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SNHU graduate, Ellen Carney, working on a computer. With the text Ellen Carney '91

MBA in Human Resources Online

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Register By: May 11 Classes Start: May 13

The MBA That Fits Your Life

  • Just over $19K total tuition
  • Earn credentials along the way
  • Program accredited by ACBSP
  • Aligns with SHRM BoCK key competencies1
  • Complete in about 1 year
  • No GRE/GMAT required

MBA in HR Online Program Overview

A human resources concentration built into an MBA? That's the type of degree that can fit well into your career-advancement goals.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources at Southern New Hampshire University prepares you to take on this increasingly important role. And because it’s an MBA, its approach to the HR discipline is to enhance your business acumen first and foremost, along with your ability to drive change.

The program lays a foundation in standard business administration topics, weaving topics like leadership, marketing, finance and operations throughout your coursework. You'll dive into them in different ways. For example, you won't just learn about leadership, you'll learn how to lead people, organizations and organizational change.

The comprehensive nature of this program makes it a great option for anyone interested in honing their business skill sets, strengthening marketability and increasing career opportunities – whether you're a recent undergraduate, a well-established professional or somewhere in between.

With only 30 credits required to graduate for just over $19k, the new MBA program also allows you to move through your core coursework faster and for less, even giving you the ability to finish in about a year should you choose to take part full time.

However, despite the accelerated timeline, you can still anticipate the same level of rigor and complexity that you would find in a traditional MBA, allowing you to get the most out of your program in the least amount of time.

"Everything is business as you progress up the ranks of leadership,” said Kate Noor, an MBA academic advisor at SNHU. 

As with all of our HR programs, the MBA in Human Resources aligns with SHRM’s guiding principle – that human resource professionals must be prepared to play a key role in the success of today's agile companies. SHRM is considered the industry standard in HR credentialing.

The coursework was designed to include competencies found in the SHRM Book of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™), which forms the basis for SHRM-issued HR credentialing opportunities. The SHRM BoCK covers the 8 behavioral competencies and HR knowledge human resources professionals need to do their best work.1

Melanie Rowe ’18G says her MBA in HR prepared her on many levels.

“The classes at SNHU have taught me a lot about change management, people management, group dynamics, company culture and leadership,” she said. “I’ve used this knowledge in my relationship management and to position myself as an informal leader, which makes it easier for me to recommend and implement change.”

What You'll Learn

  • The complexities of HR management
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Adaptable strategies for an organization
  • The cultivation of culturally aware and responsive teams
  • Plans around culture, ethical and legal standards, and sustainable practices

How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Career Outlook

The HR role will continue to evolve as companies in every industry adjust to the long-term effects of events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

But whether the workforce expands or contracts as organizations retool, there could always be demand for strong human resource leadership.

Results from the 2021 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Demand for Graduate Management Talent Survey show that businesses are seeking qualified MBA degree holders to assist with organizational restructuring fueled by the pandemic. And according to the 2021 GMAC Enrolled Student Survey, almost 8 in 10 enrolled students who responded agree that a graduate business education is a worthwhile investment, even in times of economic uncertainty.2

Likewise, most survey respondents feel confident in their employability in the face of the many challenges imposed by the global pandemic.2

This speaks to the value that earning your MBA in Human Resources can add to your resume, despite the ever-changing landscape. It's one of the most respected and versatile degrees in business, and it can help qualify you for a number of roles at the management level or above by furnishing you with both the strategic and soft skills needed to succeed in times of uncertainty.

Some of the top needed skills from MBA degree holders include leadership, strategy and innovation, decision making, and strategic and systems skills, according to GMAC.2 All of these skills are woven into SNHU's MBA in HR, plus embedded industry-aligned credentials are offered in many of these key areas.

Deborah Gogliettino with text Deborah GogliettinoDeborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, explains it further.

