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Best Online Human Resources MBA Programs Your Guide to Online HR MBA Degree Programs

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Business & MBA Editor
Tammie Cagle is a writer, editor, entrepreneur, and certified academic life coach. Tammie received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University-College Station and her MBA from Marylhurst University.

Are you interested in earning an online human resources MBA program? If so, modern technological advancements make it easy to complete your degree online without attending in-person classes. This approach offers more flexibility when it comes to achieving the knowledge and skills required to be a human resources manager or specialist. Online human resources MBA programs will teach you everything you need to know about human resource planning, equal employment, staffing, employment law, and employee relations. If you want to enter a program that will help you start a successful human resources career, an online Human Resources MBA degree program is exactly what you’re looking for!

What is Human Resources?

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Human resources (HR) is a section or division in a business that is tasked with identifying, recruiting, training, and screening applicants. This department is also in charge of providing employees with benefits. Today, HR is necessary for helping companies handle the ever-evolving business environment and the need to hire highly skilled employees. 

Human resource management techniques center around improving a company’s workforce by making improvements to the company itself. If you earn a job as a human resource manager or assistant, you must remain up to date with changes to the law that might impact the business or its employees. According to Forbes, the top focus for HR departments in 2023 is on recruiting. 

What is an Online Human Resources MBA?

An online Master’s of Business Administration focused on human resources is designed to cover the basics of management and subjects like training, compensation, labor law, and employee relations. When you earn a human resources MBA, you should expect to receive a high salary. Holding a Master of Business Administration degree may help you obtain a job as a human resources manager or compensation and benefits manager. 

The degree list below details the best online MBA programs that offer concentrations in human resources. Once you have earned an online MBA in human resources, you can start searching for a job that will give you the salary and benefits you deserve. 

What Can You Do With an Online Human Resources MBA?

When you complete an online MBA with a focus on human resource management, you will have the knowledge and skills to obtain a thriving career in many different industries and work environments. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ research found that the human resources manager sector is expected to grow by around 7% between 2021-2031, which indicates high demand among potential employers. 

Nearly every organization has a human resources department. However, the form that this department takes can differ by a considerable amount. For instance, an employee may handle HR tasks as part of their broader job responsibilities. Some companies may also put one human resources manager at the head of the entire department. Because HR departments can take many different shapes, there are many environments to suit your skills and interests. 

Keep in mind that human resources roles are available in large corporations, small startups, nonprofit organizations, and bureaus of the federal government. When you earn a human resources MBA, you will have the skills required to land a job as a:

Human resources assistantHuman resources manager
HR operations managerSenior human resources consultant
Employee relations managerVice president of human resources

Because of the wide range of skills developed when taking a Master’s in Business Administration, you will also have the qualifications necessary to take roles that aren’t part of human resources. 

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Career and Salary Information

If you’ve made the decision to earn a human resources MBA and start a career in this field, your salary and upward mobility depend on the exact role you have within the industry. Two of the more common human resources job titles are human resources manager and human resources specialist. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that human resource managers earn around $126,000 per year. However, there are many different industries that an HR manager can take a job in, each of which comes with its own salary range. The top-paying industries that are available to HR managers include:

HR CareerSalary
Chief Human Resources Officer$149,255
Change Management Manager$147,524
Vice President of Human Resources$131,800
Director of Human Resources$99,985
Benefits Manager$99,140

What Will I Learn in an Online Human Resources MBA?

Obtaining an online MBA with a focus on human resources usually requires around 40 credits, as well as two years of study. Some degree programs can be completed with fewer credits or on a part-time basis. An accelerated Master’s of Business Administration allows you to complete all of your studies in just one year. There is also a selection of hybrid degree programs, which combine online learning with a small number of on-campus classes. 

The human resources curriculum in an MBA program usually focuses on business classes, a thesis seminar, and electives in HR management. The core business courses you’ll likely take include financial management, statistical analysis, and business strategy. The most popular electives for HR students include employee and labor engagement, organizational psychology, and legal issues in work environments.

While most business schools provide HR as one of their MBA concentrations, the majority of programs accommodate more in-depth knowledge through the use of HR electives. The subjects you specialize in include labor relations, recruitment and staffing, and employment law. 

Admissions Requirements for an Online Human Resources MBA

Admissions requirements for an online human resources MBA differ from college to college. However, there are some general requirements that nearly all programs ask prospective students to meet.

