M.S. in Human Resources and Organization Development

Started Your Carrer? Finish Your Degree

US News Grad Education badgeThe labor market data are clear: there is a growing demand for baccalaureate and graduate degree attained human resources staff, managers, and leaders within positions of human resources, organizational development, talent management, and human capital. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational outlook for managers and specialists in the field of human resources is expected to grow 116% by 2024 (N = 6820) in the State of Kentucky alone, and national levels indicate similar signs of exponential growth. The most recent projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook places employment of human resources managers at 9 percent through 2024, faster than average relative to other occupations, nationwide.

If you value the performance, development, learning of people and organizations, we hope you will consider joining our program!

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Program Options

Our innovative master's programs have a common emphasis on leading performance, development, and learning through discovery and critical inquiry.

Human Resource and Organization DevelopmentStrategic and tactical human resources and organization development at the local, national, and global level. Focused on the implementation of human resource leadership, organizational development, and workplace learning and performance.
Health Professions EducationEducation, learning, leadership, and organization change for healthcare settings
  • Downtown Louisville (Health Science Campus)
  • Louisville (Clifton Center)
  • Partially online
Career and Technical EducationFor more information please contact Jodi Adams, NTI Director


Our Department

Other Resources

Distance Learning

Our Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development can be completed entirely or partially online. Students who take all courses online are not required to visit Louisville at any time during the program. All courses require a time each week when students participate in live synchronous online class sessions. Courses are offered through an online course management system called Blackboard, provided as part of UofL tuition. Our online courses allow students to do the following...

  • Read the course materials
  • Submit papers and assignments
  • View grades
  • Participate in live, online class sessions using a headset and/or webcam
  • Discuss case studies or course content with classmates on a discussion board
  • Watch and listen to short lectures from your instructor
  • Participate in case study simulations

The biggest benefit of online learning is that you can earn your degree from home while raising your family, working full time, or while experiencing other life circumstances that make commuting to class difficult or impossible. At UofL, we offer online courses with the same instructors and same requirements as face-to-face courses.

For more information. UofL Online Learning website.

To request information. UofL Online Learning Request Form.

How you be a successful online learner...

Online learning is not for everyone. Successful online students...

  • Have a desire to learn online
  • Are highly self-motivated
  • Have strong time management and organizational skills
  • Can work independently
  • Are not afraid to speak up when problems arise

For more information, visit the UofL Online Learning website.


The program requires 11 courses--33 hours (portfolio/fieldwork option) or 36 hours (thesis option).

Our curriculum in all three concentrations is centered around five program goals:

  • Investigate Gap
  • Produce Interventions
  • Implement and Lead Change
  • Evaluate Outcomes
  • Integrate Foundational Knowledge and Skills
Course PrefixCourse #Course TitleCredit Hours
Core Courses: (18 Hours)
ELFH605Leadership in Human Resource and Organizational Development3
ELFH611Strategic Human Resources3
ELFH617Evidenced-Based Research in Human Resource and Organizational Development3
ELFH661Adult and Organizational Learning3
ELFH662Organizational Analysis3
ELFH616Human Resource and Organizational Development Integrative Capstone3
Elective Classes (15 hours) | Choose Combination of the Below Classes. Must Equal 15 Hours
ELFH578Ethics in the Workplace3
ELFH614Program and Organization Evaluation3
ELFH612Talent Acquisition and Management3
ELFH624Global Human Resource Development3
ELFH631Performance Management and Rewards3
ELFH660Diversity and Inclusion3
ELFH663Methods of Facilitation3
ELFH664Organizational Change and Consulting3
ELFH671Performance Improvement3
ELFH672Instructional Design and Development3
ELFH674Advanced Leadership Theory3
ELFH696Special Topics in Human Resource and Organizational Development3
Minimum total hours:

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Admission Requirements

New students can begin courses in the fall, spring, or summer terms. The HROD Admissions Committee has three review cycles each year:

Admission CycleDeadline for Submission of ALL MaterialsTerm for Admission
Fall Admissions CycleJune 15thFall
Spring Admissions CycleOctober 15thSpring
Summer Admissions Cycle February 15thSummer

Please note: If you cannot complete the application prior to the final admission cycle deadline, contact the HPE Program HROD Program Representative, to determine whether space remains so that you can be considered for admission.

Download Step-by-Step Application Instructions [PDF]

Admission is competitive. Meeting the GRE and GPA minimums does not guarantee acceptance into the program. The HROD Admissions Committee requires the following materials to make a decision about admission:

  • Graduate School Application: Complete the online application to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies or submit a paper application.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Unconditional admission requires a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for all coursework taken.

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically,
    please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • GRE Scores (required for some): For applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and no terminal degree (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D.), you must submit GRE scores.
    --GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011 must be a minimum of 800 (combined verbal and quantitative) for consideration for unconditional admission.
    --GRE scores under the current exam must be a minimum of 146 (verbal) and 140 (quantitative) for consideration for unconditional admission.
    Please note: when submitting GRE scores through ETS, have scores sent to the general University of Louisville code, 1838.
    Need help preparing for the GRE? Sign up for a GRE Information Session.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Score (required for some): For international students from countries where English is not the native language. Students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. are exempt from this requirement.
  • Two letters of recommendation [PDF]. If you have studied at a college or university in the last five years, the admissions committee prefers to see at least one letter from a faculty member. Other references can include work supervisors. Personal references (e.g. family, friends) are not accepted.
  • Goal Statement Sheet [PDF]. The Admissions Committee evaluates applications based on how an applicant's goals, professional experiences, and commitment to education are an appropriate fit with this program.
  • Current Resume

If you have questions about applying to the program, please contact an Admissions Counselor at 502-852-0953.


