The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 24 years!

The 51 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources

Rankings of online master's in human resources programsRising through the ranks in business administration is best done with an online master’s in human resources. A bachelor’s in the field can gain you entry-level roles, but most employers today require master’s degrees for leadership positions. The upside of an online HR master’s degree includes the flexibility designed for working adult students; for example, many virtual programs offer asynchronous courses, small class sizes, and accredited curriculums delivering workplace-applicable knowledge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top ten percent of HR management earners will see an annual salary of over $208,000. And with an as-fast -as-average rate of job growth over the next ten years, it’s guaranteed to be a competitive market for such a great paycheck. Even with such great prospects for this popular career, a degree can cost a small fortune to the aspiring master student.

Looking for an online master’s degree in human resources to bolster your career without breaking the bank? GetEducated’s rankings reveal all of the programs that cost less than the national average so that you, the consumer, can make the most informed decision.

GetEducated compared 103 master’s programs in human resources from 89 regionally accredited online schools to create this ‘Best Buy’ list. Our rankings reveal the most affordable options in the United States—51 online master’s in human resources for under $28,300.

ARTICLE NAVIGATION: Rankings Table | Career Guide

Average Cost (In-state): ~$28,300
Least Expensive: Fort Hays State University ~$8,956.50
Most Expensive: New York University ~$99,253

Our data-driven research creates a truly reliable system of scientific rankings. There’s no fancy formulas here. We meticulously calculate total full-time tuition—including any fees—for the most accurate total cost. Our rankings cannot be bought, and therefore factually showcase the cheapest online master’s in human resources. The online HR degrees listed above the gray dividing line are official 2022 “Best Buys” and cost less than the national average.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources

RankSchool / DegreeStatePriceNote
1
Fort Hays State University
(KS)
$8,956.50
All Students
2
Union College
(KY)
$10,250.00
All Students
3
Amberton University
(TX)
$10,525.00
All Students
4
Tarleton State University
(TX)
$11,287.80
$23,527.80
In-State
Out-of-State
5
Pittsburg State University
(KS)
$11,501.00
All Students
6
Athens State University
(AL)
$12,130.00
All Students
7
Western Carolina University
(NC)
$12,408.12
$35,022.24
In-State
Out-of-State
8
Wichita State University
(KS)
$12,779.40
All Students
9
University of Wisconsin-Stout
(WI)
$14,024.10
$28,150.50
In-State
Out-of-State
10
Indiana State University
(IN)
$14,806.00
$19,096.00
In-State
Out-of-State
11
Troy University
(AL)
$15,750.00
All Students
12
University of Valley Forge
(PA)
$16,673.00
All Students
13
Midwestern State University
(TX)
$16,675.55
All Students
14
Concordia University-Saint Paul
(MN)
$17,100.00
$12,600.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
15
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
(LA)
$17,316.00
All Students
16
The University of Texas at Tyler
(TX)
$17,804.00
$35,156.00
In-State
Out-of-State
17
Stony Brook University
(NY)
$17,942.40
$20,355.00
In-State
Out-of-State
18
Colorado State University-Global Campus
(CO)
$18,000.00
All Students
19
Touro University Worldwide
(CA)
$18,200.00
All Students
20
Colorado Christian University
(CO)
$19,350.00
All Students
21
Calvary University
(MO)
$19,383.00
$14,313.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
22
Murray State University
(KY)
$19,767.00
All Students
23
Lindenwood University
(MO)
$20,105.00
All Students
24
Indiana Wesleyan University
(IN)
$20,124.00
$15,093.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
25
Lakeland University
(WI)
$20,610.00
All Students
26
Cambridge College
(MA)
$20,810.00
$16,320.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
27
University of Houston - Clear Lake
(TX)
$20,892.00
$39,684.00
In-State
Out-of-State
28
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
(PA)
$21,090.00
$21,795.00
In-State
Out-of-State
29
Fielding Graduate University
(CA)
$21,600.00
All Students
30
Lasell University
(MA)
$22,536.00
All Students
31
Southern New Hampshire University
(NH)
$22,722.00
$17,070.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
32
Edgewood College
(WI)
$22,920.00
All Students
33
Bellevue University
(NE)
$23,060.00
All Students
34
Claremont Lincoln University
(CA)
$23,100.00
All Students
35
Clemson University
(SC)
$23,789.00
All Students
36
National University
(CA)
$23,868.00
All Students
37
Champlain College
(VT)
$24,000.00
$12,090.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
38
Ottawa University
(KS)
$24,159.00
All Students
39
Franklin University
(OH)
$24,205.00
$19,381.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
40
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
(MN)
$24,300.00
$21,870.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
41
Thomas Edison State University
(NJ)
$24,346.00
All Students
42
University of Massachusetts Global
(CA)
$24,480.00
$14,400.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
43
Johnson & Wales University
(RI)
$24,510.00
All Students
44
University of Louisville
(KY)
$24,816.00
$8,250.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
45
Widener University
(PA)
$25,312.00
All Students
46
Florida Institute of Technology
(FL)
$25,641.00
$23,076.90
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
47
University of Kentucky
(KY)
$26,006.90
All Students
48
Abilene Christian University
(TX)
$26,352.00
All Students
49
Saint Francis University
(PA)
$26,445.00
All Students
50
Saint Louis University
(MO)
$26,790.00
All Students
51
Webster University
(MO)
$28,180.00
$13,780.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
NOTE: The following schools did not make our Best Buy ranking but are also great online options.
School / DegreeStatePriceNote
Pennsylvania State University
(PA)
$28,500.00
All Students
National Louis University
(IL)
$28,716.00
All Students
University of Scranton
(PA)
$28,875.00
All Students
La Roche University
(PA)
$29,608.00
All Students
Walden University
(MN)
$29,700.00
$25,402.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Regis University
(CO)
$29,740.00
All Students
DeVry University
(IL)
$30,264.00
$22,425.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Strayer University - Online
(DC)
$30,420.00
All Students
University of Arizona Global Campus
(CA)
$30,895.00
$13,650.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
University of the Incarnate Word
(TX)
$30,990.00
$7,590.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Pennsylvania State University
(PA)
$31,350.00
All Students
Northcentral University
(CA)
$31,370.00
All Students
North Central College
(IL)
$31,644.00
All Students
Robert Morris University
(PA)
$32,250.00
All Students
Purdue University
(IN)
$33,078.00
$34,578.00
In-State
Out-of-State
Golden Gate University
(CA)
$33,140.00
$14,690.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Saint Joseph's University
(PA)
$33,228.00
All Students
Capella University
(MN)
$33,500.00
$30,237.50
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Hawaii Pacific University
(HI)
$33,950.00
All Students
Saint Joseph's University
(PA)
$34,200.00
All Students
Florida International University
(FL)
$35,000.00
All Students
Northeastern University
(MA)
$35,325.00
All Students
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(IL)
$35,520.00
All Students
Mercy College
(NY)
$35,656.00
All Students
Temple University
(PA)
$35,788.00
All Students
University of Denver
(CO)
$35,904.00
All Students
Moravian College
(PA)
$36,288.00
All Students
Villanova University
(PA)
$37,260.00
All Students
Rutgers University
(NJ)
$40,158.50
All Students
American University
(DC)
$40,510.00
All Students
Roosevelt University
(IL)
$40,740.00
All Students
North Park University
(IL)
$43,890.00
All Students
Drexel University
(PA)
$45,765.00
$42,300.00
In-State/Out-Of-State
Military
Georgetown University
(DC)
$48,939.00
All Students
University of Southern California
(CA)
$49,007.00
All Students
The George Washington University
(DC)
$55,980.00
All Students
Cornell University
(NY)
$58,586.00
All Students
Pepperdine University
(CA)
$66,105.00
All Students
Columbia University in the City of New York
(NY)
$86,633.00
All Students
New York University
(NY)
$99,253.00
All Students

Accreditation & Program Notes

To qualify for a ranking, a program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.

14  Program is no longer accepting new students.
15  AACSB International (AACSB)
16  International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
17  Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Rankings Note

These online college rankings are based on a GetEducated Winter 2021 review of regionally accredited online master’s in human resources. Total cost includes full-time tuition and fees and was valid at the time of collection and specific to the online learning program. School profiles for the online master degree programs in our directory may reflect a slightly different cost based on different editorial update schedules.

The published cost is an estimated sticker price for the entire online degree including fees. Actual costs may vary by student. Factors such as transfer credits, prerequisite courses, professional licensing and financial aid availability will affect final cost.

