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Human Resource Development MS

Program overview

The master of science degree in human resource development prepares students to influence and develop the human assets of an organization to positively impact organizational outcomes.

The program requires students to build competencies in effective employee and talent development practices as used by world-class organizations, outcome and evidence-based training and learning, instructional design and delivery, career development, and workforce development. The curriculum combines a competency-focused program with solid scholarship, writing, and analytical skills required of today’s human resource professional.

Applicants are often experienced human resource practitioners eager to build new competencies in training, instructional design, talent and employee development; managers who want to encourage employees to reach their potential; and individuals interested in starting a career in the human resource development field. Courses are offered in the evening and online.


The degree requires completion of a minimum of 36 semester credit hours. Students are required to complete a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of their course work. Students may opt to complete a graduate project or thesis in place of the exam. These options require the approval of the faculty and department chair.

Electives are chosen by the student and are used to fulfill their career interests. Courses may be taken in other graduate-level programs, 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 adviser who will work with the student to develop a plan of study.

Human resource development, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. 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 Program Evaluation and Design  3
HRDE-712 Performance Analysis and Development 3
  Concentration Courses 12
  Elective 3
HRDE-794 Integrated Problemsolving 3
SERQ-712 Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity and Innovation 3
HRDE-795 Comprehensive Examination* 0
Total Semester Credit Hours 36

* Students typically complete the Comprehensive Exam (HRDE-797), Integrated Problemsolving, and Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity and Innovation (SERQ-770). However, with department approval, students may request to complete a capstone project plus Breakthrough Thinking, Creativity and Innovation (SERQ-770), or a thesis (which requires no additional course work).

Organizational learning Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE-720 Theories of Organizational Development 3
HRDE-721 Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management 3
HRDE-722 Talent Development 3
HRDE-723 Group Dynamics and Leadership 3
Training and development  
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
Global HRD  
HRDE-740 Strategic HRD for global organizations 3
HRDE-741 Global HRD leadership 3
HRDE-742 Change leadership development 3
HRDE-743 Training for global organizations 3

A customized concentration of three courses may be developed, but requires department approval. A customized concentration cannot include additional business-related courses.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in human resource development, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

All required admission materials must be submitted and reviewed by faculty prior to the completion of 9 semester credit hours of graduate work in the program.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Human Resource Specialist, Career Counselor, Technical Recruiter, Trainer, Consultant


Personnel administration, training, counseling, consulting, human resource planning

Recent Employers

Eastman Kodak, Xerox, RIT

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