When applying for this type of program, you will be tasked with submitting many different materials, which include transcripts, resumes, personal essays, letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores. A nonrefundable application fee will likely be charged as well. 



If you’re currently enrolled in a bachelor’s program or have already earned your degree, it is important to understand your requirements as early as possible. Before applying for an online MBA in HR, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree in any major. Since the MBA curriculum is so comprehensive, many schools prefer to accept students who have obtained a major in an industry or field that’s not directly related to human resources.

The minimum GPA requirements differ from school to school. However, a GPA that is higher than 3.0 is typically desired. Certain schools will waive entrance exams for students who are distance learners. When applying to a prestigious school, you can gain a competitive edge by earning a GPA of at least 3.5, having previous HR experience, and obtaining GRE or GMAT scores in the 90th percentile. 


Most programs will also have prerequisite course requirements, meaning that you will need to have taken certain courses before you can qualify for an online MBA. However, sometimes students have the opportunity to take a test that will effectively eliminate this requirement.


Many Master’s of Business Administration program requires applicants to pass a Graduate Management Admissions Test, after which they’ll be accepted into the program. The purpose of the GMAT requirement is to ensure that students are capable of showing that they are competent in key areas of business and management success, such as logic, critical thinking, and understanding data.


Most MBA programs require some professional experience. Depending on the school, you might have to obtain managerial experience before being accepted for an HR MBA. Once you’ve completed the program, you should have access to higher salaries and more job offers when compared to students who have only received a bachelor’s degree.

Business School and MBA Accreditation


Before you apply to enroll in an online human resources MBA program, you should conduct your own search to find a program that is right for you. Make sure that you focus on universities that have received regional accreditation. Depending on where the university is located, it can be accredited by one of six regional accreditation bodies. This level of accreditation is only available to universities and institutions that have undergone strict and rigorous evaluations to ensure they meet high academic standards. 

The highest standards for business schools are maintained by the AACSB. If a business school receives this accreditation, you can be confident that it adheres to industry standards. Prospective students searching for the ideal MBA program to enroll in should also ensure that the school offers easy access to an HR and alumni network. Being able to develop professional relationships during and after your studies will help you advance your career. When you eventually apply for a job as a human resource manager, attaching a letter of recommendation sent in by a successful alum can prove highly beneficial. 

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can help pay for your tuition by seeking financial aid or scholarships to cover some or all of your tuition costs. Even if you need more clarification about your ability to qualify or don’t believe that you will need the money, you should fill out and file a FAFSA form, which is a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 

Remember that graduate programs often have grants, loans, or scholarships that students can access. However, these scholarships often use the information available through FAFSA to determine if you’re eligible, which is why filling out the FAFSA application is essential. 

If you are already employed in human resources, consider asking your employer to help you further your career by providing you with monetary support. Some employers will provide current and prospective employees with educational assistance as a component of their employee benefits package. Check with an HR representative at your company to determine if tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance is available.

How Much Does an Online Human Resources MBA Cost?

The tuition costs of an HR MBA program mainly depend on the prestige level of the school, the program’s reputation, and the type of school you’re applying to. In most cases, private universities will charge tuition rates that are considerably higher when compared to in-state public schools. 

According to Forbes, public universities tend to charge around $15,000-$25,000 depending on whether you live in-state or out-of-state. In comparison, the University of Chicago charges more than $77,000 for a full-time MBA program because it is a private school. For an online MBA program, the costs typically range from $20,000-$30,000. 

Some other costs associated with obtaining an online MBA include fees for an on-campus residency, book expenses, and a certain amount of lost work income. You can reduce your expenses by seeking alternative financing options through grants, fellowships, federal loans, or merit scholarships. 

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Human Resources MBA?

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If you want to earn a Master’s of Business Administration with a specialization in human resources and have discovered that an online degree program is your best option, you should know how long these programs take. As touched upon earlier, the amount of time it takes to complete one of these degree programs differs from program to program and school to school. 

There are a few factors that determine how long it takes for you to earn an MBA. If you have yet to complete your BA or BS studies, you must do so before applying for your graduate degree. After earning a bachelor’s degree, you should still take time to assess which level of commitment is right for you.

You can expect to take anywhere from 12-36 months to graduate from a business school with an MBA. While these programs often take one to two years to finish, they can take three years or more if you enter a program that offers part-time studying. Since Master’s of Business Administration degrees are developed to be taken by people who have already earned a bachelor’s and may currently be in the workforce, many programs offer full-time or part-time options.

