Personalize your education by choosing from unique certificate tracks within our  program while you continue to work.

How does the certificate program work?

The online certificate program consists of four tracks, each with three courses (12 credit hours total, four credit hours per course). Each course is either six or eight weeks long. You can choose to engage in one or more of the certificate program tracks outlined below.

After certificate completion, you may decide you are interested in the full Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program. If you have received at least one certificate, you are able to apply for the online master’s program and petition to have your credits transferred.

Each certificate program track takes approximately 7 months to complete.

For more information or questions, please email Eden Haycraft, Associate Director of Online Graduate Programs.

What are my certificate program options?

Fundamentals of Human Resources:

Obtain a framework for the analysis of employment relationships including human resources management strategies and practices. Learn about the theoretical and practical issues surrounding the design of effective compensation systems and the practice of  identifying and recruiting a diverse workforce.

LER 591 Employment Relations Systems – Offered in Fall I (Aug. – Oct.) and Spring II (Mar. – May)
LER 561 Compensation Systems – Offered in Fall II (Oct. – Dec.)
LER 595 Managing Diversity Globally – Offered in Spring I (Jan. – Mar.) OR 566 International Human Resource Management – Offered in Fall II (Oct. – Dec.)
*Courses can be taken in any order.

LER 591 Employment Relations Systems

A general framework for the analysis of employment relationships. Topics include industrial relations theory, the American system of collective bargaining, inter-country system differences, and human resource management strategies and practices. 4 grad hours.

LER 561 Compensation Systems

This course addresses the theoretical and practical issues associated with the design of effective compensation systems and how these are applied to an ever-changing employment landscape. Contextual factors such as equity, market practices, organizational strategy, budgeting, and administration are also addressed. 4 grad hours.

LER 595 Managing Diversity Globally

Over the past four decades organizational approaches to managing workforce diversity have evolved from meeting the requirements of Title VII law to nurturing effective and diverse work groups as a business necessity. The challenge for managers is to understand the various aspects of diversity and its consequences in organizations. The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of how the Human Resource Management function can contribute to leveraging diversity as a competitive advantage. Each week we will examine various HR functions in relation to diversity management practices. By the end of this course students will have a holistic appreciation of the HR tools necessary to implement effective diversity management practices. 4 grad hours.

LER 566 International Human Resource Management

Human Resource management issues examined from the perspective of the multinational firm. Topics include globalization and human resource strategy, management and the structure of multinational firms, dealing with intercultural differences, selecting employees for foreign assignments, training and developing expatriate employees, evaluation and compensation of employees in international assignments. Individual and group projects. 4 grad hours.

Compensation Best Practices:

Develop skills for the negotiation process as the interactive basis for union-management relations; conflict and conflict resolution as part of the negotiating process; wage and other effects of collective bargaining. Learn about hiring, promotion, evaluation, discrimination, raiding, job definition, pay schemes, benefits, and design of work.

LER 561 Compensation Systems – Offered in Fall II (Oct. – Dec.)
LER 542 Collective Bargaining – Offered in Spring I (Jan. – Mar.) and Summer I (May – Jul.)
LER 545 Economics of Human Resources- Offered in Spring II (Mar. – May) and Summer II (Jul. – Aug.)
*Courses can be taken in any order.

LER 561 Compensation Systems

This course addresses the theoretical and practical issues associated with the design of effective compensation systems and how these are applied to an ever-changing employment landscape. Contextual factors such as equity, market practices, organizational strategy, budgeting, and administration are also addressed. 4 grad hours.

LER 542 Collective Bargaining

Examination of: social values and social science concepts to develop a framework for explaining the basis and shape of collective bargaining as it has been practiced in the United States; government and law, unions, and employers as part of the development of this framework; the environment of collective bargaining with respect to the role of economics and bargaining structure; the negotiating process as the interactive basis for union-management relations; conflict and conflict resolution as part of the negotiating process; wage and other effects of collective bargaining as bargaining outcomes; contemporary changes in union management relations. Case materials and exercises may be used to supplement course materials. 4 grad hours.

LER 545 Economics of Human Resources

A study of the economics of personnel with the modern corporation. Topics include hiring, promotion, evaluation, discrimination, raiding, job definition, pay schemes, benefits, and design of work. 4 grad hours.

Human Resources Management:

Topics include managing and motivating employees effectively as well as the core skills needed within HR regarding change management.

LER 597 Employee Motivation and Performance – Offered in Spring I (Jan. – Mar.) OR LER 534 Leadership and Employee Engagement – Offered in Fall I (Aug. – Oct.)
LER 532 Successful Change Management – Offered in Spring II (Mar. – May)
LER 533 Fundamentals of Business Management – Offered in Summer II (Jul. – Aug.)
*Courses can be taken in any order.

LER 597 Employee Motivation and Performance

Managing and motivating employees effectively is one of the most complex and challenging issues facing companies today. While business leaders acknowledge the need for implementing effective performance management systems, recent studies indicate that an overwhelming majority of performance management systems are unsuccessful. Takes a strategic approach to employee motivation and performance starting with a firm level view to reviewing current approaches to employee motivation and performance management. Aims at providing students with practical and conceptual tools that will aid them in future endeavors to design and implement employee development and performance management systems. Format includes in-class discussions, case studies and individual assignments and papers. 4 grad hours.

LER 534 Leadership and Employee Engagement

Strong leadership and employee engagement are fundamental to achieving positive organizational results.  This course explores the relationship between leadership, employee engagement, and business outcomes.  Rooted in organizational effectiveness capabilities, we will cover topics in the context of driving change and supporting strategic outcomes for the enterprise.  

