Best Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees 2021

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Human resources (HR) professionals help organizations operate effectively. They determine their organization’s human capital needs, recruit qualified job candidates, and manage the hiring process. HR professionals also manage employee benefits programs, ensure organizations follow labor laws, and oversee training and benefits programs.

With a bachelor’s in human resources degree, graduates qualify for entry-level roles in the field. Graduates can work in roles such as human resources specialist, compensation and benefits specialist, and training and development specialist. With experience, HR professionals can move into higher-paid roles like human resources manager, compensation and benefits manager, and training and development manager.

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Here, we list the best human resources bachelor’s programs for 2021. In addition to ranking the top programs, this article provides career and salary data for HR jobs, common courses in HR programs, and scholarships for human resources majors.

Top 10 Best Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees

FAQ


  • What is human resources?

    Human resources refers to the department tasked with managing an organization’s employees. HR departments oversee hiring and staffing, employee benefits programs, and training and development.


  • How long does it take to earn a bachelor's in human resources?

    A bachelor’s in human resources degree takes full-time students about four years to complete. Transfer students and those who choose an accelerated program may complete their program sooner.


  • Can I study human resources online?

    Yes. Many colleges offer an online human resources option. Accredited online programs meet the same high standards as on-campus programs.


  • What human resources graduate degrees are available?

    At the graduate level, students can earn a master’s degree in human resources or a master of business administration with a concentration in human resources.


Best Bachelor’s in Human Resources Degrees 2021



The best human resources bachelor’s programs prepare graduates for competitive roles in diverse organizations. Our list ranks the top bachelor’s programs in human resources for 2021. We also include the most affordable human resources bachelor’s programs to help applicants find the right fit for their budget and career goals.

  1. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Nebraska is by far one of the best and most exciting places for human resource majors. The school confers the Bachelor of Arts in Management, Human Resource Option, through the College of Business Administration. The university is accredited by the THLC. The program is further accredited by the AACSB International.

    Program Features

    This program’s best feature is the faculty. The university boasts a management faculty that has a combined total of 80 books and over 400 articles that have been written by sitting instructors and faculty members. This will no doubt be of interest for students who are interested in learning from HR professionals with experience in the field. Human resources classes include:

    • The Regulatory Environment for Employment and Labor
    • Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Strategic Human Resource Management

    Notables

    The BA in Management, Human Resources option, requires 120 total credit hours for completion. A senior assessment is also required and consists of a written and verbal evaluation of the student’s competency in the major.

  2. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overiew

    The University of Pennsylvania is one of the most exciting universities on this list. This Ivy League university gives students the ability to graduate with a degree in human resource management through its world-renown Wharton School of Business. The human resources concentration can be found under the Bachelor of Arts in Management.

    Program Features

    The BA in Management with a specialization requires 120 credit hours, including a capstone project, for graduation. One key different in how human resources is taught at the University of Pennsylvania is that instead of having just one concentration, the university has chosen to diversify into four distinct specializations. They include:

    • Strategic Management
    • Multinational Management
    • Organizational Effectiveness
    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    Notables

    This school also offers the ability to pursue a dual degree in another college. For anyone who has a human resources major, the most obvious choice would be to get a degree in psychology. Psychology and human resources go hand in hand. However, a student can choose whatever degree they think will best fit in with their goals.

  3. University of Washington-Seattle Campus
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Washington is known for having a robust human resources program. The school confers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a human resources specialization. The Foster School of Business, where this degree is housed, offers admission to the program to students who are already a junior.

    Program Features

    This university has one of the most rigorous programs for human resources management. This is the perfect degree for a student who wants a general business background and would like to specialize in human resources. Sample courses include:

    • Human Resource Management on the International Stage
    • Managing Diversity in the Workplace
    • Business Law and Employee Relations

    Notables

    The BSBA — Human Resources specialization requires a total of 180 credit hours and an internship for graduation. While the degree requires a significant number of courses, far more than any other on this list, it is well worth it for students who wish to excel as human resource managers. Space is limited in this competitive program, so students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to ensure they meet all admission requirements.

  4. San Diego State University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    San Diego State University is perhaps one of the most formidable programs on this list. The College of Business Administration offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management.

    Program Features

    This is a fascinating program, one where students are required to spend time learning about all the facets of human resource management. Along with critical thinking and reasoning skills, students are taught about business law, economics, cultural diversity in the workplace, and more. This degree requires a minimum of 124 credit hours for completion. Sample courses that a student will take include:

    • Legal Issues in Human Resources
    • Performance Management
    • International Human Resources Management

    Notables

    This program is led by a faculty that is dedicated to human resources. Instructors have varying degrees of experience within the field, but all were professionals prior to teaching as SDSU. In fact, some faculty continue to do research in human resources and are currently published in HR journals.

  5. University of Michigan-Dearborn
    Location

    Dearborn, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Michigan at Dearborn provides students with a pathway to getting a bachelors degree in human resources. This program is housed within the College of Business and is conferred as the Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management.

    Program Features

    The program was created specifically for students who have a strong interest in human resource management. This is the perfect degree program for a student who enjoys research projects, partaking in an internship, and working with teams. Sample courses include:

    • International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior
    • Negotiation and Conflict Management
    • Labor in the American Economy

    Notables

    This is an interdisciplinary program that teaches students about how employee-employer relations truly work as well as the importance of training and appraisal programs. The degree was designed to put an emphasis on self-directed research work, ensuring that students understand how HR managers operated within the workplace. By combining research with conceptual lecture classes, UMD is giving students the chance to get real experience prior to graduating.

  6. Missouri State University-Springfield
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Missouri State University offers students the chance to obtain a human resource management degree. The Bachelor of Science in Management, Human Resources Management Track, is one of the best programs offered by the school. it can be completed in as little as three years.

    Program Features

    This degree in human resources has several interesting aspects to it. First, this can be configured to become an online human resources degree, allowing students to have flexibility in their schedule. This makes it a great choice for working professionals. The BS in Management, HRM Track requires 124 credit hours for completion. Sample courses from this degree include:

    • Direct Compensation System Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Leadership
    • Employee Benefits and Social Insurance

    Notables

    Even more, ambitious students can finish all the requirements for the program on the accelerated track. This timetable is more intense, so it’s best for students who do not have a full-time job and can take summer courses. There are no internship or capstone project requirements, so it is also possible to finish within four years.

  7. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    At New York University, students will be able to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Leadership and Management Studies. This program focuses on how human resource management plays a role in business and organizations and can lead to a concentration in this area.

    Program Features

    Students who graduate with this degree will be fully prepared to enter the corporate world as managers, analysts, and consultants. They will be able to work in any industry that requires a human resource team. Students from this program generally go into international business or marketing. Sample courses for the concentration include:

    • Human Resources Management Principles
    • International Human Resource Management
    • Managing Diversity in the Global Workplace

    Notables

    Unlike other programs, this school has allocated the significant amount of its credit hours to a student’s preferred interest. Students will find that this will increase their knowledge of human resources. Additionally, all of the concentration courses required for the HRM core can be found online. This gives students a little bit of flexibility in how they decide to study.

  8. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
    Location

    Knoxville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Tennessee offers students the option to get a human resources degree through its College of Business. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is available for any undergraduate who is interested in pursuing a career in human resources.

    Program Features

    The program at UTK was created to prepare students for the exciting world of human resource management. Here, students will learn the foundation of human resource management, such as acquiring, training, retaining, and negotiating with talent. They will also be taught how to develop and apply training programs in their new careers. Sample courses include:

    • International Environment and Management
    • Business Process Analysis
    • Leading Innovation and Change

    Notables

    This is program provides students with a broad business education. This helps set up the foundation for the dynamics at play between human resources and business. Students can expect to learn everything from financial management to leadership, all within this program.

  9. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Florida International University offers the Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Human Resource management. This program, which is becoming the second most popular program within the Business College, focuses on how to improve workplace relations within a business.

    Program Features

    At FIU, students will engage in human resource courses that are led by current industry professionals. The core focus of the degree is organizational management and how it can affect businesses. This is the perfect degree for students who are interested in a flexible program that can help them meet their goals. This degree requires 120 credit hours for completion. Sample courses include:

    • International Human Resources Management
    • Human Resource Information Systems
    • Union-Management Relations

    Notables

    This degree was designed for students who are interested in learning how human resources can affect business and want to get the skills needed in order to become an HR manager. Students will learn everything from how to develop human resource information systems, develop and train new recruits, manage labor relations, and more.

  10. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a great choice for any student who wishes to work in human resources within the aeronautical industry. The Bachelor of Business Administration houses a human resources minor, giving students the opportunity to get a specialized education in relation to how the aeronautics industry approaches human resources.

