Learn while you work. You can complete your master’s degree in just two years.

Work Experience

Your professional perspective is valued. Our re-designed curriculum allows students to leverage their real world experience in the classroom. Whether you have prior experience in human resources and industrial relations or you are transitioning from another field, you will find immediate connections from your courses to your work.

Statistics Requirement

Students must complete an undergraduate introductory course in statistics prior to enrolling in LER 593 Quantitative Methods in HR (Statistics) or LER 531 Workforce Analytics (see course descriptions below). If you would have questions about courses which fulfill the statistics pre-requisite, contact Eden Haycraft Smothers for more information.

Online Courses

The online program consists of two 8-week courses (8 credit hours total) per semester for Fall and Spring, Summer term courses are 6-weeks (8 credit hours total). Over two years, you will complete 48 hours of course work, including the following subject distribution areas: Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior, Union Management and Labor Relations Policy, Labor Markets and Employment, and International Human Resource Management. Required courses also include LER 591 (Employment Relations Systems) and LER 593 (Quantitative Methods).

Required Courses

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 593: Quantitative Methods in Labor and Employment Relations

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.

Human Resource Management and Organization Behavior (must complete at least one of the below courses)

LER 522: Government Regulation

Focuses on federal and state legislation, court and agency rulings, and executive orders that regulate a wide range of private and public employment practices including: Title VII and Affirmative Action Compliance; American with Disabilities Act; drug-, HIV-, and genetic testing; Fair Labor Standards Act; Civil Service procedures; Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and employment-at-will; constitutional protection for employees, job-applicants, and others. 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 562: Human Resources Planning and Staffing

Staffing is a vital component of the human resource function. It involves the selection and retention of a committed and high-performing workforce. This course is designed to help students develop an in-depth and practical understanding of the processes and practices involved in recruitment, planning and staffing. We will cover the foundational aspects of selection such as the importance and rationale for recruitment and selection, developing a recruitment process and selection system, job analysis, measurement, utility, reliability and validity of selection measures, and staffing decisions, among others. Although the topics covered will be presented from a human resource management perspective, we will also draw upon theory and research evidence from other related disciplines such as industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology and organizational behavior. 4 grad hours.

LER 565: Human Resources Management and Strategy

Designed to provide integration across the specific functional areas of the human resources management (HRM) field, while at the same time demonstrating the linkages horizontally within HRM and vertically with strategic management of the firm. This case-focused course places emphasis on human resources issues of strategic importance to the organization. 4 grad hours.

LER 534: Leadership & 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

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 535: Negotiation Principles in HR Context

This course will provide you with the opportunity to develop your negotiation skills through practice and an improved understanding of the factors that underlie successful negotiations. Through exercises discussion, you will gain knowledge of the central concepts underlying negotiation strategy and will gain experience with a broad spectrum of negotiation problems and contexts common to HR professionals and managers. In this course, you will not only learn what strategies work, but why they work, so that you can generalize these strategies to new situations. This course is for students in the online program only. 4 grad hours.

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 590: Power & Influence

This course provides a framework for analyzing the sources of power and influence in organizations and the circumstances that lead to its attainment and effective use. In this course, we use a broad concept of power and influence that encompasses formal as well as informal, cultural, and symbolic aspects, which should be particularly important in managing human resources. 4 grad hours.

LER 568: Firm Performance and Human Resources

This course is designed to give HR masters’ students a working knowledge of corporate finance and the ways in which financial tools can be used to both assess firm performance and to evaluate whether business initiatives, including HR proposals, add value to a firm. In the first half of the course, we focus on learning how to construct, read, and analyze financial statements. The goal is to understand how to evaluate a firm’s performance relative to competitors (and industry benchmarks) and its position in the industry. The second half of the course is focused on learning how to perform net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) analysis. Students learn the components of these techniques, including elements of the time value of money and the composition of discount rates. Students apply this knowledge by projecting cash flows for an HR-focused project and assessing whether pursuing the project would increase or decrease the firm’s value. 4 grad hours.

Labor Markets and Employment (Required)

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.

Union Management and Labor Relations Policy (must complete at least one of the below courses)

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 543: Workplace Dispute Resolution

Examination of the use of procedures to resolve employment disputes in both union and nonunion workplaces; comparative analysis of grievance arbitration, interest arbitration, mediation, fact-finding, and combinations of these procedures; special emphasis given to the role of third party intervention.  4 grad hours.

International Human Resource Management (must complete at least one of the below courses)

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.

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.

Additional Course Offerings

LER 590: Talent Management

This course will introduce students to the building blocks organizations use to manage the performance of individuals, teams and total organizations.  Learn how to create a work environment that enables employees to thrive.  We will explore the major facets of Talent Management from developing high performing teams, designing and implementing performance management systems to identifying, assessing and developing talent, delivering performance coaching for individuals and teams, developing pipelines of talent and driving employee engagement and retention.   Explore key Human Resources/Organizational Development practices through experiential learning.  Students will be expected to actively participate in partner-based projects, case studies, group discussion/debate, assessments, presentations and a variety of learning methodologies that will promote professional growth.

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.  4 grad hours.

LER 537: Employee Stress, Well-Being, and Safety

Organizations and businesses cannot be successful without ensuring health and safety of their workforce. As employees’ health and safety is interlinked with various factors in their work and nonwork environment, there are various approaches in studying employee stress, well-being, and safety (e.g., human factors, public health, etc.). This course will mainly use the “organizational” approach focusing on important psychosocial factors in the workplace that affect employee work stress, well-being, and safety. This course will put an emphasis on organizational interventions to mitigate the impact of stress as well as to promote health and safety among employees. The class will include lectures, in-class learning activities (e.g., exercises, small-group discussions, debate, video clips, instant writing, etc.), and group project. 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.