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

How does the certificate program work?

The online certificate program consists of a variety of tracks and each track has three courses (12 credit hours total, four credit hours per course). Each course in the certificate program is either six or eight weeks long. You can choose to engage in one or more of the certificate program tracks outlined below. Once you have received one or more certificates, and decide you are interested in the full Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program, you are able to apply for the online master’s program and petition to have your credits transferred.

Each certificate program track takes between 7 to 10 months to complete. This is because you will only take one course at a time and some of the courses have small breaks between one another.

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

How do I know if the certificate program is for me?

Are you….

  • working in HR with no HR background?
  • employed by an organization that provides tuition reimbursement, but the reimbursement amount isn’t equivalent to a full degree program?
  • seeking to gain more knowledge in HR but either unable to or prefer not to attend graduate school?
  • currently in HR and seeking to freshen-up your knowledge? This group may include, for example, individuals who started in HR, left HR for different reasons or even left the labor force.
  • seeking to enter the HR field or change positions within your organization to HR, but do not want to commit/can’t commit to a full degree?
  • an individual who wants to know more about HR in general prior to embarking on a full degree program?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then this certificate program may be the perfect fit for you.

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

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. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. 4 grad hours.

LER 561 Compensation Systems

Compensation theory and practice. This course addresses the theoretical and practical issues associated with the design of effective compensation systems. The design phases include establishing internal equity, external equity, and individual equity. Budgeting and administration are also addressed. Case analyses and computer simulations may be used to supplement course materials. 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.

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

Compensation theory and practice. This course addresses the theoretical and practical issues associated with the design of effective compensation systems. The design phases include establishing internal equity, external equity, and individual equity. Budgeting and administration are also addressed. Case analyses and computer simulations may be used to supplement course materials. 4 grad hours.

LER 542 Collective Bargaining

Same as Economics 542. 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. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. 4 grad hours. Graduate credit is not given for both Economics 343 and LER 542.

LER 545 Economics of Human Resources

Same as Human Resource Education 534. 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. Prerequisite: LER 593 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. 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

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 590SCM 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 590FBM Fundamentals of Business and 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. 

LER 590WA 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

Same as Human Resource Education 534. 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. Prerequisite: LER 593 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. 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.


What is required to apply for one of these certificate programs?

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

  • Application
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • Phone Interview – Contacted after application is reviewed for a phone conversation regarding interest in the certificate program.

How do I apply?

All applicants must:

  • Complete online application through the Graduate College at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Select “Labor and Employment Relations” for your proposed program and “Human Resources and Industrial Relations Nondegree (Online) – NDEG” as your proposed degree.
  • Select your “Non-Degree Areas of Interest.”
  • No application fee will be applied since it’s for a nondegree program.
  • Upload appropriate documents outlined above.
  • Submit application.

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 scholarships or other financial assistance offered for the certificate program. Since this is a non-degree granting program you will be unable to apply for Federal financial aid and often Veteran grants will not cover non-degree granting programs.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

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