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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, prepare for leadership roles and acquire new expertise in the human resources field through hands-on learning.

Offered by our College of Education and Human Development, the online MS in Human Resources and Organization Development prepares students for the future of HR. Officially aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), our curriculum was built by industry experts, which will allow students to acquire the knowledge and abilities needed to successfully guide the development of any team and organization. Students will also gain the skills needed to efficiently implement human resource leadership including improving workplace learning and performance, talent acquisition, and the use of evidence-based research for decision-making. This program includes professional portfolio completion to better prepare students for their next career move.

How Much Will I Pay?

Tuition & Aid    

UofL Online MS HROD Program Highlights

Here is why UofL’s online HR program has more to offer students than other programs and how it can give students what they need to succeed.

  • Skip the GRE—not required for admission.
  • 100% Online classes & optional synchronous meetings.
  • Learn the skills to implement strategic organizational change.
  • SHRM-aligned—this program helps to prepare you for the SHRM-CP exam!
  • Start spring, summer or fall and earn your degree in 2 years or less.
  • Learn from the best - our faculty are world-class masters in their field, and serve as valued consultants at major companies.
  • Special opportunity for U.S. Army Adjunct General Captains Career Course (AGCCC) Graduates.


Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Alignment

The HROD program is officially aligned with 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.

Any student enrolled in the MS HROD program can sit for the SHRM-CP exam

While students will be best-prepared for the SHRM-CP exam after graduating, any student enrolled in our program may sit for the exam.

SHRM offers a discount on the SHRM certification exam for active-duty and reserve members of the military, veterans, and military spouses. Funding may be available to cover the costs of the exams, preparation and recertification, so visit your branch's COOL site for financial assistance qualification information.


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

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Complete the 10 courses formatted as 8-week increments 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 Resource and Organization Development

"I chose the University of Louisville's MS in Human Resources and Organization Development program to help prepare me for an executive-level position. When I applied for the program, I initially thought, 'What can I possibly learn about HR that I have not already experienced in my career?' To my great surprise, I learned that what I do daily is just scratching the surface of what HR professionals can do. This program forces you to look at HR from many different perspectives, and it really gives you the tools that you need to gain a seat at any executive table. If you are considering enrolling in this program, I would encourage you to take the leap, you will not be disappointed."

Tommie Fulp
Class of 2023

Get your online Master's in HROD with no GRE required!

Unlike many graduate programs, the Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development at the University of Louisville does not require GRE test scores for admission. We believe that relevant work experience, community involvement, strong letters of recommendation and a clear professional goal statement carry more weight than standardized test performance alone. By evaluating applicants based on their demonstrated passion, commitment to human resources and interpersonal skills, we aim to build a diverse MS HROD cohort poised to drive organizational effectiveness.

Organizational Development Focused

The University of Louisville's online Master of Science in Human Resources and Organization Development doesn’t just cover the basics of HR, but it also focuses on developing organizational effectiveness through strategies like talent management, leadership development and change management. With roots in both human resources and organization development, this degree program prepares HR professionals to take a holistic, strategic approach to managing people and processes within an organization.

What can you do with a Master’s in Human Resources and Organization Development?

The essential knowledge, skills and credentials earned from a master’s in human resources equips you to advance your career and become an effective leader in the field. You’ll be prepared to advance your career as well as your potential earnings. Many graduates go on to land jobs as HR managers, which have a median annual salary of $121,220 (bls.gov).

Earning a master's in HR online can also boost your resume in a pool of candidates and set you up for long-term success by opening up future opportunities for continued career growth.

What jobs are available with an online human resources graduate degree?

Organizations across a variety of industries have a need for human resource professionals to effectively implement talent acquisition, guide continuously evolving workplace standards and more. The 2019-2029 occupational outlook for HR management positions is expected to grow 6% nationwide, which is faster than the average national occupation growth rate (bls.gov).

Graduates pursue and may assume roles as:

  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Principal, Organization Development Consultant
  • Organizational Development Consultant
  • Chief Operations and People Officer
  • Chief Strategy and People Officer
  • Learning and Development Director
  • Talent Acquisition Vice President
  • Talent Acquisition Director
  • Human Resources Director
  • Workforce Development Consultant
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Training and Corporate Learning Director

"The University of Louisville online MSHROD program was perfect for me. My future or long-range goal is to become a VP of Talent. I have over seven years of experience in talent acquisition, and about three and a half years of DEI experience. I wanted to broaden that more into the organization development space and consulting within the HR space, and those programs within the MSHROD has all of that."