“HR professionals need to understand business and think business first,” she said. “They also need to recognize that almost everything they need to do is to be done through other people – line managers, employees and their colleagues. Hence, they need to be able to build effective influencing and relationship skills.”

Earning your MBA in Human Resources can prepare you to pursue a variety of positions, including:

  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources director
  • Human resources consultant
  • Compensation and benefits manager
  • Training and development manager
  • Operations management

The outlook is good for these roles. According to the 2021 GMAC Demand for Graduate Management Talent Survey, demand for graduate management talent is returning to pre-pandemic levels.2 So whether you’re entering the HR field or looking to step up into management with your current employer, the MBA in HR can take you in a number of directions. 

You’ll find your MBA HR degree opens doors in managerial and executive positions across a diverse range of industries. According to the BLS,3 those industries include:

  • Educational services – state, local and private
  • Finance and insurance
  • Government
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Results from the 2021 GMAC Demand for Graduate Management Talent Survey also show that growth in the technology sector specifically has fueled the hiring of business school graduates.2

The beauty of an MBA in Human Resources is its versatility to cut across industries and areas of interest.

“A student’s decision to be in one industry or another has to do with their passions,” said Gogliettino. “I like mission-driven organizations. I like the multi-layers of complex issues you get in healthcare. But a student who’s adept at HR can work in any industry.”

If the C-suite is in your sights, an MBA in HR can help you get there faster. While every business values people management skills, many employers place greater emphasis on the ability to manage programs that affect their entire workforce. And, according to the BLS, employers generally compensate better for these skill sets.2

However, no matter which direction or industry you choose, MBA degree holders command some of the highest average starting salaries according to GMAC, with a median starting salary of $115,000.2 So not only is the program designed to equip you with the necessary skills to excel in business and HR, getting your MBA in HR degree could lead to higher earning potential.

Job Growth and Salary

The MBA in HR could put you on a growing, lucrative path.

Job Growth

The outlook looks good for roles through 20323:

  • Human resources managers: 5% job growth
  • Training and development managers: 6% job growth

Salary

And the 2022 median salaries for jobs were much higher than the pay of all workers combined3:

  • Human resource managers: $130,000
  • Training and development managers: $120,000

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Where Could You Work?

Some of the largest employers of HR managers are:

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Provide a number of services, such as payroll, consulting, training and acquisition, among other roles.

Corporations and Enterprises

Serve in an HR leadership position that gives you the opportunity to make decisions that can move organizations forward.

Manufacturing

Manage HR functions in an industry that you're passionate about, like computers, furniture, textiles, food and more.

Healthcare

Become an HR leader in a fast-growing field, making employee-focused, data-driven decisions aimed at improving patient outcomes.

Start Your Journey Towards an Online Human Resources Degree

Melanie Rowe

What SNHU Graduates are Saying

Melanie Rowe ’18G

“As a director, it’s important to have a good business foundation in addition to expertise in your field. SNHU’s MBA program allows me to take the core business classes I need to be a director in addition to the HR classes I would take if I was just pursuing a master’s degree in HR.”

Courses & Curriculum

The business world needs well-educated human resource professionals more than ever.

SNHU's MBA in Human Resources online was designed to expand your expertise on a wide range of human resource management topics. Like all of our online MBA programs, it explores today’s most relevant themes, including ethics and corporate social responsibility, leadership, strategy, management, technology and innovation. And because it’s an online program, it allows you to build relationships with a diverse group of students while enhancing the “soft skills” that are so essential to success in business.

Kate Noor with text Kate Noor“An MBA is great for those in a ‘traditional’ business setting, but every industry has room for an MBA in some capacity. What you learn is beyond just crunching numbers," said SNHU academic advisor Kate Noor.

The MBA in HR consists of 7 core MBA courses and 3 human resource courses. Depending on your academic background, you may need to supplement the core courses with business foundation coursework. However, those with a bachelor’s in business administration, human resources or a related area may be able to waive one or more foundations – and jump into the core more quickly. 

