FAQ: SHRM-CP Student Eligibility

Who is eligible for the SHRM-CP student option?

  • Students must still be in the final year (15+ earned credits) of the Villanova M.S. HRD.
  • Must be a student in good standing (3.0 or above cumulative GPA).
  • Must have a minimum of 500 hours of relevant HR experience. (See below for what is considered relevant HR experience.)
  • Once a student graduates they are no longer eligible to participate in the student eligibility program.
  • For more information, see SHRM’s page on student eligibility.

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How will SHRM be notified of my eligibility?

  • At the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters Villanova HRD will contact the students in the program who are in their final year (15+ earned credits) and are in good academic standing to see if they have completed the 500 hours of relevant HR experience and would like to be included on the list of eligible students. 
  • Interested students must respond to the gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu email sent and verify their eligibility to be included on the list of students sent to SHRM from Villanova M.S. HRD.
  • Villanova will submit the names and Villanova email addresses of eligible students directly to SHRM at the beginning of the Fall for the Winter and Spring testing windows.  Students will then receive a “Welcome” email to their Villanova email address from SHRM with instructions on when and how to apply to take the SHRM-CP exam.

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What is considered relevant HR experience for the 500-hour requirement?

  • Independent study assignments in HR. Independent study assignments may be formal or informal. A formal independent study assignment is one that you design with the help of a faculty member or guiding committee, and for which you pay tuition to earn credits.  The contact hours required to earn the credits do not count toward the 500 hour experience eligibility requirement.  However, any additional work engagement to complete assignments due to earn the credits do count.  A few examples:  you meet with a local HR professional to gather information to inform an independent study project, OR you complete a special project for a local HR professional and invest 20 hours outside of ‘class time’ working on the project.
  • Part-time or full-time work in HR. If you hold a full-time or part-time job in HR, be certain to track all the hours you work during your university career. Remember; you can accumulate the 500 hours of relevant HR work experience across your entire time at university, not all in one calendar year.  Your job title does not need to be an HR job title, but your work must clearly be HR-specific work. Document this work the same way you would communicate job responsibilities on a résumé.
  • Directed-work project. Work projects that support the mission of a local HR department, are accomplished outside of in-class time, are supervised by an HR faculty member or an HR professional in the local community or by both jointly, and have specific, targeted outcomes related to accomplishing HR goals of the organization are considered HR-relevant work experience for the purposes this exclusive student SHRM-CP eligibility requirement. For example, if the project you are working on for a specific HR department in an organization is focused on designing a program, or analyzing a problem then recommending alternative courses of action and preferred or recommended solution for the company to implement, completely document the work you accomplished to achieve the outcome.

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Are experiences prior to enrolling in the M.S. in HRD considered in the 500-hours?

Hours can be earned cumulatively throughout a student’s academic career, however, all 500 hours must be documented and verifiable before applying for the SHRM-CP exam. All student applicants are subject to SHRM’s random audit process, and if selected for audit will be required to submit documentation to validate their hours.

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How do I track my 500 hour requirement?

  • Use this spreadsheet, created by SHRM, to track your progress and document your HR-relevant experiences. The first worksheet in the document is a Read Me worksheet with instructions; each subsequent worksheet has space to record specific dates, organizations, activities and hours accumulated for each activity. If audited, students should submit both the spreadsheet and a résumé as documentation to support the 500-hour HR work experience requirement.
  • Hours can be earned cumulatively throughout a student’s academic career, however, all 500 hours must be documented and verifiable before applying for the SHRM-CP exam. All student applicants are subject to SHRM’s random audit process, and if selected for audit will be required to submit documentation to validate their hours.

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How do I register for the exam and what is the deadline to apply?

Please refer to the SHRM website for registration information and exam window deadlines.

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Contact Information

Campus Programs
St. Mary's Hall, Suite 119

800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
(p) 610-519-4582
(f) 610-519-5826
gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu

Online Program
M.S. in HRD
c/o University Alliance
Call 1-866-220-0017 or visit
 www.villanovaU.com