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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: January 01 Classes Start: January 03

The MBA That Fits Your Life

  • Under $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. But with the curriculum revised in 2021, 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 new MBA program also allows you to move through your core coursework faster, even giving you the ability to finish in about a year should you choose to take part full time.

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

Learn how to:

  • Lead and operate within cross-functional teams by effectively navigating the complexities of HR management
  • Analyze and interpret data for decision-making
  • Develop and foster adaptable strategies for an organization
  • Evaluate and implement various models and processes in the design and continuous improvement of organizations and their practices
  • Cultivate globally aware and culturally responsive teams and organizations
  • Create and implement plans around culture, ethical and legal standards, and sustainable practices

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.”

Career Outlook

The HR role will continue to evolve as companies in every industry adjust to the long-term effects of events like the 2020 pandemic.

But whether the workforce expands or contracts as organizations retool, there could always be demand for strong human resource leadership. An MBA in Human Resources degree can furnish you with both the strategic and soft skills to take on that role.

Deborah Gogliettino with text Deborah GogliettinoDeborah Gogliettino, SNHU’s associate dean for human resources, describes the role this way. “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. 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.

  • Human resource managers serve as the link between employees and management, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They handle hiring and recruitment, and oversee staffing and benefits programs. The BLS projects 6% job growth for HR managers through 2029 and a median salary of $116,720. The bureau notes that higher-level positions, such as human resources director, may require an advanced degree such as a master’s degree in human resources, labor relations or business administration (MBA).2
  • Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop and oversee employee payment programs. According to the BLS, they set the organization’s pay and benefits structure, monitor competitive wage rates and ensure compliance with government regulations, among other duties. The BLS projects 3% job growth for this specialized HR role and a median salary of $122,270.2
  • Training and development managers oversee training programs, staff and budgets. According to the BLS, they often work with top executives and financial managers to identify and match training priorities with overall business goals. The BLS projects 7% job growth for this occupation through 2029 and a median salary of $113,350.2

While these roles are among the most common, you’ll find your MBA HR degree opens doors in managerial and executive positions across a diverse range of industries. According to the BLS,2 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

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

Start Your Journey Towards an Online Human Resources Degree

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. 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.

Melanie Rowe with text Melanie RoweMelanie Rowe ’18G offers strong rationale for pursuing her MBA in human resource management online at SNHU. “As a director, it’s important to have a good business foundation in addition to expertise in your field,” she said. “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.”

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.
  • 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.
  • Participate in a flex learning pathway. You'll get more fluidity in assignment due dates. Some even span across multiple modules.

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.”

Rowe 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.

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 $1,881 $627 $9,405 
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.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

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.

References