Editorial Note

Online schools do NOT pay to be included in any GetEducated online degree ranking. These rankings are editorially independent, open to any regionally accredited or candidate college that offers a master’s degree that is available at least 80 percent through online learning and that is open to enrollment by the public. If your online college is regionally accredited and not currently reviewed by GetEducated, please contact us for inclusion.

These rankings of the cheapest online schools for human resources may NOT be re-posted online or reprinted in any format without a license from GetEducated ®. Consumer finance bloggers and writers can contact our editors for a free custom article on the best online master’s in human resources for use on your website. Our mission: Help consumers GetEducated ® about the best online colleges for cost and credibility.

Career Guide: Online Master’s in Human Resources

Whether you are studying for a bachelor’s degree in human resources or currently working in an HR department, these degrees create tremendous opportunities to advance your expertise in this important field.

Human resources is an academic discipline that can be used in any area and any industry. It’s also a high-paying career, one that can be even more rewarding with an online master’s in human resources.

What to Expect from an Online Master’s in Human Resources

Human resources is the practice of recruiting, training, developing, and managing employees within a business or organization. The ultimate goal is to increase the effectiveness of a business by creating a useful staff of motivated and efficient workers.

This is a complex and ever-changing discipline, one that requires both education and experience to perform effectively. While a bachelor’s degree is a fine start, and will certainly qualify you for numerous job opportunities, a master’s degree will propel your career to even greater heights.

To gain entry into these programs, you’ll need to meet a variety of requirements. Each college or university has different standards, but you’ll certainly need a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a similar field. Not only do you need a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to meet specific GPA standards; most schools require a 3.0 or better in previous courses. A master’s degree is a high-level education, so transcripts, application assays, references, and other requirements will also be requested.

Once you gain entry, you’ll have access to some of the most engaging courses you’ve ever experienced. Most online master’s in human resources programs consist of roughly six or seven core courses, as well as roughly eight elective courses, which focus on a variety of human-resource related topics.

Core courses will likely include human resource leadership, HR consulting, employee evaluation, and other important subjects. Elective courses can include coaching, talent development, employee benefits, and many other subjects.

Many of these online programs offer specializations in a specific topic. You could, for example, complete an online master’s in human resources that focuses on HR and business, which helps you balance to demands of human resources with the needs of a business. Other specializations include training and development, leadership, strategic management, and organizational performance.

Once complete, these master’s degrees allow you to move into numerous high-paying careers in all sorts of industries.

Careers in Human Resources

One of the benefits of an HR master’s degree is that you can work in virtually any industry. All sectors of the economy need experts in human resources, so you can work in manufacturing, entertainment, sports, hospitality, outdoor leisure, healthcare, and more. Name an industry that you find interesting, and there is, almost certainly, a human resources expert working behind the scenes.

Human Resources Manager

  • Salary: $121,220
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience: Over five years

Human resources, especially for large companies and organizations, can be extremely complicated. Businesses often hire human resource managers to plan, coordinate, and execute these efforts. Specific duties may include creating a hiring campaign, setting goals and standard for job candidates, and overseeing work performance.

While you need over five years of experience in human resources to be eligible for most management jobs, a master’s degree gives you a competitive edge. You’ll have a deeper and broader understanding of human resources, which will make you a more attractive candidate when you interview for these careers.

Reliable human resource experts are so important that companies are willing to pay top-dollar for these professionals. With a master’s degree, you may be able to work your way into the top 10% of HR managers, a group that earns over $208,000 annually!

Compensation & Benefits Manager

  • Salary: $125,130
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience: Over five years

Compensation and benefits managers provide oversight for a company’s benefits package. They may oversee recruitment, set pay and benefit packages, and could also choose outside partners, including insurance brokers and investment managers.

While there is overlap between these professionals and human resource managers, the main difference is that benefits managers focus, at least more often, on the benefits being provided to employees. HR managers tend to focus on the hiring, placement, and training process.

In this career, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a strong salary, as the top 10% also earn over $208,000 a year.

Requirements to Work in Human Resources

To work in human resources, you likely won’t need licensing, although voluntary certification can boost an already stellar resume. Certification through organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and HR Certification Institute (HRCI) can strengthen your knowledge and increase your potential earnings and job opportunities.

If you expect to work in management after completing an online master’s in human resources, you will also need experience. Most employers expect their managers to have about five years of experience before working as a human resources or benefits manager.