition budget.

How Much Your Online MBA in Human Resources Management Could Cost

School NameNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition

Louisiana State University

Grand Canyon University
University of West Florida36$456$16,434
Maryville University39$714$27,846
University of Wisconsin, Parkside30$600$18,000

What to Expect in Your MBA in HR Management Online Program 

Starting an online degree program can be nerve wrecking. Since this is a big leap, you may be under a lot of pressure currently. On top of that, not knowing what to expect during your enrollment will only make things scarier. Fortunately, we can demystify this for you. Although the specifics will be different between programs, most online HR management MBA programs have a lot in common when it comes to course delivery and content. 

In most cases, you simply need a computer and the internet to access your classes. Typically, online programs use learning management systems (LMS) to help you stay organized. You’ll be able to watch lectures, take quizzes, submit assignments, and e-mail your professors through LMS. You can also expect to have flexibility as to when you engage with your coursework. Through your LMS, you’ll have 24/7 access to your assignments and materials, so you can study when it works for you. Remember that, although these programs are flexible, they are not self-paced. You will still need to meet the deadlines for assignments and exams. 

Your degree program is designed to prepare you for leadership roles in human resources. To that end, your MBA program will focus on crucial topics including talent acquisition, compensation analysis, and strategic planning. Generally, you’ll have the freedom to select elective courses that match your individual goals and interests, but you will also have some generalized required classes in topics to ensure that you are a well-rounded businessperson. Below, we’ve researched some common classes that schools typically offer to their online HR MBA students. 

Common Online MBA Courses

  • Talent Acquisition and Management

    Hiring and retention are two integral and difficult responsibilities for HR professionals like yourself. To be fully prepared for these tasks, this class covers the details of recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented employees. The way you approach hiring and retention has a strong impact on your company’s culture, so you’ll also cover the essentials of onboarding, talent assessment, and fostering workplace diversity. 

  • Compensation and Benefits

    How do you develop a salary and benefits package that works with your budget and attracts top talent? When you finish this class, please write and tell us about it. Courses like this show you how to keep the payroll budget in check, structure incentive plans, and ensure compensation equality. You’ll also learn how to analyze the job market to make sure you’re offering attractive salary and benefits packages to potential employees. 

  • Employee Relations and Labor Law

    As an HR professional, your job is to protect your employer. Part of this role includes maintaining a safe, equitable, and ethical work environment. Classes about employee relations and labor laws are designed to familiarize you with the protections and rights that employees are entitled to. By studying the regulations and norms around labor disputes, collective bargaining, and other tough topics, you’ll be prepared to cultivate a positive and responsive company culture. 

  • Performance Management

    A lack of upward mobility is one of the biggest hurdles to employee retention. One of the ways you can address this is by developing clear systems for performance evaluations, pay increases, constructive feedback for improvements, and promotions. All of that is certainly easier said than done., especially without formal training. So, this class is here to help. By studying the best practices for keeping employees satisfied and motivated, you can improve employee retention and help your company grow.

  • Organizational Development

    Speaking of growth… most companies want it. But we’ve all seen and heard about the “growing pains” businesses experience when they move too fast or don’t have good systems in place. HR leaders have a major role to play in successful and sustainable growth. This class prepares you for this by giving you necessary knowledge about organizational development, how to manage a changing work environment, create development plans, and facilitate organizational change. 

FAQs About Online MBA Programs

  • What’s the difference between an online MBA and a traditional MBA program?

    When you enroll in an online MBA program, you’ll benefit from the same quality of instruction and academic rigor of an on-campus MBA degree. However, online programs offer more flexibility since you can set your own pace and study whenever it fits your schedule. With traditional MBA programs, you’ll need to plan your life around your class schedule, which can be almost impossible for some people. However, if you learn best face-to-face, or in a highly structured setting an on-campus option may help you stay on track.

  • Can I work full-time while pursuing an online MBA?

