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Master of Science in Human Resource Development

The Master of Science in Human Resource Development is a unique two-year program, taught by leading researchers and practitioners in the field. The program offers a customized degree path, from core courses and three areas of concentration.

Through a successful blend of experiential-based learning, broad research, and in-depth academics, students graduate with the following outcome-oriented competencies and capabilities.

  • Formulate HRD strategies that attract, develop, and retain the best human capital and talent.
  • Design and implement workplace learning and performance improvement practices to achieve employee and organizational goals.
  • Develop effective consulting, coaching, and mentoring skills to sustain learning, performance, and change in the workplace.
  • Lead strategic change initiatives and manage projects in any organizational setting. 
  • Evaluate HRD programs and practices to determine their quality, value and effectiveness.
The program is 45 credit hours, consisting of 39 credits of coursework (30 core credits; 9 concentration credits) and a capstone course that includes an integrative capstone project (6 credits).

Core Courses – 30 Credits

View Description EHRD 500 Foundations of Human Resource Development

Introduces HRD as a professional field of practice, places HRD within the context of the contemporary workplace, presents theories, paradigms, and issues in the field; introduces the concept of a learning organization and the HRD practitioner as a change agent.

View Description EHRD 601 Leading and Evaluating Change

This course serves as introduction to the study and practice of organization development and change. Students will gain a broad understanding of the field including its philosophy, history, models, and techniques used in facilitating system-wide as well as incremental organizational change and improvement. Issues related to values, ethics, and organizational assessment and diagnosis are explored.

View Description EHRD 609 Training and Development

This introductory course provides an overview of the training and development component of human resource development. While delivering the traditional components of training assessment, design, delivery, implementation, and evaluation, this course also explores alternative ‘training’ modalities. The course is designed to provide participants a working knowledge of the basic skills required to be successful trainers in a current organizational environment. The course is also designed for participants to challenge the dominant assumptions under which trainers are asked to work.

View Description EHRD 604 Development of Human Resources

The purpose of this Advanced Seminar Course is to develop human resources in the organization. Students will learn ways to invest in the talents and expertise of people within a culture conducive to information and knowledge sharing of professional practices. Career development and succession planning will be studied and applied for future leadership practices.

View Description EHRD 606 Human and Organizational Performance

Systemic strategies for attaining continuous improvement in the private and public sector marketplace are examined. This includes the concept of human performance improvement in research and practice and the role of the performance improvement professional in facilitating individual, team, and organizational performance to support and sustain these strategies.

View Description EDUC 804 Program Evaluation in Organizations

Covers the differences between evaluation and other disciplines; how to design an evaluation framework to work with; transformations in evaluation; new methodological approaches, including performance measurement; and issues that evaluators must deal with.

View Description EDHE 660 Principles of Adult Education

This course explores in-depth analysis of relevant theories relating to contemporary application of adult learner materials and methods. Many adult education theories and practices are explored to provide the participants with a broad understanding of andragogy (the art and science of teaching adults) and how it related to their field.

View Description EDHE 600 Organizational Consulting 

Prepares students to be effective consultants and coaches for management. Covers diagnostic and intervention strategies, interpersonal communications, negotiation/mediation skills, ethics, and measurements.


Concentration Areas ( Select One ) – 9 credits

Strategic Human Resources

The following courses in the Strategic Human Resources curriculum are highly recommended. Any substitution must be approved by the faculty advisor.

View Description ORGB 631 Leading Effective Organizations

Prepares students to make informed decisions as leaders in common institutional and environmental contexts. The focus of the contingency-based perspective of this course is to help leaders understand how best to motivate and coordinate employees and to control outcomes in a manner that ensures they fulfill strategic objectives.

View Description EHRD 610 Strategic Competencies for HRD Leaders

This course serves as an introduction to the performance competencies needed by today’s human resources development professional. Students will gain an understanding of several core and yet evolving human resource competencies. The course is specifically designed for HRD professionals who aspire to serve in a senior leadership capacity. Emphasis is on the use of evidence-based practices and workforce intelligence to facilitate strategy, learning, and change.

View DescriptionEHRD 631 Organizational Learning and Strategy

This course assists leaders at executive levels understand the need to align learning functions with strategic, organization goals; develop awareness and understanding of how organizations are designed and structured; and the implications of leading and managing learning organizations. Using a research-based model of organization theory, students will learn to build organizational cultures that support strategic alignment of learning by making learning relevant to businesses' daily workflow.


