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SNHU graduate Alaine Garcia talking to a co-worker. With the text Alaine Garcia '20

HR Certificate Online Undergraduate & Graduate Certificates in Human Resources

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Undergrad Start Date: August 29 Grad Start Date: August 22

Set a Foundation with an HR Certificate

  • $320 per credit (12 credits) for undergraduate
  • $627 per credit (12 credits) for graduate
  • 9% projected job growth for human resource managers through 20301
  • Learn from expert faculty who work in the field
  • SHRM-aligned coursework, HRCI-integrated partner
  • Start your path toward a new career in HR

About the Undergraduate HR Management Certificate

The courses in the undergraduate human resource management certificate are an excellent first step for learning or gaining new skills in the industry. Brand new for 2022, SNHU's undergraduate certificate in HR was updated to reflect the most up-to-date business practices of the modern HR professional.

While earning this certificate, you'll also have the opportunity to take and earn additional certificates from industry partner HRCI to add to your portfolio upon completion.

The 12-credit undergraduate certificate is right for you if:

  • You want to develop foundational knowledge of HR for entry-level positions
  • You want an education in HR but you're unsure if you're prepared for a full degree, like SNHU's brand new online human resource management degree
  • You have an associate, bachelor's or college credit in another field and you're looking to move into HR
  • Your current career would benefit from upskilling in foundational HR
  • You "fell into" an HR-related job and are seeking some formal education

Courses you'll take may include:

  • Human Resource Functions
  • Proactive Human Resource Strategies
  • Creating the Employee Experience
  • Employee and Labor Relations

Learn more about the courses in the Courses & Curriculum section.

About the Graduate HR Management Certificate

A graduate human resource management certificate is ideal if you would like to move into HR or gain HR skills for your current role.

The 12-credit graduate certificate is right for you if:

  • You have a bachelor's degree in another field
  • You earned an HR or business degree and you want an advanced credential
  • You want to earn it on the way toward your MS in HR Management

Courses you'll take may include:

  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Leading Change
  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Total Rewards
  • Leading/Managing Not-for-Profit Orgs
  • Leadership and Ethics

Note: Our HR certificate programs are also aligned to the Society for Human Resource Management's Body of Applied Skills & Knowledge™ (SHRM BASK™), formerly the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge®(SHRM BoCK®). Developed through a series of large-scale research studies, the SHRM BASK incorporates global HR viewpoints to collectively establish a grouping of critical HR competencies and content areas.

The SHRM BASK is also used to define the content areas for SHRM's two main certification exams, the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP®) and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®). Alignment within SNHU's program supports content preparedness for eligible individuals seeking either credential.

Licensure and Certification Disclosures

SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.


Two HR Certificate Programs to Choose From

Study HR in a certificate program – offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level – that can give you the skills to help you advance your career.

Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resource Management

Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management

Career Outlook with an Undergraduate HR Management Certificate

In today’s fluid workforce environment, the future of HR is strategic partnership. Whatever the trends – automation, diversity, financial literacy, telecommuting – HR will continue to manage the workforce needs of organizations in nearly every job sector.

The courses of the undergraduate HR management certificate can easily stack to our full bachelor's-level program, helping you save time and get credentialed as you continue your education. In addition, embedded HRCI certificates in the courses will help promote your specialized skills to employers.

As a program aligned with SHRM competencies, the undergraduate HR management certificate can also help differentiate you from other graduates in your field.

By complementing an online BS in Human Resource Management degree, online business degree, online operations management degree or similar undergraduate major with an HR certificate, you'll gain a solid grounding in human resource principles and practices. You’ll also be ready for a variety of entry-level positions, including:

  • Human resources specialist. Help recruit, screen and interview job candidates. Once a candidate is hired, you may handle employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.
  • Human resources assistant/coordinator. Responsible for maintaining personnel records, you might prepare reports, file employment records or maintain classified employee information.
  • Labor relations specialist. Help resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and coordinating employee grievance procedures.
  • Employment specialist. Recruit people with the right skill sets for roles at organizations that need the talent.
  • Client services representative. Take care of clients' questions and concerns.

Charles Johnson with the text Charles JohnsonCharles Johnson '18 earned both his bachelor's in general studies and HR certificate at SNHU. "As a result, I was offered my first HR job as a human resources specialist within the Department of the Air Force, focusing on employee benefits and entitlements," Johnson said. "After being hired, I was told that one of the reasons I was hired was because of the HR education highlighted by my certificate and my knowledge of HR topics."

Career Outlook with a Graduate HR Management Certificate

“HR professionals are partners with the business,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources. “That has tremendous value for the organization and for the person doing the job.”

Deborah Gogliettino with text Deborah GogliettinoWith your human resources certificate in hand and some experience under your belt, your job options could expand to include:

  • Human resources manager. Oversee an organization’s administrative functions, including recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff. You'll also work with executives on strategic planning.
  • Compensation and benefits manager. Compensation managers oversee an organization’s pay structure. Benefits managers run employee benefits programs. In both roles, you'll work directly with senior staff and financial officers.

The BLS projects 9% growth in employment of HR managers and 4% growth for compensation and benefits managers through 2030.1 As of 2020, HR managers earned median annual wages of $121,220.1 Compensation and benefits managers commanded median annual wages of $125,130.1

As an enhancement to an undergraduate degree in business – or even HR specifically – a graduate HR certificate can also benefit those with degrees in different fields and disciplines, including liberal arts, social science and even STEM. HR-related skill sets are beneficial to every field, as every field needs HR professionals.

