List of All U.S. Colleges with a Human Resources Major
A niche field that blends business, psychology, and communication, human resources (HR) is a rare major at the undergraduate level, yet a critical department in organizations of every industry and scale. In this post, we’ll discuss typical degree requirements, which schools offer programs in human resources, and how to select the best program for you.
Overview of the Human Resources Major
HR degrees are usually offered out of business schools and as such, frequently require a business core curriculum involving the following subjects:
- business law/ethics
- quantitative methods and analysis
- international business
- professional communication
- information systems/technology
On top of this core, HR majors will also take classes in:
- organization development
- industrial psychology
- conflict resolution
- diversity and cross-cultural management
- labor relations/employment law
- additional specialized electives: staffing, personnel training, compensation systems, and more!
Most programs then require a capstone internship or co-op experience in the senior year.
Upon graduation, students can jump right into HR roles in any industry, but those who hope to move up the chain of command may be interested in eventually completing some sort of master’s degree, such as an MBA, MSHRD, or MSC. Aspiring industrial/organization (I/O) psychologists and consultants will generally need an MA or MS in I/O Psychology to enter the field. For HR managers and specialists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates market growth rates of 6-7% in the next ten years, along with 2.5% for jobs in the industrial/organizational psychology field. Median pay spans $62K-117K across these roles.
The HR major is best for those who enjoy working with people and thinking about organizational development. Successful students are people and business savvy, good with numbers, and excellent communicators, along with being highly adaptable, skilled at handling difficult situations, and innovative problem solvers.
What to Look for in a College as a Human Resources Major
Strong Business Offerings
HR is ultimately a business major, so any well-developed program of study will require a solid foundation in business coursework. As such, the better a school’s overall business program, the better their HR major will be. Look for schools that rank well in business, but also study their course offerings, major requirements, and professors, as these components are key to judging the strength of a program. At the very least, the top schools on your list should offer (and require!) a well-rounded business core that covers the classes discussed in the above section.
Robust Internship/Work Opportunities
As with any pre-professional major, business acumen can’t really be taught in school. Experiential learning and co-op programs are therefore critical for developing the skillset and instincts necessary for success in the real world. HR majors should look for schools that offer curricula with built-in internship or work opportunities, along with researching post-grad outcomes to determine the strength of each school’s office of career services. Be sure to also look for strong alumni networks, a highlight of larger schools and somewhat of a necessity for launching business-adjacent careers.
Graduate Coursework/Accelerated Degree Programs
It’s ideal to pick a university with strong master’s programs in business and communication, as you can then take graduate courses and gain valuable experience/connections as an undergraduate. Accelerated degree programs, such as BS/MS offerings at Clark University and Texas A&M University, can also save money and time for aspiring managers, and those interested in becoming I/O psychologists specifically should focus on schools with I/O master’s programs to get a head start.
List of All U.S. Colleges with a Human Resources Major
|University of Arkansas
|Louisiana State University | LSU
|Rochester Institute of Technology | RIT
|University of Houston
|Texas A&M University
|University of Wisconsin‚ Milwaukee | UWM
|Michigan State University
|Western Michigan University | WMU
|Stevens Institute of Technology
|University of Oklahoma
|University of Pittsburgh | Pitt
|St. Edward’s University
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?
The first step to college admissions is being academically competitive, which means that your GPA and standardized test scores should be in the same range as those of previously admitted students. This is because most schools — especially the selective ones — receive thousands of applications every year for a limited number of seats, so their admissions committees will use the academic index to filter out students who seem unqualified. No college wants to admit a student who won’t be able to succeed at their school, and as transcripts and test scores are proof of past academic success, these are also the first cut in determining future performance.
Applicants who pass the academic cutoff will then be evaluated on their extracurricular profile, essays, and teacher recommendations. Each school varies slightly in how they prioritize qualitative aspects, but you should be sure to demonstrate fit with the school and your anticipated major. Make sure that all these individual components of your application come together in a cohesive and compelling narrative that demonstrates who you are, what you hope to accomplish, and why you belong perfectly at the schools you are applying to. We have a wealth of information on this blog for putting together a competitive application — here are some sections to start with:
- Essay Breakdowns, Examples, and FAQs
- All About Extracurricular Activities
- General Tips on College Applications
Lastly, we recommend using our free Chancing Engine to assess your chances of acceptance. Unlike other calculators, it takes a holistic view of your application and accounts for more of your individual profile, assessing qualitative factors like extracurriculars alongside academic stats. Best of luck!