    Program Features

    As with most HR programs, this degree can be found within the College of Business. It is not a general program; most of the facets of this degree focus heavily on the aeronautics field and will only be of interest in students who are already passionate about this field. Students are encouraged to speak with an enrollment advisor about the program prior to applying. Sample courses include:

    • Management of Multicultural Workforce
    • Airline-Airport Operations
    • Introduction to Human Resource Management

    Notables

    The Bachelor of Business Administration — Management is a comprehensive program. Students will be required to fulfill four Cores, including the General Core, the Program Support Core, the Business Core, and the Major Core. Electives will also available to ensure the student gets a well-rounded education. This degree requires at least 120 credit hours in order to graduate.

Career and Salary Outlook for Human Resources



Human resources professionals ensure organizations run smoothly. They hire job candidates, administer employee benefits programs, and resolve disputes. Human resources careers often offer advancement opportunities into management roles.

Within human resources departments, professionals with a bachelor’s in human resources may take on specialized tasks. Compensation and benefits specialists and compensation and benefits managers focus on the organization’s programs that pay employees and offer employee benefits. Labor relations specialists manage labor contracts. Training and development specialists and training and development managers determine an organization’s training needs and implement programs to strengthen employee skills.

This section covers common roles and responsibilities of human resources professionals. It also provides salary and job growth data.


  • Human Resources Specialists

    These professionals carry out an organization’s HR tasks, including interviewing job candidates, conducting background checks, and processing paperwork related to employment records. They may also recruit candidates, conduct employment screenings, and contact potential employees to negotiate hiring packages. HR specialists also work on benefits programs, labor relations tasks, and training programs.


  • Human Resources Managers

    These managers oversee an organization’s HR needs. They manage the recruitment and hiring process, work with executives on human capital strategies, and oversee a team of human resources specialists. HR managers may also advise decision-makers on HR issues, mediate disputes, and implement training programs.


Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Human Resource Specialist $61,920 7%
Human Resource Managers $116,720 6%

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Human Resources Degrees



Accredited colleges and universities meet the highest standards for educating students and granting degrees. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire candidates with an accredited degree.

Therefore, prospective students should only apply to accredited institutions. In addition to the school’s accreditation, applicants can look for accredited programs. Learn more about why accreditation matters in our accreditation guide.

Courses in a Human Resources Bachelor’s Program



The best human resources bachelor’s programs build strong leadership, decision-making, and critical thinking skills. By studying topics like training and development, labor relations, and career management, HR majors learn how to oversee employee benefits programs and manage an organization’s HR needs.

During a bachelor’s in human resources program, majors also take courses in business administration, management, and leadership. Many programs let majors choose electives to customize the degree. HR majors may also complete an internship or capstone project to gain hands-on experience.

This section introduces a sample human resources curriculum. While each program sets its own course requirements, many programs include these classes.

This course covers core HR topics, such as staffing, the hiring process, and employee motivation. Students also learn about the relationship between human resources departments and organizational decision-makers, employee relations, and human resource development.

Human resources professionals oversee employee benefits programs. This course reviews different types of employee benefits, the process of managing benefits programs, and benefits strategies to attract and retain talent. Learners also examine the laws and regulations governing employee benefits, the decision-making process for benefits programs, and changing benefits programs.

Training and development classes explore the theories and practices behind employee training. Learners examine performance management, strategic development, and talent leadership. The course also builds management skills by training students to create, implement, and evaluate training and development programs. Students also learn how to evaluate an organization’s training needs and design programs that align with organizational goals.

Enrollees learn about various employment laws, including federal discrimination protections, wage and hour law, and state employment laws. The course also covers privacy requirements, regulations around the hiring process, and at-will employment. In addition, learners study labor relations and ways to build a strong relationship between an organization and its employees.

In career management courses, HR majors learn how to implement and evaluate career management programs. They learn how to conduct self-assessments, write resumes, and conduct interviews. Learners also study occupational trends and skill development techniques.

Scholarships for Human Resources

Human resources majors can apply for scholarships to help cover the costs of earning a degree. Professional associations, schools, and private foundations all award scholarships to HR students. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for HR students. In addition to the following opportunities, human resources students can research scholarships based on their career plans, institution, or state.

SHRM Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Society for Human Resource Management offers multiple undergraduate scholarships each year. These scholarships grant recipients $2,500.
Amount: Varies

KHERF Healthcare Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Kansas Hospital Education & Research Foundation offers scholarships to Kansas residents pursuing a degree at any level in human resources. Applicants must intend to work in healthcare after graduation.
Amount: Varies

Peter Veglahn Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Shenandoah Valley Society for Human Resource Management (SVSHRM) awards this scholarship to full-time undergraduate students residing in the SVSHRM membership area. Applicants must be pursuing a human resources degree from an accredited university and must submit an essay.
Amount: $1,000

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