Raphael Garcia, M.S. HROD
Class of 2023

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


Online MS HROD Application Deadlines

Application Deadline Term Start Date
August 1 Fall Ⅰ August
September 10 Fall ⅠⅠ Late September/October
December 10 Spring Ⅰ January
February 10 Spring ⅠⅠ Late February/March
May 1 Summer Late May/June

Note: We admit students on a rolling basis. The published deadlines help you complete the application process on time, be notified of acceptance and enroll before the term begins. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only for the next term. For example, applications submitted after DEC 10, will be considered for our Spring II term. We recommend you work on and submit your complete application well in advance of the published deadline, as obtaining transcripts and other materials may take more time.

How to Apply for the Online MS HROD Program

  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
  4. Check for Scholarships

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


Online MS HROD 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 required for all undergraduate and graduate coursework. If your cumulative GPA is below 2.5, please contact Dr. Brad Shuck to discuss your interest in the program, your academic background and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree.
  • 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.
  • Current resume
  • Request official transcripts certifying an undergraduate degree earned from an accredited institution.
    • Send directly to: Graduate Admissions
      • Electronic (recommended): gradadm@louisville.edu
      • Physical mail:
        University of Louisville,
        Graduate School
        2211 S Brook St
        Louisville, KY 40292;

Online MS HROD Transfer Credits

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

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

Online MS HROD for 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.

Online MS HROD Course Requirements & Offerings

The online MS HROD program is a 30 credit hour program that requires 18 credit hours in core courses and 12 credit hours in electives covering specialized topics including talent acquisition and management, methods of facilitation, and e-learning design and development. Courses are 100% online, asynchronous and delivered in 8-week terms.

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).

Online MS HROD Core Courses

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

Online MS HROD Electives

Course List (choose 4) Hours
LEAD 578 Workplace and Information Ethics 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 Independent Study: HRE or IT 3
Elective Credit Hours Required 12
Total Credit Hours Required in Program 30


Course Descriptions

    Full-Time Faculty

      Partner Faculty

        Online MS HROD FAQs

        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 optional synchronous meetings?

          Students may join 3-4 optional synchronous meetings, which are offered and led by faculty during the 8-week period. In these meetings, students may learn more about topics in the HR field, receive additional information about the program and connect with fellow online students and faculty, in addition to other topics of discussion.

        • 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, the GRE is not required for 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.
        • What's the difference between an MS and an MA in Human Resources?

          A Master of Science and Master of Arts in Human Resource Management provide similar advanced training with some key differences. The main difference between the two degrees is that the MS programs emphasize research and theory while MA programs sometimes focus more on HR history and practical research. With less time on general topics, an MS builds well for those with a business/management background. Ultimately, most employers view the degrees as equal.

        • How many credits is this online Human Resources master's degree?

          UofL's online MS HROD program consists of 30 credits, 18 of those being core courses and 12 being electives.

        • What is the SHRM-CP exam?

          The SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management-Certified Professional) designation is a special certification which is offered to professionals working in the Human Resources field. This certification allows HR professionals to advance their careers through demonstrated knowledge of various HR practices, policies, procedures and strategies or initiatives.

        • Why get a master's degree in Human Resources?

          There are several key reasons to pursue a master's degree in Human Resources:

          • Gain advanced HR knowledge in areas like analytics, training, org development, and more
          • Prepare for upper-level leadership roles like Chief Human Resources Officer or Director of HR
          • Stand out when competing for HR manager and specialist jobs Increase credibility and strategic influence with an advanced degree
          • Learn the latest HR research, frameworks, and best practices
          • Expand your professional network
          • Position yourself for career advancement and higher earning potential
          • Fulfill requirements for certain HR certifications like SHRM-SCP

          The right graduate HR program provides the skills and credentials to take your career to the next level.

        • Can you please tell me more about the Online Master's in HROD in Louisville, Kentucky?

          While the Online Human Resources program is 100% online, the University of Louisville College of Education & Human Development is located in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky, where southern charm meets urban innovation, creating a vibrant tapestry of culture, culinary delights, and friendly faces that beckon you to explore.

          All online MS HROD students are welcome to visit our wonderful campus at any time to meet with faculty, admissions team, career services, etc., and to participate in the university-wide commencement ceremony.

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