Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

James MielkeASO Rankings Team
Updated April 15, 2024
Edited by
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The best human resources schools offer a flexible and affordable pathway to a career in human resources (HR). These business professionals hire and train employees, carry out disciplinary action, and manage employee benefits.

Whether you’re a first-time student or a career changer looking to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree, on-campus and online HR programs can help you hone the skills needed to jumpstart an HR career. Keep reading to learn more about what a degree in human resources can do for you.

Why Get a Degree in Human Resources?

  • Colleges that offer human resources degrees teach you critical hard and soft skills that many businesses value.
  • Online HR programs offer flexibility that’s ideal for working students.
  • HR professionals play a significant role in shaping a safe work environment.
  • If you’re a people person, HR careers offer a collaborative professional atmosphere.
  • Since human resources is a broad field, you can specialize in an area that aligns with your skills and professional interests.

Did You Know?

  • check-circle Jobs for HR specialists are projected to grow 6% from 2022-2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • check-circle You typically only need a bachelor’s degree to work in HR, though you may need a master’s for some managerial roles.
  • check-circle The top 10% of HR managers earned more than $239,000 annually in May 2023!
  • check-circle According to a 2022 survey by Accountemps, nearly 2 in 5 HR managers believe Tuesdays are the most productive day of the week.

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2024’s Top Human Resources Degrees

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#1 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Florida International University

  • Location-markerMiami, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,721
  • Out-of-state$16,529
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate64%
  • Students Enrolled56,664
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment65%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Location-markerNew Brunswick, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,536
  • Out-of-state$29,737
  • Retention Rate94%
  • Acceptance Rate68%
  • Students Enrolled50,804
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment74%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Regent University

  • Location-markerVirginia Beach, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$17,220
  • Out-of-state$17,220
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate41%
  • Students Enrolled10,330
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment93%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Western Governors University

  • Location-markerSalt Lake City, UT
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,162
  • Out-of-state$7,162
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled150,116
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Trine University Online

  • Location-markerFort Wayne, IN
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,576
  • Out-of-state$9,576
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate60%
  • Students Enrolled1,367
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment97%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

  • Location-markerSaint Mary of the Woods, IN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$29,950
  • Out-of-state$29,950
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate70%
  • Students Enrolled1,127
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Johnson & Wales University

  • Location-markerProvidence, RI
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$13,365
  • Out-of-state$13,365
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate45%
  • Students Enrolled2,349
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Temple University

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$16,488
  • Out-of-state$29,712
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate72%
  • Students Enrolled35,626
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Location-markerBirmingham, AL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,568
  • Out-of-state$20,400
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled22,289
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Human Resources Degrees of 2024

Baker College

  • Location-markerOwosso, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,180
  • Out-of-state$12,180
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate41%
  • Students Enrolled4,969
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment72%
  • AccreditationYes

How Does Accreditation Work for HR Programs?

When evaluating prospective HR programs, be sure to consider the program’s accreditation status.

Accreditation acts as a stamp of approval, ensuring that schools and programs offer quality academics, extensive student services, and financial aid.

Accreditation comes in two forms: institutional accreditation for schools and programmatic accreditation for specific programs.

While HR programs don’t necessarily receive HR accreditation, the best business programs hold accreditation from one of the following agencies:

Take a moment to find out whether your HR program is accredited.

How Much Does a Human Resources Degree Cost?

The cost of a human resources degree can vary significantly, from as little as $4,000 to as much as $38,000 a year in tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Some factors that can affect how much you pay for your HR degree include:

  • Whether you’re seeking an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree
  • Whether you attend a public or private school
  • Whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student
  • Whether you’re an online student
  • Whether you qualify for any financial aid

Students paying in-state tuition at public institutions typically enjoy the lowest rates, while those at private colleges spend the most.

Online students can often save money on campus-based fees and transportation costs — but may have to pay distance-learning or technology fees.