Instructional Systems Design (ISD) & E-Learning

The following courses in the ISD & E-Learning curriculum are highly recommended. Any substitution must be approved by the faculty advisor.

View Description ELL 501 The Purpose and Business of E-Learning

Examines the business side of e-learning. Explores historical, organizational and strategic issues associated with developing and delivering e-learning through a wide range of topics. Non-profit and profit models used for marketing and delivering e-learning products are examined and business practices, as they affect the success of e-learning enterprises, are examined.

View Description ELL 502 E-Learning Technologies

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the wide range of emerging e-learning technologies, a No description available. of what is in store for the near future, and foundational elements for sound decision making regarding technological responses to well-defined learning problems.

View Description EDLT 550 Introduction to Instructional Design

Students examine the research and theory of instructional design models and formats in educational, corporate, and workplace settings. Students identify the interrelationships of context, technology and media resources, learner needs and goals, and learning and assessment strategies through case study analysis. Students design an action plan for a learning need.


Evaluation & Return on Investment (ROI)

The following courses in the Evalutaion & ROI curriculum are highly recommended. Any substitution must be approved by the faculty advisor.

View Description EDHE 682 The Evaluation Process

This course provides the students with knowledge of the evaluation process. Students will learn about how to establish the goals for the evaluation, how to choose or develop various instruments, and identify data collection points. The course will also explore the various technologies and software to use in evaluation as well as what resources can be used to support the evaluation effort.

View Description EDHE 684 Evaluation and Assessment in Practice

Evaluation and Assessment in Practice covers important aspects of the development and execution of a program evaluation plan, including complying with ethical standards, collaborating with stakeholders, building a project management plan, and effectively communicating results.

View Description EHRD 608 Evaluating the Value and Impact of HRD Interventions 

This course addresses the challenge of determining the short and long-term impact of a human resource development intervention, particularly in terms of its quantifiable value and its benefits compared to costs. The course will focus on proven methods for determining the value of a single intervention, or a series of interventions, across multiple levels of impact and will provide practical, best practice strategies for ensuring that decision makers have the results data they need to support human capital investments.


Students can also work with their advisor to create a specialized curriculum of 9 credit hours around their needs and interests.  Possible areas of emphasis include: HR in Higher Education, HR in K-12 Education, Global HRD, Creativity and Innovation, among other options.

Capstone/Co-op Requirement

View Description EHRD 715/716 Capstone: Co-op with Portfolio

For the MS in Human Resource Development program, the Capstone/Co-Op experience can take one of three forms:

  1. A defined capstone research project which is sponsored by a partnering organization. A defined capstone research project must involve a comprehensive front-end assessment or back-end program evaluation – for example:
    • Assessment (i.e., front-end): A strategic needs assessment, performance and root cause analysis, organizational diagnosis, or employee/customer survey effort designed to identify HRD priorities for learning, development, performance improvement, action planning and change, and/or organizational effectiveness.
    • Evaluation (i.e., backend): A comprehensive evaluation project involving the measurement and evaluation of an existing HR, training and learning, OD and change, and/or performance improvement program, solution, or intervention.
  2. An independent research project designed by the student. For the independent research project option, the Capstone/Co-op instructor serves as the advisor/supervisor of the project in order to simulate the Capstone/Co-op experience. This is a writing intensive option involving:
    • A thoughtful introduction of the research including the purpose of the study, research question(s), and thesis statement (i.e., a declaration of what you believe and what you intend to prove).
    • A thorough, yet focused review of the literature related to the topic.
    • A synthesis and analysis that advances our understanding of the topic (e.g., provides new insights and conclusions into a pressing problem in the field; offers a new and useful model or heuristic relevant to HRD).
  3. A traditional Co-op consisting of a part-time appointment and/or internship within an organizational setting (20-25 hours per week, in person or telecommuting online) for at least 10 weeks (i.e., a full term). In addition, this option requires a focused literature review on the work being performed and the development of career plan related to the experience.
    • Note: This option cannot occur within your current place of employment and is generally geared for those who are not employed and/or career changers (i.e., students new to the field and practice of HRD).