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Aug. 17, 2022

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Program Overview

The Master of Science in Human Resource Leadership offered by the John Chambers College of Business and Economics focuses on giving students advanced professional knowledge, data-driven decision-making skills, and leadership capabilities.

Graduates will be positioned to compete in a growing market and see continued upward movement along their career path. They will be subject matter experts with the ability to make data-driven managerial decisions and will possess the skills to assume leadership roles within their organizations. This includes both the technical human resource leadership skills in demand by national employers, as well as the “people” skills frequently absent from on-the-job training.

Learning Formats

Online Courses, Low-Residency

Start Date

August 17, 2022
August 16, 2023

Attend a Virtual Information Session


Master's of Human Resources Leadership Admissions Requirements

The MSHRL Admissions Committee is made up of John Chambers College of Business and Economics faculty. The Committee reviews applications holistically and will admit students based on strength of their admissions application and potential to succeed in this program.

MSHRL Admissions Requirements:

  • Resume detailing applicant’s employment history, job responsibilities and professional accomplishments.
  • Two years of full-time work experience.
  • 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, please consult the additional John Chambers College of Business and Economics requirements which are different than the university requirements.

Special Admissions Considerations:

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.

Program Admissions Details Apply Now

Courses and Curriculum

Human Resource Leadership Master of Science Curriculum Requirements

Regular Standing Curriculum Requirements

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in all coursework counted toward the degree.

Course Title Credit Hours
ILR 562 Labor Relations 3
ILR 510 Recruitment, Assessment, & Selection 3
ILR 541 Total Reward Systems 3
ILR 503 Performance Management Systems & Strategies 3
ILR 551 Human Resource Development 3
BADM 623 Strategy 3
BADM 535 Organizational Behavior 3
BUDA 525 or BADM 621 Business Statistical Methods 1 or Business Research 3
ECON 571 Economics of Education and Labor 3
BUDA 510 or BUDA 550 Foundations of Business Intelligence or Business Data Visualization 3

Total Hours: 30

What can I expect from an online Human Resources Master's Degree program?

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 and requires a minimum of two years of work experience. 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.

Students in the program are expected to develop skills that include the following:

  • Explain choices in human capital policies and procedures using established theory
  • Evaluate the impact of HR practices on organization and individual-level performance and strategic goal attainment
  • Recommend, implement, and assess changes to human capital management both to increase organizational performance, and in response to externalities and change in organization strategy
  • Effectively lead teams and organizations through change management initiatives
  • Foster the creation and growth of positive work environments and effective organizational cultures
  • Utilize data and business analytics to assess performance and value-creation
  • Effectively communicate across all levels of organizational hierarchy

In attaining 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.

Meet Kelly Legg

Your personal admissions and enrollment coach

Phone: (304) 293-0112
Virtual Session: Schedule a virtual session with me.

Kelly Legg profile.

“I am a graduate of the WVU John Chambers School of Business and Economics with a degree in business administration. I am here to service, support and simplify the enrollment process. Our online programs are the perfect opportunity for working individuals to pursue another degree.”

Learn More About Kelly Request Information

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.

The WVU Financial Aid Office will work with you to access federal student loans to assist with the costs of your master’s degree education. You can contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or

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

The tuition shown is current for the 2021-2022 academic year. Tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year will be updated in late July.

What is Human Resource Leadership?

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.

Often times, HR leaders work as liaisons between senior management and employees, ensuring that the organization's goals are met while also protecting the rights and interests of workers. They play a critical role in any company’s growth.

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

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 job titles do HR leaders have?

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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