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Service Systems

Human Resources Development

M.S. in Human Resource Development

Transform Your Human Resources Potential

The value proposition of the Human Resource Development Graduate program at RIT

  • Meet the needs of today’s learner-with a variety of educational delivery options;
  • Classroom ( 14 week semester)
  • On-line (14 week semester)
  • 7 week accelerated on-line class format
  • 5 day, 9 AM to 5 PM classes
  • Experienced faculty who contribute research in the development of crucial human resources for business and industry
  • 33 credit program
  • Accelerated Executive program allows for degree completion in a summer to summer learning format
  • Financial Aid and scholarships available
  • Advanced certificates in training and development of organizations provide focused learning                            
  • No GRE or GMAT required

The Unique Focus of RIT Human Resource and Development

  • Be a strategic partner in business and industry through human resource maximization
  • Leverage your workforce talent
  • Develop career paths to ensure continuity and growth
  • Design, train, evaluate and provide a value proposition for the training of your workforce
  • Evaluate, measure, and determine return on investment analysis for human resource functions


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

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

About the program

Developing human potential.
Advancing human potential is at the heart of workplace development. RIT’s Master’s degree in Human Resource Development is an innovative program that prepares graduates to become dynamic leaders and strategic partners within their organizations. The program recognizes global learning practices and equips graduates with the critical competencies they’ll need to maximize performances within the organization–and around the world

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.

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.

Program Goals

  1. Prepare HRD graduates who understand the theory and foundation principles which are the basis of Human Resource Development (HRD).
  2. Develop  an understanding of current HRD research, and applied skills in  research methodologies, assessment, and evaluation used in organizational learning, training, and global HRD.
  3. Understand the attributes of outstanding performance behaviors and learning and development strategies to replicate these behaviors within the organization.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate  the  knowledge,  comprehension, and application of theoretical principles related to HRD.
  2. Demonstrate the  knowledge,  comprehension, and application of research methodologies
    1. Identify, collect, synthesize and analyze appropriate data .
    2. Apply appropriate HRD assessment and program evaluation strategies,
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of current and projected global HRD trends and issues.
  4. Understand and apply HRD priorities and programs within global companies based on an understanding of cultural contexts and differences

The degree requires completion of a minimum of 33 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 2017


Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
GRCS 701 Research Design Methods 3
HRDE 710 Foundations of Human Resource Development 3
HRDE 711 Program Evaluation and Design 3
HRDE 712 Performance Analysis/Development (Pre-requisite: HRD Foundations) 3
HRDE 733 Instructional Design 3
  EXIT STRATEGY - 2 courses or equivalent 6 SCH  
  Comprehensive Exam track - 6 credits  
HRDE 785 Strategic Human Resouce Development 3
HRDE 795 Comprehensive Examination 0
  Capstone Track  
HRDE 797 Capstone Project 0
GRCS 702 Principles of Research Communication 3
  Thesis Track 3
HRDE 798 Thesis  


Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 730 Theories of Learning 3
HRDE 756 Learning Design and Technology 3
HRDE 755 Learning Assessment and Evaluation 3
HRDE 733 Instructional Design 3
Course Number Course Name Sem. Cr. Hrs.
HRDE 720 Theories of Organization Development 3
HRDE 721 Learning and Knowledge Management 3
HRDE 722 Talent Development 3
HRDE 723 Group Dynamics and Facilitation Skills 3
HRDE 733 Instructional Design & Technology in HRD 3
HRDE 740 HRD for Global Organizations 3
HRDE 745 Information Systems in HRD 3
HRDE 750 Career Development 3
HRDE 751 Counseling Techniques 3
HRDE 745 Information Systems in HRD 3
HRDE 780 Internship 3
HRDE 791 Independent Study 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.