HR Program FAQs

Question 1 Are there employment opportunities in Human Resources?
Question 2 How will earning a master's degree in human resources help my career?
Question 3 Wouldn't I be better off getting an MBA degree?
Question 4 Can I earn my master’s degree (M.S.) in human resources completely online?
Question 5 Must I be a computer nerd to take blended and distance HR courses at WCU?
Question 6 How long will it take me to earn my master’s (M.S.) in human resources?
Question 7 Can I transfer in courses from other universities?
Question 8 Can I receive credit for life experience or for SPHR certification?
Question 9 Must I write a thesis or complete a comprehensive exam to earn my master’s (M.S.) degree in human resources?
Question 10 How much will it cost to attend college each semester?
Question 11 What if I don't meet the admission requirements? Can I still be admitted?
Question 12 Am I eligible for financial aid or student loans?
Question 13 Will Western help me get a job after graduation?
Question 14 How do I apply to the program?
Question 15 How can I get my other questions answered?


  Question 1 Are there employment opportunities in Human Resources?

Answer: Yes, the employment of human resources, training, and labor relations specialists and managers is expected to grow in the foreseeable future. New jobs will stem from increasing efforts throughout industry to recruit and retain quality employees. Employers are expected to devote greater resources to job-specific training programs in response to the increasing complexity of many jobs, the aging of the work force, and technological advances that can leave employees with obsolete skills.

Question 2 How will earning a master’s degree in human resources help my career?

Answer: Earning an M.S. in Human Resources can help you upgrade your HR knowledge and skills and thus improve your current job performance and your chances for being promoted. It can also make you more marketable outside your organization and increase your personal career satisfaction.

Question 3 Wouldn't I be better off getting an M.B.A. degree?

Answer: If you love the financial side of business and your goal is to secure a high-level non-human resource position, you probably should consider earning an M.B.A. degree. However, if you have a passion for the human side of business and your goal is to secure a high-level human resources position, you should secure a master's degree in your field.

Question 4 Can I earn my master’s degree in human resources completely online?

Answer: Yes, by successfully completing twelve courses online from Western Carolina University, you can earn your master’s degree (M.S.) in human resources completely online over the World Wide Web.

Question 5 Must I be a computer nerd to take blended and distance HR courses at WCU?

Answer: No, but all HR students are expected to have access to an up-to-date Windows computer, a fast Internet connection (e.g., DSL or cable connection), and the Microsoft Office Suite (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). Students should be able to navigate the Web, use MS Office Suite programs, upload and download files, send and receive e-mails with attachments, play streaming media with Windows Media player, zip and unzip files, and maintain a virus-free computer. All HR students receive free technical support, online training, and virus projection from Western Carolina University. They can also purchase computers and software through WCU with a student discount.

Question 6 How long will it take me to earn my master’s degree (M.S.) in human resources?

Answer: Part-time students taking two courses per semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) can earn their MSHR degree in as little as two years.

Question 7 Can I transfer in courses from other universities?

Answer: It is possible to transfer in 6 semester hours. The courses must be part of a master's degree program at a fully accredited university. Forms are available from HR Program Resources.

Question 8 Can I receive credit for life experience or for SPHR certification?

Answer: At this time you can not receive college credit in the HR Program for life experience or SPHR certification. However, individuals with five years of full-time HR work experience and SPHR certification are not required to do a field experience. They may substitute another HR course for HR 683. For more details about the HR Field Experience read the HR Field Experience FAQ available on the HR Program Curriculum webpage.

Question 9 Must I write a thesis or complete a comprehensive exam to earn my master’s degree (M.S.) in human resources?

Answer: HR degree candidates are not required to write a thesis or complete a comprehensive exam.

Question 10 How much will it cost to attend college each semester?

Answer: Costs vary depending on how many courses you are taking and whether you are a distance or blended learner. Not including textbooks, online students currently pay approximately $185.69 (in-state) and $655.54 (out-of-state) per semester credit hour. Please keep in mind that these costs are subject to change by the state legislature and board of the university. Students living in selected states outside of North Carolina may request to take courses at in-state rates. For additional information about tuition visit Distance Learning Tuition and Fees.

Question 11 What if I don't meet the admission requirements? Can I still be admitted?

Answer: Applicants who fall short of the GPA or GRE criteria are sometimes admitted as "provisional" students." Such admissions are done on a case-by-case basis. To remain in the program, provisional students must earn no grade less than "B" during their first 12 semester hours.

Question 12 Am I eligible for financial aid or student loans?

Answer: Yes, online students may secure student loans through Western's Office of Financial Aid. Review types of aid that are available.

Question 13 Will Western help me get a job after graduation?

Answer: Yes, Western's Career Services Center provides many services and events designed to help graduates secure employment in their chosen fields.  MSHR program faculty are also committed to sharing any opportunities that they are made aware of with current students and alumni.  Furthermore, we strongly encourage joining SHRM as a Student Member to take advantage of the many benefits and reduced student dues.  There are national, state and regional SHRM groups that provide students various networking opportunities.  Professional networking is reported to be one of the best ways to get a job.

Question 14 How do I apply to the program?

Answer: The quickest way to apply to the program is to visit the Apply to the HR Program webpage and download the required application materials. A completed online application form, application fee, official transcripts, official GRE scores, and three letters of reference forms are required. If you wish, you can phone the Graduate School at 1-800-369-9854 with any questions. The application deadline for fall semester is April 1; the application deadline for spring semester is November 1.

Question 15 How can I get my other questions answered?

Answer: For answers to addition questions you are encouraged to e-mail (sherlock@email.wcu.edu) or phone (828-227-3380) Dr. John Sherlock, HR Program director and assistant professor of human resources.

 

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