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School of Labor and Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master Programs’ Comparison Chart

The traditional on-campus Master in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program is great for individuals that don’t have extensive work experience or are transitioning into the world of HR. The online MHRIR program is tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and incorporates professional experience in the classroom. Both programs are taught by outstanding faculty members and provide superior student support. See the below comparison chart to assist you in determining which program is right for you.

Duration of Program 3 semester program that has 2 specifically required courses (LER 591 & LER 593), 1 course from each of the 4 distribution requirements and 24 hours of LER electives from a choice of courses. 6 semester program (2 years) that has 5 required courses (LER 591, LER 593, LER 595, LER 542, & LER 545). Students are provided limited elective options. Courses run either 6 or 8-weeks each and students typically take 1 course at a time.
Course Structure In-person classes, located in Champaign-Urbana. Each course meets 1 day a week for a 3 hour session. Classes meet Monday-Friday within the hours of 8 am-5 pm and usually meet 8-10:50 am, 11 am-1:50 pm or 2-4:50 pm. 4 hour courses meet for the full semester and 2 hour courses meet either during the first or second session (8 weeks). Students will typically enroll for 16 hours each semester. Hybrid synchronous and asynchronous format. Each course holds a weekly 2 hour virtual session, typically on Thursday evenings, to accommodate the lifestyles of working professionals while also allowing a high-touch educational experience. With each course lasting 6 or 8 weeks, students take 1 course at a time and finish 8 hours each semester.
Course Offerings There are currently over 30 courses offered to the LER on-campus students. There are currently 14 courses offered to the LER online students. Although the online program offers less niche courses, the courses selected to be offered online were carefully chosen by LER faculty based on the competencies sought after by employers.
Career Development The traditional on-campus master’s program has a robust career services program with numerous companies coming to visit campus to interview and recruit students. Students have ongoing assistance with developing their candidate brand and early career path through workshops and activities that allow them to improve their interviewing skills, develop their online presence, participate in case competitions, and visit employers across the country. A career consultant is provided for online students. This individual is an alum of the program and has extensive experience in HR with an outstanding network. On-campus recruiting and career services are NOT offered to online students. Networking opportunities through alumni panels and events are available to online students each semester and the students drive the topics to be covered.
Alumni Involvement LER alumni are involved in the on-campus recruiting, orientation activities, lunch with CHRO’s, networking events and a variety of other activities. Both LER on-campus and online programs have great alumni involvement.
Cost Breakdown 2020-21 tuition cost is $21,388 in-state and $33,294 out-of-state. Additional campus fees for each semester equate to around $2,500. 2020-21 tuition is $740 per credit hour plus the cost of books, no additional student fees or out-of-state differential costs. Each course is 4 credit hours with a total of 48 credit hours needed to graduate, making tuition approximately $35,520.
Student Profile 2019-20, LER master’s students came from 76 undergraduate institutions (37 domestic and 39 international), 61 majors, 13 states and nine countries.

The class is 75% female, 31.7% minority (20.1% African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American; 11.6% Asian American). The class is 30% international. Thirty-one percent have at least one year work experience and the average age is 23.

On average, admitted students have approximately 8 years of professional work experience. 33% of admitted students don’t have a background or work experience in HR. Approximately 34% of master’s students in 2019-20 identified as part of a minority population.
Outcomes LER has a 95-100% placement within 3 months of graduation with a average starting salary of just under $80,000 for our domestic students. Many international students have different home recruiting seasons and we usually have a self-reported job placement of around 50-60% within 3 months. Between 7-15% of international students find an internship or full-time position in the US. Our newest placement report for our on-campus program can be found here. On average, graduates receive a salary that is 41% higher than what they received before starting the program. For a full view of our student outcomes, click here.

The on-campus and online programs are different and therefore if you would like to be considered for both programs, you will need to submit two separate applications (application fees apply for both). Once you are admitted and accept admissions into one program, you would need to present an extenuating circumstance as to why you would like to make the switch to another program. Please note that on-campus students cannot take online student courses and vice versa. Career development resources are also different for the two programs.