The MBA in HR program follows the same structure as our other MBA programs, allowing you to:

  • Earn credentials embedded throughout the program. Not only gain a master's degree, but build up your resume along the way with industry-recognized certifications in tools like Power BI, MS Excel and Tableau – plus, enhancement of soft skills like human intelligence and strategy implementation.
  • Take part in scenario-based learning. Using both disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, as well as creative thinking and problem-solving skills, you'll participate in interactive scenarios that provide you with real-world experience, while receiving guidance from professors with real-world expertise.
  • Participate in a flex learning pathway. You'll get more fluidity in assignment due dates. Some even span across multiple modules with related themes, allowing you to draw relationships between business principles.
  • Learn through multimedia exposure. Strengthen your understanding of complex topics with animations, video communication tools and videos featuring industry leaders sharing business insights.
  • Access timely resources. Take advantage of hand-selected, relevant resource material from leading professional organizations and publications.

The MBA human resource management concentration stresses the strategic nature of the HR role. You’ll learn how the HR system helps drive the overall organizational mission and see its impact from both a human resource and business perspective. Broad themes include:

  • Strategic decision-making
  • Market-driven connectivity
  • Human resources technology
  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Compensation and benefits

The human resource courses that make up SNHU’s concentration align with the guiding principles of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the industry standard in HR credentialing. Coursework emphasizes competencies in the SHRM Book of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™), which forms the basis for SHRM credentials.1

As you progress through the MBA in HR program, you may take these 3 concentration courses:

  • Strategic Human Resource Management: Examine key regulatory procedures and human resource requirements as they apply to organizations. Analyze the strategic role of the HR manager in recruitment, hiring, training, career development and other functions within the organizational setting.
  • Total Rewards: Examine the impact of compensation and benefits within the organizational structure to design a compensation and benefits program. Topics include job analysis, surveys, wage scales, incentives, benefits, human resource information systems (HRIS) and pay delivery administration.
  • Leading Change: Discover the various techniques and strategies used to effect systematic change and transform organizations. Coursework integrates Kotter's processes for leading change, organizational development and transformation theory and practice, emphasizing the use of teams as a key change factor.

As you complete your MBA in Human Resources concentration courses, you’ll learn to lead and operate within cross-functional teams by effectively navigating the complexities of HR management.

“HR is complex, because it has a lot of different variables to it,” said Deborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources. “It’s not something you can wing. You have to know the business plus employment laws, federal and state. You answer questions every day in your work.”

Melanie Rowe '18G works for a nonprofit and believes “it’s important to have a good business foundation in addition to expertise in your field.” She most enjoys working in compliance, because she likes “being involved in the action."

“Compliance lets me get involved in every department in the organization,” she said. “I get to learn how everything functions, help fix things that aren’t working and ensure that our process and programs are supporting the organization’s sustainability.”

SNHU also offers a graduate certificate in human resource management, which MBA in HR students can take as a standalone or fold into their program with minimal additional courses. Taking advantage of this opportunity lets you walk away with not one but two in-demand credentials. Together, these two credentials provide robust competency in multiple areas of business as well as HR – an ideal way to increase your knowledge, skills and marketability.

Don't have a business background? No problem. Our MBA is accessible to everyone. Interested students must have a conferred undergraduate degree for acceptance, but it can be in any field. Those without an undergraduate degree in business or a related field may be asked to complete up to 2 foundation courses to get started. These foundations cover essential business skill sets and can be used to satisfy elective requirements for the general-track MBA. With foundations, the maximum length of your online MBA would be 36 credits.

Attend full time or part time. Students in the MBA have the option to enroll full time (at 2 classes per term) or part time (with 1 class per term). Full-time students should be able to complete the program in about 1 year, while part-time students could finish in about 2 years. Our students are busy, often juggling jobs, family and other obligations, so you may want to work with your academic advisor to identify the course plan that works for you. The good news is, you can switch from full time to part time and back again as often as you want.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education 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.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

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