Human Resources and Employment Relations Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargePaul F Clark
Program CodeHRER
Campus(es)University Park

The program is designed for professionals who desire further education in the specialized field of Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) without completing a full master's degree. Many professionals and recent graduates believe they need further education beyond their bachelor's degree for personal and professional development and to compete effectively in the labor market for HRER practitioners. The certificate program provides flexibility for working professionals and advanced knowledge in the rapidly changing field of HRER in many areas, including: dispute management and resolution, workplace diversity, work and family, trends in human resources, and technology and the workplace. Upon successful completion of the certificate program, students may opt to apply for the master's degree in HRER. Courses taken in the certificate program may be applied toward a master's degree in HRER, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards a graduate degree in HRER must apply and be admitted to that degree program. Admission to the HRER graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed.

Effective Semester: Summer 2020 
Expiration Semester: Spring 2025

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Admission to the program does not assume former knowledge of the field of HRER. An applicant must have received a valid bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and have two years of full-time professional work experience. The following documentation must be submitted for evaluation prior to admission:

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Students must complete 9 credits.

Required Courses
HRER 504Seminar in Employment Relations3
HRER 505Seminar in Human Resources3
Students choose a third 3-credit course, which can be any other 500-level or 800-level HRER course, in consultation with their adviser.3
Total Credits9


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate the necessary basic disciplinary knowledge and competence to develop future ER and HRM careers.
  2. Students will be able to apply their knowledge by interacting effectively with organizational leaders in helping to develop and implement organizational strategies.
  3. Students will be able to effectively communicate knowledge of current HRM and ER topics both verbally and in writing.
  4. Students will be able to recognize and analyze practical, legal, and ethical ER and HRM challenges in the workplace.
  5. Students will be able to respond appropriately to practical, legal, and ethical ER and HRM challenges in the workplace using both theoretical and practical approaches and in accordance with the standards, values and best practices of their discipline.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Paul Clark
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Paul Clark
Program Contact

Erin Hetzel
506 Keller Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 867-4167

Program Website View