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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 delivers knowledge and skills you can immediately apply within your workplace through a SHRM-aligned curriculum built by experts in the industry. This learning method is highly regarded by students and employers, as it yields the best learning outcomes and adds real value in the workplace.

MSHROD Online Info Session: Wednesday, April 15

12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
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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?

$764 per credit hour
$250 active duty military rate per credit hour

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.


  • Gain HR and organizational leadership skills through relevant, real-world projects that provide direct application to your field.
  • Take SHRM-aligned courses and prepare to sit for the SHRM-CP exam.
  • Challenge yourself with rigorous class assignments, and develop your ability to think unconventionally about conventional problems.
  • Learn from expert faculty with substantial experience in the field.
  • Collaborate with fellow students who work in a variety of organizations during synchronous online evening class sessions.
  • Complete your degree in as little as two years.
  • Take classes 100% online and access learning tools 24/7.

The HROD program is officially recognized 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 a regionally-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, professional experience and commitment to education (see required cover sheet [pdf])
  • GRE test scores not required

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 six credits may be transferred, if they directly replace course in the program. Approval must be granted by the program.

International Applicants

If you live outside of the United States 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.

Start Your Application

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

LEAD 605 Leadership in Human Resource and Organizational Development
Study of the modern theories of leadership, management, and leadership development. Applied overview of the key concepts and principles of leadership and leadership development.

LEAD 611 Strategic Human Resources
Examination of key concepts and principles of strategic human resource management, with special emphasis on the role of HR within the organization. Essential foundational knowledge and skills essential for HR professionals and managers.

LEAD 617 Evidenced-Based Research in Human Resource and Organizational Development
Use and application of evidence-based research in Human Resources and Organizational Development. Emphasis on applying research to organizational decision-making. Includes accessing, interpreting, critiquing, and synthesizing research.

LEAD 661 Adult and Organizational Learning
Psychology applied to adult learning and organizational settings. Examines learning from both individual/team and organizational levels. Utilization of theories to increase individual and organizational performance through sustained and effective learning.

LEAD 662 Organizational Analysis
Examination of the process and techniques used to conduct an organizational analysis in order to identify societal, organizational, departmental and individual performance needs.

LEAD 616 Human Resource and Organizational Development Integrative Capstone
Culminating experience that requires integration of research, theory, and practice of human resources and organization development through a fieldwork experience, program portfolio/systematic reflection on past work, and integrative content seminar.

LEAD 578 Ethics in the Workplace
Study and application of ethical perspectives at individual group, organizational, and societal levels,as they apply to leadership in workplaces and management of organizational information. Includes examination of social responsibility.

LEAD 614 Program and Organization Evaluation
Examines program and organization evaluation with emphasis on principles of planning, information systems, evaluation, and decision making.

LEAD 612 Talent Acquisition and Management
Theories and techniques of key human resource management functions of HR planning and selection. A systems approach is used to explore HR planning as the managing of supply and demand for labor internal and external to the organization. Multiple strategies are examined for measuring predicted job performance to effectively plan, recruit, and select employees.

LEAD 624 Global Human Resource Development
Leadership and human resources development processes at the individual, group, organizational, and global levels are examined from a cross-cultural perceptive. Emphasis in placed on the assessment, challenge, and support activities conductive to developing global leadership skills and awareness in a variety of organizational and cultural contexts.

LEAD 631 Performance Management and Rewards
Theories and techniques of the key human resource functions of performance management, benefits, and compensation. Focus on using performance management and total rewards to achieve individual and organizational performance.

LEAD 660 Diversity and Inclusion
Focuses on concepts of diversity and inclusion in organizations, and the changing demographics of our society, especially related to race and culture, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and socio economic status. This course emphasizes the implications of these factors for effective management in human resources and organizations in general.

LEAD 663 Methods of Facilitation
Development of the presentation skills needed to conduct training programs in non-school settings. Focus placed upon the difference between teaching and facilitation of adult learning.

LEAD 664 Organizational Change and Consulting
Study of the organization as a system, how organizations change, and the role of the internal or external consultant in facilitating change.

LEAD 671 Performance Improvement
Knowledge and skills to move from analysis of performance problems to identifying, selecting, and developing interventions that improve performance of individuals, groups, and organizations to achieve organizational goals.

LEAD 672 Instructional Design and Development
Emphasizes systematic processes for the design and development of instruction with application to education and training. Current theory and research on instructional design and development, in accordance with principles of teaching and learning.

LEAD 674 Advanced Leadership Theory
Participants will explore and develop an understanding of both classical and contemporary leadership theory. Theory and research will be integrated as a means to better understand the emergence of leadership, its practice as an art, and its application in contemporary practice within organizational settings. Critical perspectives on the topic will be discussed and reflected upon. Deep understanding of theory to practice will be covered.

LEAD 696 Special Topics in Human Resource and Organizational Development
By arrangement with dean and advisor. Independent study in a selected subject area with approval and supervision by a faculty member.

    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.

        • 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.

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