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Online Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development

The online Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development (HROD) is designed for professionals who want to advance their career and acquire new expertise in the human resources field through hands-on learning.

Offered by the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville, this program will prepare you for the next generation of HR leadership. Students will acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively drive efficient change through a SHRM-aligned curriculum built by industry experts.


Complete your degree on your own time through fully online coursework. Class meetings available.

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Complete only 11 courses and earn your master’s degree within 2 years!

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Start at the time that’s right for you with Fall, Spring and Summer admission.

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Online learning video - Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development

"Here at UofL, my experience has been simply outstanding. The professors are first-rate, the material is spot on. It’s realistic, it’s relevant. It’s a great program to be a part of."


How Much Will I Pay?

Tuition & Aid    

Tuition rate does not include costs associated with a specific course or program, such as textbooks. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time without prior notice.


  • SHRM-aligned—this program prepares you for the SHRM-CP exam!
  • Expand your network through hybrid online evening class sessions.
  • Learn the skills to implement strategic organizational change.
  • Start spring, summer or fall and earn your degree in 2 years or less.
  • You'll learn from the best—our faculty are masters in their fields, valued consultants to major companies, and provide insight into the classroom unmatched elsewhere.
  • Special opportunity for U.S. Army Adjunct General Captains Career Course (AGCCC) Graduates.

The HROD program is officially aligned within SHRM guidelines and standards.

SHRM alignment ensures that the HROD program prepares its students within SHRM’s recommended guidelines for Human Resource education at the graduate level.

Graduating MS HROD students who qualify are eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP exam.

Students must be in their final semester of coursework from a SHRM aligned program (MSHROD), be in good standing for graduation and have a minimum of 500-direct hours of HR experience.


According to the BLS.gov, a master’s degree is the preferred education level for Human Resource roles including managers, specialists and generalists. Not only will an advanced human resources degree set you apart in a pool of candidates for such positions, but it can increase your potential earnings and open up future opportunities for continued career growth.

Jobs may include: HR specialist/manager/director, talent recruiter/manager/coordinator, labor relations representative, talent acquisition manager/director, policy development specialist, workforce development specialist, military HR operations specialist, and more.

Priority Application Deadline Term Start Date
August 1 Fall August
December 1 Spring January
May 1 Summer May/June

Note: We admit students on a rolling basis. The priority deadlines help you complete the application process on time, be notified of acceptance and enroll before the term begins. We review applications as they become complete, and admit students for a specific term up to the day classes start. We recommend you work on and submit your complete application well in advance of the preferred deadline, as obtaining transcripts and other materials may take more time.

Steps to Apply

  1. Complete application for admission – applications received at least six weeks prior to the beginning of a term will be given priority
  2. Submit $65 non-refundable application fee
  3. Submit all official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate work from all previous institutions

Note: Electronic transcripts are only accepted directly from the institution(s). Please have electronic transcripts sent directly to UofL Graduate Admissions Office.


Admission Requirements

The HROD Application Checklist [PDF] can help you navigate through the admission requirements and keep track of next steps. UofL has a holistic approach to admission, thus applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis. Candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements may still be admitted. Requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution*
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for all coursework taken for unconditional admission.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s academic and professional capabilities.
  • Goal statement detailing your goals, a formal 1-2 page, single-spaced statement that describes your interest in the MS HROD program. Candidates should expand upon their:
    • personal and professional goals and alignment to the program
    • professional experiences and communicate your commitment to graduate education.
  • GRE test scores not required
  • Current resume

Send all materials to:
Graduate Admissions
University of Louisville
2211 S. Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292

Credit Transfer

If you have received graduate credit from another institution, up to 6 credits may be transferred, if they directly replace course in the program*. Approval must be granted by the program.

*See the Graduate School Transfer of Credit Policy for more information.

International Applicants

If you live outside of the U.S. and intend to complete an online academic program at UofL from your home country, be sure to view special requirements for international students.

For more information on the admission and application process, please contact our Online Learning Enrollment Counselor at 800.871.8635 or by email at online@louisville.edu.

