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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 the College of Education and Human Development, the online M.S. in Human Resources and Organization Development prepares students for the future of HR. Through our SHRM-aligned curriculum built by industry experts, students will acquire the knowledge and abilities to guide change to the development of your organization and talent. Students will also gain the skills needed to efficiently implement human resource leadership including improving workplace learning and performance, talent acquisition, and using 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    

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.


  • Skip the GRE—not required for admission.
  • Expand your network through hybrid online evening class sessions.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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

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Complete the 11 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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"My decision to pursue a master’s degree in the HROD program was questionable due to the 13-year gap in receiving my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration…The (HROD) program's curriculum, real-life work experience, networking, resources, expectations, encouragement, guidance, compassion, and dedication from the professors, advisors, and CEHD staff were instrumental in the plethora of knowledge and confidence I gained. My outcome: graduating with honors and being a recipient of the R. Wayne Pace Award."

Tanisha Hackett
Online M.S. HROD graduate '21

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

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 human resources 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 a 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
  • Talent Acquisition Vice President
  • Talent Acquisition Director
  • Human Resources Director
  • Workforce Development Consultant
  • Employee Relations Manager
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Priority Application Deadline Term Start Date
August 1 Fall Ⅰ August
September 10 Fall ⅠⅠ October
December 10 Spring Ⅰ January
February 10 Spring ⅠⅠ March
May 1 Summer 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
  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.


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.
  • Current resume

GRE test scores are 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 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 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 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

      Partner 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, 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.

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