Full-Time Program

If you choose to complete your studies through an online program, attending as a full-time student may be possible even if you are currently employed. The total amount of time you study for your courses depends on how many credits you need to earn to complete the program. 

Most MBA programs require around 35-40 credit hours. If you enroll full-time, you may be able to finish classes in anywhere from 18-22 months. When you take breaks during the winter and summer, the program will take closer to two years to complete.

Accelerated Program

Online MBA programs are created to help students gain relevant skills and knowledge in a more flexible and versatile manner than most in-person programs. An increasing number of graduate schools provide students with the means of earning their degrees at a much faster pace. If you have the ability to take on the higher study requirements, you can finish an accelerated program in just 12-18 months. In these programs, classes are often shorter. However, the credit requirements will be the same.

While a full-time program is advantageous if you want to complete your studies at a quicker pace, you’ll likely need to spend upwards of 36-40 hours studying every week if you want to earn your degree. Switching to part-time enrollment halfway through your studies can change the entire timeline of when you’ll finish school, which is why it’s highly recommended that you consider your options before enrolling. 

Are There Affordable Online Human Resources MBA Programs?

As mentioned previously, some online HR MBA programs will be more affordable based on the university or college you attend. However, even the most inexpensive MBA programs cost at least $7,000 to complete. If you want to reduce your costs, it is highly recommended to apply for financial aid and seek additional funding through grants, merit scholarships, or federal loans. Looking into highly accredited public universities or state schools is another way to potentially lower costs. Many state universities offer a discounted rate for residents, even for distance learning programs. 

Is getting an Online Human Resources MBA Worth it?

accelerated omba

You may be wondering about the convenience of getting an online MBA in human resources. The answer really depends on your current situation and goals. The initial thing to consider is if you have the savings or alternative funding needed to pay for your courses. You would not want to be in a situation where you need to drop out of a program halfway through because of a lack of funding or student loan assistance.

If you want to take the steps to advance your career and become an HR manager, earning an online MBA is likely worth the time and money. Remember that the average salary for an HR manager is over $75,000, making it a profitable career path with room for advancement. Distance education gives you more flexibility, convenience, and affordability. Many schools charge less for distance learners who choose to earn their degrees online. You can also reduce expenses by cutting on-campus fees and the costs of commuting, parking, and relocating. 

Before you get started with your studies, keep in mind that every Online MBA program differs in what its online format is like. Some of these programs run at the same time as on-campus classes to better reflect the on-campus experience. Other courses provide online students with pre-recorded lectures and virtual discussion boards. Even though both formats allow you to study at home, an asynchronous program better accommodates a full-time work schedule.

Twenty of the Best Schools Offering Online Human Resources MBA Degrees

Below is a list of the top online Human Resources MBA programs available to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. These degrees are online and accredited by AACSB and one of the six regional accreditation commissions. The schools are displayed in alphabetical order.

When you enroll at Bloomsburg University, you will have the opportunity of selecting a Business Administration MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Human Resources. While a hybrid option is available, this degree can be completed 100% online through the Zeigler College of Business. Courses take place in intensive six-week sessions. You can select from three-degree options with different timelines.

MBA Website

Kent State University allows distance learning students to earn an MBA via the College of Business Administration. Their online MBA program lets students participate in Human Resource Management as their MBA concentration of choice. This program is accredited by AACSB and the Higher Learning Commission. You’ll need to earn 37 credits to graduate.

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Montclair State University offers a range of highly respected online programs. You can enroll in their online Human Resources Management MBA program at The Feliciano School of Business. This degree program takes 24 months and 39 credit hours to complete. One advantage of enrolling is that they do not require the GMAT.

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Northern Kentucky University offers a popular MBA program with many different concentrations. You’ll want to enroll in the Human Resource Management and Legal Studies MBA. To complete this program, you must earn 33 credits, which can be done in as few as 12 months. They use an accelerated online format with their curriculum.

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Oklahoma State University provides students with the ability to complete their studies online. When earning an online MBA at the Spears School of Business, you can enroll in a Human Resource Management concentration. This dynamic program requires 33 credit hours and can be finished in 16 months. Around 15 of these credit hours must be in core HR courses.

MBA Website

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute is a prestigious college that offers many undergraduate and graduate programs to distance learning students. If you want to enroll in the SUNY Polytechnic institution, their business administration degree is a Technology Management MBA with a focus on Human Resource Management. It prepares full-time and part-time students for leadership and management roles once they graduate.