We will explore theoretical models, specific methodologies and tactics that drive engagement.  As a Human Resource leader, you will build skills in defining strong leadership, clarifying leadership expectations and building ‘visible and felt leadership.’ You will explore how to measure employee engagement and diagnose common barriers to effective engagement. Students will utilize ‘gap assessments’ to be able to prioritize and recommend specific actions that will be supported with tools and techniques that ‘build’ employee ownership.  4 grad hours.

LER 532 Successful Change Management for HR Professionals

Change management is a core skill for all HR professionals. This course covers planned change, unplanned change, and continuous change in organizations. Build skills in making the case for change, understanding resistance to change, working with champions, serving as a change agent, conducting a stakeholder map, using project management tools, tracking results with metrics, implementing new technology, and bridging across cultural, organizational and national boundaries. Particular attention is given to building capability and changing cultures within the HR function so that HR can support change across the organization. 4 grad hours.

LER 533 Fundamentals of Business Management

This course provides an overview to several areas of management that influence the role of HR professionals in any organization. Specifically, we address 6 business management topics: (1) Strategic Management, (2) Organizational Structure & Control, (3) Power & Politics, (4) Groups & Teams, (5) Decision Making, and (6) Corporate Governance. Knowing more about these areas of management should help aspiring HR professionals understand what their employers are trying to achieve and how human resource management can add value to any organization. We will discuss the connection between general management topics and human resource management implications each and every class session with special emphasis on this question in our last session. 4 grad hours.

Human Resources Data Analytics:

Understand technical aspects of analysis in tools such as Excel including recruiting and staffing, hiring assessments, succession planning, compensation, non-exempt workforce/negotiations, and training measurement. Your learning experience will include case studies so you will be able to apply what you learn in real-world scenarios. Now, more than ever, making data-driven decisions is essential for HR professionals. 
Prerequisite: Any elementary statistics course.

LER 531 Workforce Analytics – Offered during a Summer term (between May – Aug.)
LER 545 Economics of Human Resources – Offered in Spring II (Mar. – May) and Summer II (Jul. – Aug.)
LER 593 Quantitative Methods in HR – Offered in Fall II (Oct. – Dec.) and Spring I (Jan. – Mar.)
*Courses can be taken in any order.

LER 531 Workforce Analytics

Each day, HR / ER professionals face myriad issues with employees and the organizations that they support.  Many times, these professionals rely on their intuition, “gut instincts” and years of experience to create resolutions and interventions to solve these issues.  Although done with good intentions, these interventions often lack analytical rigor and forethought about unintended consequences and the root cause of the issue. This class will allow students the opportunity to learn real-world analytical techniques and critical thinking skills that students can use in any HR / ER role in any industry.  By focusing on several of the functional disciplines within HR (e.g., staffing, training, non-exempt workforce, etc.), students will learn how to create themes from qualitative data and stakeholder interviews, use basic descriptive statistics (e.g., means, counts, etc.) to support or refute anecdotal data, define and appropriately use internal and external benchmarks, describe basic parametric statistics (i.e., regression analysis) to determine the impact of independent variables on the dependent variable and use analysis techniques to “Tell a story” with data.  Prerequisite: any intro to statistics course. 4 grad hours.

LER 545 Economics of Human Resources

A study of the economics of personnel with the modern corporation. Topics include hiring, promotion, evaluation, discrimination, raiding, job definition, pay schemes, benefits, and design of work. 4 grad hours.

LER 593 Quantitative Methods in HR

Application of statistical methods to problems in human resources and industrial relations. Analysis and presentation of results using computer software. Covers statistical techniques through analysis of variance and multiple regression. Prerequisite: Any elementary statistics course. 4 grad hours.

How do I apply?

Please note all applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree prior to starting one of our certificate program tracks. 

All applicants must:

  • Complete the online application through the Graduate College at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Select “Labor and Employment Relations” for your proposed program and the certificate of your choice as your proposed degree.
    • Certificates include: Fundamentals of Human Resources (Online) – CERT, Compensation Best Practices (Online) – CERT, Human Resources Data Analytics (Online) – CERT, Human Resources and Industrial Relations Non-Degree (Online) – NDEG (Human Resources Management Certificate)
    • No application fee
  • Official transcripts from bachelor’s degree granting institution (must be from a regionally accredited college in the US or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad)
    • No required GPA minimum for admission
  • English proficiency for international applicants
  • Resume
  • Phone Interview – Contacted after application is reviewed for a phone conversation regarding interest in the certificate program.

What is the cost of each certificate track?

Each credit hour is $740, making each track within the certificate program of 12 hours cost $8,880. There are no departmental scholarships available, but you can secure outside scholarships and grants (Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG), Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant, and children of Veteran tuition waivers) for the certificate program.

Fundamentals of Human Resources, Compensation Best Practices, and Human Resources Data Analytics are approved campus graduate certificate programs and are therefore eligible for Federal Student Aid and Federal VA benefits.

Currently the Human Resources Management certificate is the only certificate considered a non-degree program. It is currently in review to be implemented in the campus-level certificate program. We expect it to be approved for Spring 2023. The non-degree status means the Human Resources Management certificate is not eligible for Federal Student Aid or Federal VA benefits, but IVG and ING benefits may be used.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

For more information or questions, please email Eden Haycraft, Associate Director of Online Graduate Programs.