Skip to main content

Master of Science in HRD


The Master of Science in Human Resource Development degree is a generalist program that provides students with a comprehensive overview of the HR field. The courses provide a practical environment where students have the opportunity to perform many of the business activities that practitioners regularly encounter.

Students may choose to study the MS in HRD in either an online or an on campus format. Currently, students are not permitted to move between the two formats.


The Master of Science in HRD is a 36 credit program, of which 27 credits are required courses. Students take an additional 9 credits in electives. Some students are eligible to have the 6 credits of prerequisite courses waived (see below). Students must either complete or receive waivers for the two prerequisite courses (3 credits each) prior to beginning the MS in HRD program. All 3-credit courses are 8 weeks, and 1.5 credit courses are 4 weeks. Students also complete a capstone experience prior to graduating. 

View the Graduate Studies Course Catalog for descriptions of courses.

Prerequisite Courses (3 credits each)

With 1 or more years of HR experience, students are eligible to waive the Intro to HR in the Business World course. With prior research writing experience, students are eligible to waive the Critical Evaluation and Research Writing course. 

  • HRD 8101: Introduction to HR in the Business World
  • HRD 8102: Critical Evaluation & Research Writing
Total Credits of Prerequisite Courses: 6

Required Courses (3 credits each)

  • HRD 8419: Foundations of Strategic HR
  • HRD 8003: Financial & Human Capital
  • HRD 8215: Employment Law
  • HRD 8210: Strategic Workforce Planning
  • PSY 8475: Training & Development
  • PSY 8875: Organization Development
  • HRD 8006: HR Analytics

Total Credits of Required Courses: 21

Elective Courses (9 credits)

The HRD Department offers both 1.5-credit and 3-credit elective courses to complete 9 credits of electives. Not all electives are currently available online. 

3-Credit Electives

  • HRD 8212: Total Rewards - Compensation
  • HRD 8213: Total Rewards - Benefits
  • HRD 8214: HR Technology
  • HRD 8421: Diversity in a Global Economy
  • PSY 8425: Organizational Behavior
  • HRD 8420: Strategic & Global HR Leadership
  • HRD 8007: Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methods (6-credit course/16 weeks)

6-Credit Electives (16 week course)

  • HRD 8007: Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methods 

1.5-Credit Electives (4 week courses)

  • HRD 8345: Relational Capital
  • HRD 8303: Ethics
  • HRD 8899: Contemporary Special Topics in HR
Total Credits of Elective Courses: 9

Total Program: 36 credits

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • 3.0 or better undergraduate GPA
  • Resume
  • Statement of Goals
  • Academic writing sample*

*Students may apply for a waiver of the HRD 8102: Critical Evaluation & Research Writing course by including an academic writing sample with their application.

Students may apply for a waiver of the HRD 8101: Intro to HR in the Business World if they have one or more years of HR experience.

Below a 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
Students with below a 3.0 undergraduate GPA are considered for admission based on work history, GRE/GMAT scores, or other demonstration of ability to handle graduate level work. Please contact the HRD office to discuss your individual situation.

Contact Information

Campus Programs
St. Mary's Hall, Suite 119
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
(p) 610-519-4582
(f) 610-519-5826

Online Program
MS in HRD - Learn more!
(p) 1-866-220-0017