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HR Program FAQs

Are there employment opportunities in Human Resources?

Yes, the employment of human resources, training, and labor relations specialists 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.

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

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.

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

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.

Must I be a computer nerd to take distance HR courses at WCU?

No, but all HR students are expected to have access to an up-to-date 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. Students may purchase computers and software through WCU with a student discount.

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

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

Can I transfer in courses from other universities?

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.

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

At this time you cannot 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 may substitute another HR course for HR 671.

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

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

How much will it cost to attend college each semester?

Costs vary depending on how many courses you are taking. For additional information about tuition, visit Distance Learning Tuition and Fees.

Am I eligible for financial aid or student loans?

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

Will WCU help me get a job after graduation?

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.

How do I apply to the program?

The quickest way to apply to the program is to visit 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.

How can I get my other questions answered?

For answers to addition questions you are encouraged to e-mail ( or phone (828-227-3380) Dr. John Sherlock, HR Program director and professor of human resources.

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