And with SHRM competency alignment, graduates can be assured that the HR skills they're learning are the most relevant to the field today. SHRM's Competency Development Plan outlines an HR skill set that includes:

  • Ethics
  • Leadership and business acumen
  • Critical thinking and communication
  • Global and cultural effectiveness
  • Relationship management

Since HR is a broad field, it offers ample opportunity to focus your career interests with your HR certificate. You might consider going into recruiting, workforce development training or compensation and benefits. Or you might try your hand at consulting and provide specialized expertise to clients in a variety of industries.

Chase Thomas with the text Chase Thomas"The human resources management focus has greatly benefited my role as a leader," said Chase Thomas '21. "Also, one of my goals long term is to have my own business, so this program has helped me with that."

Keep in mind that your job responsibilities will vary depending on the size of the organization you work for. At a small or midsize firm, you might need to wear more hats. In a large firm, you may find a niche in employee health insurance or long-term career development.

While the field itself may be changing, Gogliettino said the basic job description of an HR professional is not. Today, as always, human resources is about supporting an organization's employees to boost engagement, productivity and retention.

As you’ll learn in the HR certificate program, HR departments can make a powerful impact on company culture and strategy. By serving as a bridge between employees and management, they’re often crucial to a company’s success.


Start Your Journey Toward an Online HR Certification

Undergraduate HR Certificate Courses & Curriculum

If you’re eager to get into the human resources field, an HR certificate offers the quick, hyper-focused point of entry you’re looking for. If you simply want a flavor of the HR experience or a supplement to a bachelor’s degree from another field, it’s tailor-made to fit your needs.

With just 6 courses, SNHU’s program is shorter and faster than a full degree. And because it’s online, you can do coursework at your own pace as you learn from instructors with professional HR management experience.

SNHU’s human resources certificate online may feature courses like:

  • Managing and Leading in Business. Explore leadership and management theories – and how to leverage them – using your personal management style to establish effective leadership across diverse teams. Learn how functional areas of business work together.
  • Human Resource Management. Learn the fundamentals of policies and administration. Study the principle tasks involved in HR procedures as well as developing, maintaining and utilizing an effective team. Get acquainted with international human resource management.
  • Employee and Labor Relations. Examine employee-management relationships from both a union and non-union perspective. Learn best practices in employee and labor relations.
  • Total Rewards. Learn how to develop and administer compensation and benefit programs. Study wage theory, principles and practices, unemployment security and more. Focus on objectives, policies, implementation and revision of compensation and benefit systems.
  • Organizational Behavior. Explore the primary factors that influence behavior in organizations. Learn how leadership, group dynamics, organizational structure and design, change, culture, power and politics, environment and technology impact organizational behavior.
  • Human Resource Strategy & Development. Gain an in-depth understanding of the integral role that HR practices play in achieving organizational success. Examine such factors as the environment of HR management; the challenges of staffing, locally and internationally; and the relationship of a learning organization to training and development.

Robert Filipkowski with the text Robert FilipkowskiRobert Filipkowski '18 had already earned his associate and bachelor's degrees at SNHU when he went for the HR certificate. He specifically remembers how some of his courses play into his professional role today.

"I have worked on several programs at my current job that allowed me to use my knowledge gained from the certificate," he said. "I used knowledge gained in the Total Rewards class when developing offers to hire candidates, as well as recognize them while they are employed in our organization. The certificate truly helped me have a strong foundational knowledge to address these real-life situations."

Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, points out that the human resources certificate also presents a quick pathway to HR credentials. Completing it makes you eligible for professional credentials from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

For one SNHU graduate, complementing his bachelor's in general studies with an HR certificate was just the right move.

"What I learned in the classes allowed me to speak on HR matters with intelligence and confidence in interviews, knowing that the topics and information provided in the class were current and relevant," said Charles Johnson '18. "I can honestly say that Southern New Hampshire University’s human resources certificate program helped me get into the HR field."

SNHU often partners with employers to give students practical experience solving HR challenges. Through a partnership with Amica Mutual Insurance Co., students got to address an actual recruitment and retention challenge. The class split into three groups, and at the end of the term, each team presented their recommendations to Amica executives.

Graduate HR Certificate Courses & Curriculum

From compensation and benefits to long-term strategic planning, human resources has so many interesting facets. SNHU’s HR graduate certificate can introduce you to them and give you a valuable credential to succeed in this ever-evolving and rewarding field.

The certificate's required courses include:

  • Strategic Human Resource Management. Learn the functions of recruitment, hiring, training, career development and other processes within the organizational setting.
  • Leading Change. Dive into Kotter's eight processes by which leaders effect change.

You then can choose 2 of the 4 electives offered to round out your program:

  • Employee and Labor Relations. Examine the history of union-management relations, bargaining and negotiation strategies.
  • Total Rewards. Study compensation and benefits functions and ways they impact the management function.
  • Leading/Managing Not-for-Profit Organizations. Learn planning, budgeting, control and other management activities in the context of the not-for-profit institution.
  • Leadership and Ethics. Focus on the tradition of great thinkers and literature to examine the critical role ethics plays in leadership.

Don't have a bachelor's in business? You may be required to take a foundation course, Human Behavior in Organizations, before beginning the program. Speak with an admission counselor to determine if this class will be necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

This certificate is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.

ACBSP logo

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