How Much Money Can You Make With a Degree in HR?

Because your HR degree can lead to a number of careers in both the public and private sectors, your earning potential can vary. Many HR bachelor’s degree-holders become HR specialists. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $67,650 in May 2023, according to the BLS.

Additional factors like work experience, education, specialization, and location can also impact how much you earn with an HR degree.

Popular Jobs for HR Degree-Holders
JobMedian Annual Salary (May 2023)Job Growth Rate (2022-2032)Minimum Education Required
Compensation and Benefits Managers$136,3802%Bachelor’s
Human Resources Managers$136,3505%Bachelor’s or master’s
Training and Development Managers$125,0405%Bachelor’s or master’s
Labor Relations Specialists$89,980-1%Bachelor’s
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists$74,5307%Bachelor’s
Human Resources Specialists$67,6506%Bachelor’s
Training and Development Specialists$64,3406%Bachelor’s

How to Become a Human Resources Specialist: 4-Step Guide

There’s no one path to an HR career, but there are some steps you’ll inevitably have to take on your professional journey. Continue reading to learn how you can become a human resources specialist.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s in Human Resources

For many HR professionals, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources. These four-year programs introduce foundational business practices while facilitating the development of essential HR skills.

In an undergraduate HR program, you’ll study critical topics such as employment law, leadership skills, and conflict resolution.

Common Courses for Human Resources Degrees

  • Accounting
  • Business Communication
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Labor Relations and Negotiation
  • Operations Management
  • Principles of Economics
  • Talent Recruitment and Retainment
  • Training and Development

Step 2: Complete an Internship

Many HR programs require you to complete an internship before you graduate. Internship opportunities take place at approved work locations and provide hands-on learning opportunities to give you a taste of working in HR.

An internship is also an excellent way to enhance your resume and build your professional network.

Step 3: Get Certification

While not a requirement for a human resources career, earning various HR certifications can enhance your resume, allow you to hone new skills, and set you apart from the competition.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student, the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) offers various professional credentials that can expand your career options and increase your earning potential.

Examples of HRCI certifications include:

  • Associate professional in human resources
  • Professional in human resources
  • Senior professional in human resources
  • Global professional in human resources

Step 4: Consider a Graduate Degree in Human Resources

While a bachelor’s in human resources can jumpstart your HR career, a graduate degree in HR can open up career pathways and raise your salary potential.

Whether you pursue an MBA with an HR specialization, a master’s in HR, or a doctorate in HR, these programs can equip you with the skills you need to take on leadership roles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Human Resources

question-mark-circleWhat can I do with a human resources degree?

A human resources degree can prepare you for many business-oriented careers in the public and private sectors. Common roles include HR specialist, HR manager, HR administrator, and compensation and benefits manager.

A bachelor’s degree often prepares you for entry-level roles, whereas a graduate degree in HR prepares you to take on HR leadership roles.

question-mark-circleDoes a degree in human resources pay well?

Your earning potential as an HR professional can vary. Entry-level HR specialists earn around $67,000 a year, while HR managers can earn over $130,000, according to the BLS.

Beyond your academic training, your experience, industry, and geographic location can all impact how much cash you take home.

question-mark-circleIs human resources a hard degree?

Like many college degrees, human resources challenges students to develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in a professional environment. The difficulty of this degree depends on your skills and abilities.

In addition to taking core business and HR classes, you’ll hone your critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative skills, which are all key to doing well in a real professional setting.

question-mark-circleIs HR a stressful career?

Similar to other careers that regularly engage with people, a human resources career is not without its stressors. That said, for every employee termination and conflict resolution, there’s the fulfilling work of collaboration and successful problem-solving.

question-mark-circleShould you get a human resources degree?

If you’re a people person and enjoy problem-solving, a human resources degree could be a good fit for you. An HR program is also ideal for those who want a career with lots of room for growth and generous financial compensation.

Next Steps

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