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Aug. 16, 2023

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Online Courses

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Be involved in every part of the business.

With a degree in MSHRL you'll learn about organizational priorities and challenges, but you'll also be involved in finding workable solutions. It's about creating a culture that fosters growth and innovation. With this degree, you'll have a direct impact on a company's future.

Human Resource Leadership is the field of study that focuses on the strategic management of human capital within an organization. As an HR leader, you will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs that impact the people who work for your organization.

Offered by the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, the M.S. in Human Resource Leadership plan of study requires 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. The program is designed for working professionals with varying educational and professional backgrounds. Students may enter the M.S. in Human Resource Leadership program at the start of the fall semester, completing the program in 12 or 24-months.

An African-American man sitting at a table having a conversation with someone.

In obtaining the M.S. in Human Resource Leadership degree, those with HR-related undergraduate degrees will benefit by strengthening their data analytic skills and strategic mindset. Additional prospective students will include individuals seeking to transition their current careers into the HR function. This group will acquire specialized knowledge and skills they have not had the opportunity to receive working in other business functions.

Our students will be educated on how to understand business practice and strategy from an integrated perspective that is not limited to a functional "silo." Graduates will apply their learning to improve the performance of organizations in local, state, and federal contexts by leveraging the diverse talents of human capital including the residents of West Virginia and the world.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Thank you for your interest in the Human Resource Leadership program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Human Resource Leadership M.S. program.


Kelly Legg, Personal Online Admissions Coach

Kelly is here to help.

Kelly Legg, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

As a graduate of the WVU with a degree in business administration, Kelly understands your needs and is here to support and simplify the enrollment process for you. You can have open and honest discussions with her about how your passion in life can become your career. Contact Kelly today!

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Master's of Human Resources Leadership Admissions Requirements

MSHRL Admissions Requirements:

  • Resume detailing applicant’s employment history, job responsibilities and professional accomplishments.
  • Must be employed and working full-time.
  • Academic Transcripts – An Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. If the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0, then the applicant must submit GMAT or GRE scores for consideration.
  • Statement of Purpose (500 words) – Describe your academic background and work experience (roles and responsibilities) and how they have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree in HR. Explain why you would like to pursue the online MSHRL at WVU. What are your career plans/goals after completing the MSHRL?
  • Two letters of recommendation (preferably one letter related to professional experience and another related to academic background).

For International Applicants:

The John Chambers College of Business and Economics TOEFL requirement is higher than the University’s requirement. Applicants must have a TOEFL score of 580 (paper), 237 (computer), or 92 (internet-based). If applicants have taken the IELTS instead of the TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.0. The minimum score for Duolingo is 105.

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Faculty Spotlight

Learn more about the Human Resources Leadership program.

James Field, Coordinator, Human Resource Leadership MS program

Jamie Field

“This online master’s degree is career-relevant and prepares working professionals for leadership roles in their respective field. It can be completed in as little as one year and provides students with an enhanced skill set for career advancement and superior marketability.”

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827. Please contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or for additional information.

Human Resource Leadership M.S. requires 30 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $820.
$24,600 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $820
3 $2,460
6 $4,920
9 $7,380

Courses and Curriculum

Course Title Credit Hours
HRL 503 Performance Management Systems & Strategies 3
HRL 510 Recruitment, Assessment, and Selection 3
HRL 541 Total Rewards Systems 3
HRL 551 Human Resource Development 3
HRMG 548 Strategic Management for Human Resources 3
BADM 621 Business Research 3
BADM 633 Leadership 3
BADM 641 Decision Analysis for Executives 3
BADM 644 Legal Environment and Ethics 3
ECON 571 Economics of Labor 3

Total Hours: 30

Your future in Human Resources Leadership

As a graduate of the Human Resources Leadership program, you will compete in a growing market and see continued upward movement along your career path. You will possess both the technical skills and the “people skills” to assume leadership roles within your organization.

Why are human resources leaders important?

Human resources leaders play a vital role in any organization, as they are responsible for attracting, developing, and retaining talent. Additionally, HR leaders help to create and maintain a positive work environment, which can impact everything from employee productivity to customer satisfaction.

What job titles do HR leaders have?

There are many job titles that HR leaders can have, depending on the size and type of organization they work for. Here are just a few examples:

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Vice President of Human Resources
  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Senior Vice President of Global Talent

As you can see, the job titles, roles, and leadership opportunities for human resource leaders are wide-ranging, which makes this field even more exciting!

Career Outlook for Human Resources Leadership

Information Technology Project Manager
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Administrative Service Manager
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Business Continuity Planner
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Financial Manager
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Human Resources Manager
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Agent or Business Manager
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Business Intelligence Analyst
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Treasurer and Controller
Projected Growth: 8% or higher *Bright Outlook

Administrative Service Manager
Projected Growth: 5-7% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational information network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and TrainingAdministration (USDOL/ETA).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the projected job growth for HR Leadership?

As the field of human resources evolves, so too does the need for HR leaders who are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. An online master's degree in human resources leadership can give you the edge you need to succeed in today's competitive marketplace.

Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects an average of 14,800 human resources manager openings becoming available each year. With plenty of job opportunities and salary ranges consistently above 100K, earning a Master's in Human Resource Leadership is definitely a good investment.

What can you do with a Master's in HR?

A Master's degree in human resources leadership can prepare you for a variety of exciting and rewarding careers. Here are just a few examples:

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Training and Development Manager
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager

Whether you're looking to move up the corporate ladder or break into the HR field, an online master's degree in human resources leadership can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Plus, pursuing your degree online gives you the flexibility to earn your degree while working full time and/or managing family and personal responsibilities.

Is Human Resources a good career?

Human Resources is a great career with steady job growth and high earning potential. Plus, it encompasses a variety of job types and work environments, with plenty of opportunities for specialization and advancement.

Why should I get my Master's in Human Resources?

A master's degree in human resources can prepare you for the challenges of today's ever-changing workforce. Additionally, it can help you qualify for more senior, human resources manager positions, which often require applicants to hold a Master's degree or higher in order to be considered.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources specialists, a position that typically requires a Bachelor's degree, have a median annual salary of $62,290. The median salary doubles for advanced degree holders, with human resource managers earning a median annual salary of $126,230!

Earning your Master's in Human Resources means more professional opportunities, higher earning potential, and obtaining an advanced skill set that is in demand across a wide range of industries.

Human resource managers go on to work in corporate jobs, non-profits, government, healthcare, and more.

What is the difference between an MBA and a Master's in HR?

The short answer is that an MBA is a more generalized advanced business degree, whereas a Master's in Human Resources is a specialized advanced degree focused solely on HR.

If you are an existing HR professional with a Bachelor's degree or looking to specialize within the field of human resources, then obtaining a Master's in HR over an MBA makes a lot of sense.

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