    Absolutely. One of the star qualities of online MBA programs is the flexibility to study when and where works best for you. While you’ll still have deadlines to manage, most online MBA programs are asynchronous. This means that you can watch lectures, complete quizzes, and access assignments on your own schedule. Maintaining the balance between your work, studies, and personal life may still be challenging. However, the freedom to be able to study online is a huge advantage when need to stay on top of your schedules.

  • What are the admissions requirements for an online MBA?

    Schools use different practices to identify the best candidate for their program. So, application requirements will vary from institution to institution. For the most part, though, you can expect to provide some combination of the components below for each of your applications. 

    • Academic Records: At a minimum, MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree. Across the board, you can expect to submit your official transcript alongside your application. Keep in mind too, that some schools require a minimum GPA for applicants to be considered.
    • Resume: Since many online MBA programs are geared toward working professionals, their admissions committees will place a high value on your past work experience. Even if the program doesn’t specify necessary work experience, a thoughtful resume that highlights your career achievements – major or minor – can help your application stand out. 
    • GMAT/GRE Scores: You’ll be relieved to know that many online and traditional MBA programs no longer require standardized test scores. However, there are some holdouts, so make sure you know what your potential school expects. 
    • Letters of Recommendation: Identify managers, former professors, mentors, or others who are familiar with your work and potential. 
    • Personal Statement: These statements are your time to show why you are a good fit for the program by outlining your experience, goals, and how they align with your chosen program. 
    • Application Fee: These vary from school to school and can add up if you are applying to multiple programs. However, a lot of these schools will provide fee waivers for in-state residents, non-traditional students, or other groups, so do check with each of the schools you are applying to. 
  • How long does it take to earn an MBA in Human Resources?

    The timeline for your MBA in HR will depend on the school and how many classes you take at a time. For an on-campus MBA program, it will usually take about two years of full-time study to graduate. However, many online programs, like Southern New Hampshire University offer accelerated degrees that take as little as one year to complete. Alternatively, if you need to study at a slower pace, programs like the one at William Paterson University offer shorter semesters, part-time options, and the flexibility to take breaks when you need them.

  • Can I earn my MBA 100% online or do I need to visit campus?

    You sure can! There are plenty of fully online MBA programs, like the ones at Fitchburg State University or Colorado Tech for you to choose from. Many students prefer 100% online programs so that they can study from anywhere at any time.

    However, if spending so much solo time with your screen sounds a bit lonely, you can also look into hybrid programs like The University of Michigan’s Weekend MBA program that combines online coursework with twice-monthly in-person weekend events.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Human Resources Management

You can absolutely work in the HR field without an MBA, but you’ll likely find that your growth opportunities are limited. When you earn your human resources management MBA, you can vault directly into leadership roles and avoid the slow climb to the top of the corporate ladder. Because you’re eligible for higher-status roles right off the bat, you can expect larger starting salaries and more opportunities to take on prestigious future positions.

This is all great in theory, but what do the numbers say? We’ve researched pay rates in three common career paths for HR MBAs. In our results below, you can see the range of salaries for each position to get an idea of your starting pay rate and your earnings potential. 

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are responsible for every aspect of an organization’s administration. HR managers have a hand in everything including hiring, organizational growth plans, employee benefits, training and professional development, and mediating disputes. In a larger organization, you can expect to have specialist staff for many of these aspects. However, smaller businesses may require you to take a more active role in day-to-day HR activities. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Training and Development Manager 

Training and development managers work within an organization to create training programs and assist with employee development. Responsibilities within this role typically include managing department budgets, selecting training materials, and reviewing the effectiveness of new and current development programs. Interdepartmental collaboration is an essential component of this role, as you’ll need to tailor your work to the specific training needs of each area of your company. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Compensation and Benefits Manager

Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for everything related to how employees are paid and overseeing the distribution of benefits such as healthcare or 401ks. Within this role, you’ll analyze the job market to ensure that you are offering competitive but rational salaries to current and prospective employees. You’ll also manage relationships with insurance brokers and other benefits suppliers.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022