Kevin Rose, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Scholar-Practitioner in Residence
College of Education and Human Development, room 336; 502-852-0619; kevin.rose@louisville.edu

For more information about the Master's of Science in Human Resource and Organization Development program, please contact us by email at HROD@louisville.edu or by phone at 502-852-6475

Human Resources and Organization Development Faculty & Staff Listing

Resources and Certification Information for Human Resource Management Professionals

The Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development (MSHROD) is officially aligned with, and recognized by, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the premiere professional home for professionals in the Human Resource field, as being a partner program. Being SHRM aligned ensures prospective students that the MSHROD prepares graduates within SHRM’s recommended guidelines for excellent Human Resource education at the graduate level. Prospective students can be sure that the MSHROD program offers a broad and comprehensive curriculum in Human Resources that reflects industry agreement regarding the standards that constitute a broad and deep education in the field of Human Resources.

The MSHROD at the University of Louisville is the only school based in Kentucky recognized by SHRM as an aligned school. Guidelines for SHRM alignment are revalidated every three to five years.

SHRM-CP Exam and Certification

Starting Fall 2017, students who are in their last semester of the MSHROD will be eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP exam. To qualify for this incredible benefit offered only through SHRM aligned programs, students must be in their final semester of course work from a SHRM aligned program such as the MSHROD, be in good standing for graduation, and have a minimum of 500-direct hours of hands on, real world experience in the areas of human resources (hours can include in-course projects as well as course-related field work and experiences such as those in the MSHROD). The SHRM-CP is the standard in certification for Human Resource professionals across the globe, and according to SHRM is "among the first HR certifications that is focused on teaching and testing the practical, real-life information HR professionals need to excel in their careers today."

More information about the SHRM-CP exam can be found here:

Resources and Certification Information for Learning and Development Professionals

For students in the Training and Development (Undergraduate) or Workplace Learning and Performance (Graduate) tracks, the Association for Talent Development (ATD), is the premier national organization for learning and development professionals. ATD is heavily vested in higher education, especially in the areas of talent development, training, and organizational development. ATD offers professional certifications, scholarships, and dissertation awards in addition to many other content-related services.

Curriculum in the T&D; and WLP tracks at the University of Louisville are aligned with the newest ATD standards and competencies. Each class throughout our undergraduate and graduate programs is grounded in real-world practice and designed for the scholar-practitioner. Students who complete their degree at the University of Louisville will be well prepared to sit for either the Certified Professional in Learning Performance Certificate (CPLP) or the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) certifications. More information about each of those certifications can be found here (hyperlink to this website: https://www.td.org/Certification).

Below is a comprehensive list of resources that ATD provides for students enrolled in aligned curriculum:

Local ATD Chapters

There is likely a local chapter of ATD in your area that you could join at a reduced cost. These chapters promote student activity through service work, presentation opportunities and above all networking opportunities. The local chapter in the Kentuckiana area is located right here in Louisville (http://atdky.org) with an ATD Geographic Interest Group (GIG) in Lexington, which is part of local Louisville-based chapter. Both of these organizations meet monthly on different dates.

For more information on chapters nation-wide, check out the National Chapter Locator.

Financial Aid

  • Graduate Assistantships (full-time Louisville-based students)
  • Scholarships (full-time students)
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Student Loans (available if taking more than 4.5 credit hours per semester, 3 hours in summer). Please visit the Student Financial Aid website for additional information.
  • Payment Plans. Click on the "Financial Settlement Options" for your semester to learn more about University of Louisville tuition payment plans.
  • Tuition Reimbursement Payment Plan. Click on the "Financial Settlement Options" for your semester to learn more about tuition deferment for students whose employers will reimburse tuition after the semester is over.

For current tuition information, please see the FAQ tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if the HROD Program Committee approves the request. Courses can be transferred only if they cover the same content as a course in our program. After HROD approval, transfer requests are submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition amounts may change each year as determined by the UofL Board of Trustees. For current tuition rates, please visit the Bursar's Office Tuition page.

Please note: Our program at the Ft. Knox Extended Campus is offered at a rate of $16,500 ($1,500 per 3-hour course), if the program is completed in four years.

What is the difference between the three concentrations?

Our program concentrations have a common emphasis on leading performance, development, and learning through discovery and critical inquiry. The Health Professions Education concentration emphasizes education, learning, leadership, and organization change for healthcare settings. The Human Resource Leadership concentration focuses on strategic and tactical human resource leadership for generalists and specialists. The Workplace Learning and Performance concentration emphasizes learning, training, performance improvement, and instructional design in work settings.

What's the typical student like?

Our student population is very diverse. Students range from recent college graduates to seasoned HROD professionals with years of experience. Approximately 30 percent of our students currently work in HROD-related positions, 30 percent are full-time students, and the remainder work in other full-time positions.

What are the assignments like?

All courses require readings, smaller assignments, and a Hallmark Assessment. The Hallmark Assessment is the culminating large project that requires that you integrate most of the course content into one large task. Most Hallmark Assessments require that you conduct a project in a real organization. For example, rather than learning about how to conduct a needs assessment of an organizational problem, you will actually conduct a real needs assessment in an organization.

How much work does the program require?

This graduate program is intense. The faculty expect that you work hard, think deeply, and apply what you've learned to real-life situations. The courses require that you think seriously and use sound ideas, in order to move beyond fads and temporary trends. You'll find that each course requires you to apply what you've learned to the HROD field. These projects can require more work than you might find in other courses, but our students report that the reward is worth the extra effort.

How long does it take to complete this degree?

Full-time students need at least a year and a half to complete the degree. Most part-time students complete the program in 2-3 years; however, you can take up to six years. Students with full-time jobs cannot take more than two courses per semester.