Department of Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology / Packaging Science

Human Resources Development


Linda Underhill, Graduate Program Chair
(585) 475-7359,

We are revolutionizing human resource practices, one student at a time.

About the program

An M.S. in Human Resource Development from RIT prepares you to leverage the human assets of an organization to positively impact the bottom line.

Students in this program explore the effective workforce management and employee development practices employed by high performance organizations ranging from excellence in recruiting and rewards to building a flexible workplace that is ready to adapt to change.

This program provides practical experience in and best practice tools and techniques to:

  • Successfully execute corporate strategy related to human capital
  • Manage and develop talent to realize a higher return on investment
  • Increase workforce productivity
  • Balance people and profits
  • Improve customer and employee retention
  • Form strategic alliances

Typical students include individuals interested in starting a career in the human resource field, experienced HR practitioners eager to build new competencies in training, instructional design, performance management, and employee development, and managers who want to learn to unleash human potential.

Faculty in the program bring a wealth of experience in human resource management, strategic employee development, instructional design, consulting, leadership, coaching and more, to the learning experience. The RIT campus offers students state-of-the-art technology and convenient access to resources. Courses are offered in the evening and online.

The HR Department performs a wide variety of functions, which are commonly categorized as Human Resource Management (or Administration) and Human Resource Development. These functions may include:

  • Information systems
  • Employee relations and assistance
  • Union/labor relations
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Job design
  • Human capital planning
  • Performance management systems
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Organizational and individual learning
  • Knowledge Management

HR practitioners should have a solid foundation of understanding across the range of functions, as well as business acumen.

Human Resources Development

We believe that skilled individuals, committed to excellence, can become catalysts for positive change in their organizations. We work closely with our students to help them apply principles of human performance management and employee development to drive business results. We are revolutionizing human resource practices, one student at a time.

The degree requires completion of a minimum of 36 semester credit hours.

Students choose electives that best meet their career interests. Courses may be taken in other graduate-level programs at RIT, with permission. A limited number of credit hours (not counted toward another degree) may be considered for transfer credit from another college or university.

Upon matriculation, each student is assigned an advisor. Together, the student and adviser develop a plan of study. For specific questions about courses and a plan of study, the adviser or program chair should be consulted.

** This course selection applies to the traditional on-campus and on-line program. Cohort programs off-site do not have a choice of courses as they have defined plans of study arranged by the international location.**

Human Resource Development, MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 700 Research Design and Methods 3
HRDE 702 Graduate Writing Strategies 3
HRDE 710 Foundations in Human Resource Development 3
HRDE 711 Performance Evaluation and Design 3
HRDE 712 Performance Analysis and Development 3
  Concentration Courses (see conc. section below) 12
  Elective 6
HRDE 794 Integrated Problem Solving 3
HRDE 795 Comprehensive Examination 0


Completion of one concentration is required. Four required courses are in each concentration, total required concentration is 12 semester credit hours. **A customized concentration of three courses may be developed, but requires department approval. A customized concentration cannot include additional business-related courses.**


Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 720 Theories of Organizational Development 3
HRDE 721 Learning and Knowledge Management 3
HRDE 722 Talent Development 3
HRDE 723 Group Dynamics and Leadership 3
Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 730 Theories of Adult Learning 3
HRDE 731 Team Process and Facilitation Skills 3
HRDE 732 Learning Transfer 3
HRDE 733 Instructional Design and Technology in HRD 3
Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 740 HRD For Global Organizations 3
HRDE 741 Global HRD Leadership 3
HRDE 742 Change Leadership Development 3
HRDE 743 Training For Global Organizations 3

Prior to being admitted to the MS program, applicants must illustrate that their previous training, ability, practical experience, and education indicate a reasonable chance of success. The complete list of admission requirements includes the following:

  • Graduate application
  • Baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Official undergraduate transcript(s) (in English)
  • Two professional recommendations
  • A resume
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, or evidence of relevant professional performance.
  • Foundation course work with grades of 3.0 or higher (if required)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required for international students. Applicants must achieve a minimum score of at least 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based), or 88-89 (Internet-based) to be considered for admission. Scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam will be accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. The absolute minimum score for an unconditional acceptance is 6.5.