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Master of Science in Human Resource Development

A Villanova Master’s HR Degree Is Within Reach – 100% Online!

Since its inception more than 35 years ago, Villanova’s Master of Science in Human Resource Development (MS in HRD) has gained an outstanding reputation from its accomplished facultycomprehensive curriculum and successful graduates who are leading human resource initiatives at organizations worldwide.

Innovative online learning technology enables you to earn the same highly respected master’s degree as campus-based students* on your schedule.

Contact an enrollment representative at 855-300-1473 to begin the application process.

Expand Your Knowledge and Enhance Your Expertise

 In this program you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement strategic change to increase quality, productivity and employee satisfaction
  • Construct an effective training program
  • Structure benefit packages and measure their success
  • Use data to make informed business decisions
  • Develop financial management and budgetary skills

Attain the Benefits You Deserve

A Villanova HR master’s degree can yield many benefits:

  • Increased earning potential
  • Enhanced career mobility
  • Greater job security
  • Personal and professional satisfaction

HR Certification Institute Approved Provider

Villanova’s MS in HRD courses are worth 30 hours, per class, of either Business Management and Strategy or International recertification credit toward your PHR®, SPHR® or GPHR® recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Once you pass all program courses, contact Villanova's HRD program administrator at to request Program ID numbers for your recertification forms. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit  

SHRM Aligned

Villanova University is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPTM or SHRM-SCPTM. Villanova's courses have been approved for 30 PDCs for the SHRM-CPTM or SHRM-SCPTM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit


Click here to expand a list of our MS in HRD Courses Click to collapse the list

Villanova University’s online HR master’s degree program consists of 12 required courses.

HRD 8101 – Introduction to HR in the Business World

Introduce the major functional areas of human resources management and how these HR functions support all other business units. Examines how organizations operate and explains the role of HR in supporting employees and management.
3 credits

HRD 8102 – Critical Evaluation and Research Writing

Critical evaluation is the intellectually disciplined process of making reasoned judgments that are evidence-based and logical, yielding reliable and valid conclusions. Research writing requires clear, effective, and persuasive written communication skills using library databases adhering to American Psychological Association style and formatting.
3 credits

HRD 8419 – Foundations of Strategic Human Resources

Provide students with a critical understanding of theories, trends, principles, and current issues relevant to the breadth of human resource management (HRM) in organizations.  Explore the evolving role of HRM as a strategic partner in organization.
3 credits

PSY 8875 – Organization Development

Planned, system-wide effort with the goal to increase organization effectiveness and health through diagnosis and interventions in the organization's processes using behavioral science knowledge. Focus on developing organization capability through alignment of strategy, structure, management processes, and people.
3 credits

HRD 8006 – HR Analytics

Create a strong foundation on critical aspects of HR analytics: measurement, research methods, probability and statistics, analysis, and interpretation of data. Improve human capital decisions through a strategic use of HR data and effectively communicating findings to decision makers.
3 credits

HRD 8213 – Total Rewards: Benefits

Approaches to total rewards strategies for building a competitive benefits program with an emphasis on the motivational and productivity implications. Diversity of benefits programs, including basic regulatory framework affecting employee benefits, such as ERISA, Social Security, and Medicare.
3 credits

PSY 8475 – Training and Development

Organizations that link learning strategies to business strategies report better financial performance. Training has changed from a classroom event to learning experiences that can occur through a variety of methods: online learning, developmental assignments, team collaboration or a blend.
3 credits

HRD 8212 – Total Rewards: Compensation

Compensating employees as part of a total rewards strategy that aligns with organizational strategy is critical and complex. Study of various approaches to using compensation effectively to reward performance, create engagement, and measure the impact of a company’s compensation strategy.
3 credits

HRD 8215 – Employment Law

Explores existing and emerging legal issues affecting employment law, including employment-at-will, EEO, sexual harassment, and Supreme Court decisions. Focus on the application to human resources situations from the employer and employee perspective.
3 credits

HRD 8214 – HR Technology

Technology is rapidly changing human resources by providing access to information across the enterprise. Explores the many ways HR departments are leveraging technology solutions. Examines methods and challenges of implementing technology initiatives.
3 credits

HRD 8003 – Financial and Human Capital

Understand how an organization manages its finances and human capital. Explore basic concepts in finance and apply frameworks that measure the economic value of an organization’s human capital investment to effectively guide organizational strategy.
3 credits

HRD 8210 – Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) drives an integrated talent management strategy which supports the organization’s business strategy.  Introduce SWP components, models and processes, and examine strategies for developing, implementing, evaluating, and communicating successful SWP initiatives.
3 credits

Academic Policies

Academic policies for the Human Resource Development and Public Administration graduate programs offered through the Office of Graduate Studies at Villanova University are available here.

Who Should Apply?

Villanova’s MS in HRD is ideal for professionals seeking a career in HR or working in a variety of HR roles, including:

  • HR Generalists
  • Staffing Specialists
  • Recruiters
  • Benefits Analysts
  • Corporate Trainers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • HR Healthcare Managers

In the Philadelphia Area?

Click here for more information on Villanova’s campus-based MS in HRD program.

* Application process required.

VA Benefit Eligibility: Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS) to view which programs of study or courses are currently certified. Benefit certification depends upon your VA determined eligibility, enrollment status and certified program of study.