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Master's Degree in Human Resources


An Online Degree for Working Professionals

Program Overview

Location: Online

Pre-Requisites: None

Full-Time or Part-Time

Semester Hours: 36

2-Years to Complete

Awarded Best Master's in Human Resources

WCU's 100% online Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR) program is designed to meet the needs of busy professionals who are looking for advancement in the human resources field or who hope to make a career transition into HR.

Online Information Session

Tuesday, June 16, 2021 at 7pm

Register for an online info session about our online master's program for working professionals. Join us for one of our upcoming online information sessions to learn more. We will share exciting information about each program including application information, program highlights and an opportunity to ask questions of the program director or faculty member. Be sure to register in advance for this session!


See a visual of our HR Pro-Bono Consulting


Program application deadlines are April 1 and November 1 and admission to the program involves a few simple steps.

To be admitted to WCU’s online master’s degree program in human resources (HR), you must have:

  • Earned an undergraduate degree from a fully accredited university
  • Maintained a 3.0 (B) GPA.
  • You must also submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can vouch for your scholarly abilities and good work habits. Current or former job supervisors and former professors are ideal references (recommendations from friends, colleagues or former staff members are not sufficient).  All official transcripts should be mailed directly to the graduate school.

Prospective students with strong grade point averages and references may be allowed to enter the program with "conditional status" and take up to two courses before GRE scores are submitted.


Only applicants who have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25/4.0 or higher will be considered for conditional admission, which allows them to take classes for one semester while preparing for and taking the GRE. All others need to submit GRE scores in order to have their application considered.  Applicants who already have earned a graduate degree do not have to submit GRE scores. 

If you took the old GRE, the MSHR program seeks applicants with a combined verbal and quantitative score of 900 and an analytical writing score of 3.5.  If you took the new revised GRE the MSHR program seeks applicants with at least a score of 150 on the Verbal Reasoning, a score of 141 on the Quantitative Reasoning and an analytical writing score of 3.5.


Please Note: International applicants must also take the TOEFL exam and complete additional forms. They should also contact WCU's International Programs & Services Office.

The MSHR program is a 36-credit hour program, in which the curriculum consists of 7 required courses that all students take and 5 elective courses, all 3 credit courses.

HR 602, HR 605, & HR 610 are taken at the beginning of the program; HR 670 and HR 671 have prerequisites of 18 credit hours and HR 670 must be taken before HR 671; Students with more than 5 years of full-time human resources-related work experience may substitute another WCU HR course for HR 671. HR 698 is usually taken during a student's last semester in the program.
All courses have been designed to align with the MSHR program competency model; therefore, our courses develop competencies within the program’s four Leadership Competency domains: 1) Relational HR Leadership; 2) Strategic HR Leadership; 3) Operational HR Leadership; and 4) Ethical & Socially Responsible HR Leadership.

Required Core Courses

  • HR 601: "Organization Acumen for HR Leaders"
  • HR 602: "Human Resources Research & Evaluation Methods"
  • HR 605: "Principles & Practice in Human Resources"
  • HR 610: "Human Resource Development"
  • HR 670: "HR Consulting"
  • HR 671: "Advanced HR Consulting"
  • HR 698: "Capstone Seminar in Human Resources”

Popular Electives Courses

  • HR 613: "Coaching for Performance"
  • HR 614: "Talent Acquisition and Retention"
  • HR 615: "Organization Development"
  • HR 660: "Talent Development"
  • HR 662: "Total Rewards: Strategy and Plan Design"
  • HR 665: "Responsible HR Leadership: The Regulatory Environment, Ethics, & Social Responsibility"
  • HR 675: "Leadership in Human Resources"
  • HR 693: "Selected Topics in Human Resources"

Course scheduling is subject to change. For a list of courses available each semester, view our Course Availability page.

Tuition and fees vary year to year and program to program.

The Masters of Science in Human Resources is an online program. You can explore detailed information about tuition for online and distance programs HERE

The Master of Science in Human Resources (MSHR) program at Western Carolina University prepares socially-responsible strategic human resources leaders to serve effectively in diverse organizations including corporate, non-profit, and government settings. Using an organizational values-based, and human development-focused perspective, our faculty educates students from a variety of education and work experience backgrounds.

Our curriculum is based on strategic, operational, relational, and ethical and socially responsible human resources competencies in addition to academic scholarship that informs the field of human resources and comprises the foundation of the MSHR program. It is our goal to cultivate the next generation of HR leaders who are organizational change agents committed to the productive engagement and development of all organizational members.   

The MSHR Program Competency Model highlights the leadership emphasis of our program.

Therefore, our courses develop competencies within each of the MSHR Program’s four Leadership Competency domains:

  1. Relational HR Leadership
  2. Strategic HR Leadership
  3. Operational HR Leadership
  4. Ethical & Socially Responsible HR Leadership.


See a visualization of Our Model Here


John Sherlock


Human Resources Program Director

Siham Lekchiri

Assistant Professor

Human Resources

Sarah Minnis

Assistant Professor

Human Resources

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