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At Temple University, you can join the Fox School of Business and take part in their online MBA program with a concentration in Human Resource Management. They offer a highly personalized and customizable MBA that allows you to graduate anywhere from two to six years. You’ll have the option of attending five-week or ten-week courses.

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The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a vast selection of graduate degrees. Their MBA program provides students with the ability to focus on Human Resource Management with additional electives in human resources. This 100% online MBA program requires the completion of 36 credit hours. If you meet certain qualifications, you can obtain a waiver for the GMAT exam.

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The University of Houston-Downtown offers a full-time or part-time MBA program, the latter of which makes it easier to maintain your usual schedule. This program is available through the Marilyn Davies College of Business and offers a concentration in Human Resources. Students will need to take ten separate core courses along with their chosen concentration courses to graduate.

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The University of Illinois at Chicago gives students a popular online MBA degree program with numerous concentrations. This degree program allows students to focus on Human Resource Management. This curriculum offers a great foundation for students who want to start a career in the field of HR. While you need to earn 42 credit hours, you can complete this program in just 14 months.

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The Moody III School of Business Administration, through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, offers a 33-credit-hour MBA program. When taking part in this MBA program, make sure that you focus on Human Resource Management. During your studies, you will learn about employment law, financial management, business strategy, and organizational behavior.

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The University of North Carolina in Wilmington provides an MBA program that can be finished in just 12 months when you take the accelerated approach. The Cameron School of Business allows MBA students to specialize in Human Resources. While a GMAT score of at least 500 is required to apply, you can waive this requirement with the right qualifications.

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If you’re interested in starting your HR career at the University of North Texas, their online MBA program offers a concentration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. This program is separated into 12 classes and can be completed with just 36 credit hours. You can choose to take an accelerated course or attend on a part-time basis.

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When attending the Monfort College of Business, you can enter their online MBA program focusing on Human Resources Management. Like many of the programs in this guide, you can complete your studies in around 12 months and will need to earn 36 credit hours to graduate. Nine of these credit hours involve HR specialty courses.

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The University of Scranton offers an online MBA via the Arthur J. Kania School of Management. Their online MBA program includes a specialization in Human Resources Management. It requires anywhere from 36-48 credit hours, depending on the approach you take. No application fees and GMAT testing are required to qualify for this online MBA program.

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If you are hoping to attend the University of Southern Indiana, enroll in the online MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. Their tuition is relatively affordable compared to other MBA programs in this guide. It’s also a relatively short course. At just 30 credit hours, you can finish your studies in around 11 months.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley gives students numerous advanced study opportunities. Their online MBA program allows you to specialize in Human Resource Management. In many situations, the program can be completed in 12 months. Every course lasts for seven weeks. There are four core courses, which include global HR management and employment law.

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When you enroll with the College of Business at the University of West Florida, you have an opportunity to enter an online MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management. Using the accelerated option, you can finish this 36-credit-hour program in around 16 months. Your courses will center around teamwork skills, creating well-structured human resources plans, and developing training programs.

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Wayne State University is home to an MBA program that is AACSB-accredited and provides qualified students with a GMAT waiver. Of the dozen different concentrations that the Mike Ilitch School of Business accommodates, they offer a Human Resources concentration for you to consider. You’ll need to complete six MBA electives to graduate, three of which must center around HR.

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Wichita State University provides prospective students with a highly flexible online program. You can enroll as a part-time or full-time student, meaning the program can be completed in around 12-24 months. This online MBA degree offers a concentration in Human Resource Management. Every course lasts for eight weeks.

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Getting your Online Human Resources MBA

Now that you have more information about some of the best online Master’s of Business Administration in human resources programs, you may have a better idea of which one you’d like to attend. Once you have made your decision, visit the link for your preferred program. While each website in this guide has a different layout, the main program page should have easy-to-find links that allow you to either request more information about the program or start your online application. 

When you are researching all of the career opportunities that an HR MBA provides, it is highly recommended that you use some of the resources available at your business school. These resources include everything from career fairs to career counseling. Earning an online human resources MBA gives you the skills to advance your career and become an HR manager in practically any industry. Discover the program that is the best for you to begin your first steps to a lengthy and successful career in human resources.

Related Resources:

Best Online Master’s in Human Resources Programs
Guide to Online Master’s Degrees
Best Online MBA Programs
Most Affordable Online MBA Programs
Best No-GMAT Online MBA Programs
Fastest Online MBA Programs

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?