The online HROD is a 33 credit hour program that requires 18 credit hours in core courses and 15 credit hours in electives covering specialized topics including talent acquisition and management, methods of facilitation, and e-learning design and development. As part of the program, you will also complete an initial assessment, midpoint assessment, exit assessment and a professional portfolio to better prepare you for your next career move.

The program is designed around research-based competencies from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Core Courses

Course List Hours
LEAD 605 Leadership in Human Resource and Organizational Development 3
LEAD 611 Strategic Human Resources 3
LEAD 617 Evidenced-Based Research in Human Resource and Organizational Development 3
LEAD 661 Adult and Organizational Learning 3
LEAD 662 Organizational Analysis 3
LEAD 616 Human Resource and Organizational Development Integrative Capstone 3
Core Credit Hours Required 18

Elective Courses

Course List (choose 5) Hours
LEAD 578 Ethics in the Workplace 3
LEAD 614 Program and Organization Evaluation 3
LEAD 612 Talent Acquisition and Management 3
LEAD 624 Global Human Resource Development 3
LEAD 631 Performance Management and Rewards 3
LEAD 660 Diversity and Inclusion 3
LEAD 663 Methods of Facilitation 3
LEAD 664 Organizational Change and Consulting 3
LEAD 671 Performance Improvement 3
LEAD 672 Instructional Design and Development 3
LEAD 674 Advanced Leadership Theory 3
LEAD 696 Special Topics in Human Resource and Organizational Development 3
Elective Credit Hours Required 15
Total Credit Hours Required in Program 33

Course Descriptions

    Full-Time Faculty

      Adjunct Faculty

        The set of questions and answers outlined below can help you learn more about our program, delivery method, application and admission process, financial aid options and how to succeed as an online student at UofL. 

        • What are the benefits of online learning?

          The biggest benefit of online learning is that you can work to earn your degree from your own home while raising a family, working full-time or experiencing particular life circumstances that make commuting to campus difficult or impossible.

        • How is the online program different than the one on-campus?

          At UofL you are taught by the same world-class faculty as our on-campus students. You read the same books, do many of the same assignments and earn the same degrees. The biggest difference is that you are able to do it in a way best fits your lifestyle.

        • What are 8-week “hybrid” classes?

          These are fully-online classes with 3-4 synchronous meetings required over the 8-week period.

        • I am on active duty. Can I take online classes at UofL?

          Yes! You can take online classes from anywhere in the world, provided you have consistent Internet access.

        • Can I receive credit for graduate courses completed at another institution?

          Earned graduate credit may be transferred from accredited institutions that offer advanced degrees. Generally, the maximum number of semester hours transferable, upon request, is six.

        • Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required for admission?

          No (for applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 college credits). If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you are admitted unconditionally.

          Yes (for applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0). GRE scores under the current exam must be a minimum of 146 (verbal) and 140 (quantitative) for consideration for unconditional admission. GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011 must be a minimum of 800 (combined verbal and quantitative) for consideration for unconditional admission.

        • Is there a recommended course sequence for graduation?

          The HROD program is designed to be flexible to meet the needs of busy adults, therefore, we offer several paths based on your professional needs or personal circumstances. Below are suggestions and a few important requirements:

          • Students with full-time jobs may take up to two courses per semester.
          • Students with part-time jobs (or who are not currently working) may take three courses per semester, if desired.
          • Students desiring an HR emphasis should consider electives LEAD 612 and LEAD 631.
          • Students desiring a Workplace Learning emphasis should consider electives LEAD 663 and LEAD 672.
          • LEAD 617 must be taken in the first semester.
          • LEAD 616 must be taken in the last semester.
          • LEAD 624 offers an international trip* (to Budapest Hungary June 2021) to attend the University Forum on HRD (UFHRD)

          *This is a one week trip not included in your tuition. Estimated costs for the trip is $2500.00 which includes airfare, conference registration, transportation, hotel and meals; scholarships available.

        For answers to any other questions you might have, please submit an Information Request Form.