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Master of Science in Human Resource Development Curriculum

Students in Villanova University’s online HR master’s program must complete 10 required classes for a total of 30 credit hours. Those who enroll in consecutive terms can earn their degree in less than two years. At Villanova’s discretion, a maximum of six credit hours may be transferred from another accredited university.

Beyond completing the 10 required courses, all degree candidates must also pass the SHRM Certification Exam (SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP), SHRM Assurance of Learning Assessment, or HRCI Certification Exam (PHR/SPHR/GPHR). You do not have to wait until the end of your degree program to take any of these tests, so plan ahead and schedule accordingly.

The Master of Science in Human Resource Development (30 Credits):

Course Number Course Title Credits
HRD 8319 Introduction to Human Resources 3
PSY 8875 Organizational Change Management  3
HRD 8006 Human Resource Metrics and Statistical Research  3
HRD 8213 Benefits  3
PSY 8475 Organizational Training  3
HRD 8212 Compensation  3
HRD 8215 Employment Law 3
HRD 8214 Human Resource Technology Solutions  3
HRD 8003 Financial Management for Profit  3
HRD 8210 Workforce Planning  3
Total: 30

Note: All courses are subject to change.

You are encouraged to apply for the SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, administered by the Society for Human Resource Management ( or PHR/SPHR/GPHR, administered by Human Resources Certification Institute ( Students should apply for the exam that matches their eligibility. 

  • SHRM Assurance of Learning Assessment: – Students who may not be eligible for the PHR/SPHR/GPHR or SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP certification exams or choose not to pursue certification should elect this option. Graduate students in HR degree programs are eligible to take the exam beginning one year before graduation and ending one year after graduation. Passing this exam demonstrates that the student has acquired the knowledge required for an HR position and provides a means of differentiating themselves in the job marketplace. According to SHRM, “If you are a seasoned HR professional with exempt-level experience in HR, even though you are also a student in an HR or HR-related bachelors or master’s degree program, you are not eligible to take the Assurance of Learning® Assessment.”   

  • SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification Exam – Students seeking SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam preparation may wish to register for Villanova’s Human Resource Management course, which is available as a standalone certificate class or as part of a three-course master certificate program. This 12-week online course prepares students for the latest SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification exams through streaming video lectures and valuable study materials, including a complete set of the SHRM Learning System® textbooks plus 18 months of online access to practice exams, case studies and more. Human Resource Management is a non-credit course and does not count toward the 30 credit hours required for graduation. However, students who take the course will receive a framed certificate of achievement upon completion. In addition to fulfilling the comprehensive exam requirement, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification is a valuable addition to your résumé – it can distinguish you as a leader in the HR industry and can help advance your career and increase your salary. For more information on exam preparation, refer to the Human Resource Management certificate course page. For details on the certification exams, visit
  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR®), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) or Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®) Certification Exam – Those who already hold PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification may submit a copy of their certificate to bypass this final requirement. The certification exam can be taken at any time before, during or after a student’s enrollment in Villanova’s online graduate courses. For details on the certification exams, visit After you have successfully completed these courses, please contact Villanova's HRD program administrator to request Program ID numbers at for your recertification forms.