The traditional on-campus Master in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MHRIR) program is geared towards individuals that don’t have extensive work experience, are transitioning into the world of employment relations, or wish to build upon their experience and change organization/industry.

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 ProgramThree-semester program that has two specifically required courses (LER 591 & LER 593), one course from each of the four distribution requirements and 24 hours of LER electives from a choice of courses.Six-semester program (two years) including five required courses (LER 591, LER 593, LER 595 OR LER 566, LER 542 OR LER 543, & LER 545). Students are provided limited elective options. Courses run either 6- or 8-weeks each and students typically take one course at a time.
Course StructureIn-person classes, located in Champaign-Urbana. Each course meets one day a week for a three-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. Four-hour courses meet for the full semester and two-hour courses meet either during the first or second session (eight weeks). Students will typically enroll for 16 hours each semester.Hybrid synchronous and asynchronous format. Each course holds a weekly two-hour virtual session, on weekday evenings, to accommodate the lifestyles of working professionals while also allowing a high-touch educational experience. With each course lasting six or eight weeks, students take one course at a time and finish eight hours each semester. Courses have 35 or fewer students in each section.
Course OfferingsThere are currently over 30 courses offered to the LER on-campus students.There are currently 21 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 DevelopmentThe 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.
Alumni InvolvementLER alumni are involved in the on-campus recruiting, orientation activities, in-person workshops, lunch with CHRO’s, networking events and a variety of other activities. Both LER on-campus and online programs have an invaluable network.Online students gain the same network of alumni contacts as the traditional program students. Networking opportunities through alumni panels and events are available to online students each semester and the students drive the topics to be covered.
Cost Breakdown2024-25 tuition cost is $22,470 in-state and $34,979 out-of-state. Additional campus fees for each semester equate to around $2,700. Total tuition cost over three semesters is approximately $33,705 resident and $52,469 non-resident (includes out of state and international).2024-25 tuition is $770 per credit hour plus the cost of books, no additional student fees or out-of-state differential costs. Each course is four credit hours with a total of 48 credit hours needed to graduate, making tuition approximately $36,960.
Scholarships/Financial AidLER department financial aid (fellowships and scholarships) is available to top admitted candidates based on academic merit. Student loans are also available through the university financial aid office, with the submission of FASFA.As the online MHRIR program is a self-supporting program, students are not eligible for LER department financial aid. Student loans are also available through the university financial aid office, with the submission of FASFA. 
Student Profile2022-2023, LER master’s students came from 73 global institutions, 55 majors, 13 states + Puerto Rico, and eight countries. The class is 72% female, and 48.8% identify as minority. The class is 32% international. Thirty-five percent have at least one year work experience and the average age is 24.On average, admitted students have approximately eight years of professional work experience. 33% of admitted students don’t have work experience in HR. Approximately 51% identify as part of a minority population.
OutcomesLER has a 95-100% placement within three months of graduation with a average starting salary of just under $80,000 for our domestic students. Between 7-15% of international students find an internship or full-time position in the US. Our newest placement report for our traditional program can be found here.On average, graduates receive a salary that is 26% higher than what they received before starting the program. For a full view of our student outcomes, click here.

The traditional and online programs are separate and 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 need to present an extenuating circumstance to petition to switch to the other program. Please note that traditional on-campus students cannot take online program courses and vice versa. Career development resources are also different for the two programs.

Online students are not eligible for an F-1 visa.

Learn more about our program and how we can help accelerate your career: