Human Resources Certificate

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Leadership in Human Resources Management

Whether you are already in the Human Resources (HR) industry or would like to move into it, the graduate Leadership in Human Resources Management Certificate will provide you with the depth of knowledge and skills needed to succeed in management positions. You’ll gain essential training in transformational leadership, organizational performance management, staffing and career management, and more.

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Many of our students are currently HR professionals who have completed a bachelor’s degree and are ready to assume greater responsibilities in their organization or are seeking to update their knowledge of HR strategy and best practices. Some students are looking to move into the HR field from a range of backgrounds such as education, legal, business and finance. Regardless of your current position, completion of the human resources certificate demonstrates evidence of specialized educational achievement in human resources management, and employers globally recognize the distinction of the University of Virginia education. 

Throughout the program, you’ll dive deep into topics over the course of a semester and benefit from the perspectives of your classmates who come from a wide range of organizations across private, non-profit, and government industries. Curriculum focuses on the principles and concepts of group and team behavior, leadership roles, importance of organizational vision, values and ethics, assessing and maximizing workforce talent, and managing scarce resources in today’s complex organizations. You’ll be able to draw inter-functional connections and understand their strategic impact  on the broader organization. You’ll gain expert insight into tough topics like informant law and change management. As an elective in the certificate program, you make take the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification exam preparation course.

Key Takeaways

  • Graduate-level certificate
  • 15 graduate credits / 5 courses
  • Start dates: January, May, August
  • Gain advanced human resources management credentials through a flexible online program
  • Each course is approved for 45 recertification Professional Development Credits (PDCs) by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Key Industry Information

Human resources managers plan, coordinate, and direct the administrative functions of an organization, and demand for this position is forecasted to increase faster than average. 

Human Resources Managers

HR Manager Median Salary
Expected Job Growth Next 10 Years
Expected New Jobs Next 10 Years

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SCPS’ Program Offers Advantages:

  • Flexible programming: with core courses offered regularly, you can stay on your desired learning journey.
  • One tuition rate: you’ll pay the same tution whether you reside in Virginia or out-of-state.
  • Expert Faculty who understand adult learners: learn from Faculty who are experts in their industries and are experts at teaching. They understand the demands adult learners need to juggle and structure courses so you can balance your personal and professional life while learning.
  • Synchronous learning opportunities: you’ll join online classes and can ask questions, dig deeper, and learn from instructors and classmates.
Tuition & Fees
  • Estimated cost: $629 per credit hour or $9,435 for the entire program. Students pay per course, per semester.
  • Pay the same tuition rate whether you are in-state or out-of-state.
  • This program is not eligible for financial aid but may be covered by your employer’s education benefits program.
  • You may take advantage of an optional, interest-free semester-based payment plan offered by the University to help spread the cost of eligible charges over monthly payment. 
  • Additional fees may apply, including course materials. Tuition rates are adjusted annually.

See Tuition Details


New and returning students in certificate or degree programs in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies are eligible to apply for the Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship Program

Admission Requirements & Deadlines


  • To begin in the fall (August): application must be submitted by July 1
  • To begin in the spring (January): application must be submitted by November 1
  • To begin in the summer (May): application must be submitted by April 1


This is a graduate-level certificate course. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree.

To apply:

  1. Complete an online application, including:
    1. Submit your unofficial transcripts. Offers of admission are not binding until official transcripts are received and verified.
    2. Application for Virginia In-State Education Privileges to establish residency.


Julia McDonald

Every student brought experiences to our classes and group projects that enhanced learning.

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Required Courses (4)

  • Course schedules and program electives are currently under review in order to increase student options and flexibility.
  • Current and prospective students may contact with questions related to their journey and course schedule. 

Examines the processes and techniques that establish and govern the flow of interrelated organizational staffing activities. Includes case studies covering the latest staffing models and systems, economic conditions that impact staffing, laws and regulations, strategy and planning, measurement, job analysis, internal and external recruiting, and decision making.


Explores strategic choices in managing compensation through a pay model that is based upon the foundational policy decisions of the compensation system, the means of compensation, and the objectives of the compensation. Includes strategic perspectives, internal consistency, external competitiveness, employee contributions, and administration of the pay system efficiently, equitably, and in compliance with the law.


Examines the influence of human performance elements (such as quality of work-life, rewards and recognition, job design, teambuilding, and participative management) on organizational performance.


Enables the student to understand the behavioral concepts and theories that form the foundation of organizational development, the process of change management, and the organizational development techniques and interventions designed to improve organization effectiveness. Explores such concepts and processes as power and influence, conflict, inter-group behavior, decision-making, and communication.

Elective Courses (1)


Prepares students for Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) industry certification exams (Certified Professional or Senior Certified Professional). Uses SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge (BASK), which defines standards for HR professionals globally. Enables students to better comprehend and apply HR topics. See SHRM for full certification requirements. Enrolled students receive partner price for SHRM Learning System and textbooks.


Focuses on issues, challenges, and subtle dynamics that operate in cross-cultural organizations for which students learn to build functional and effective workplace relationships. Participants will learn to manage diversity as an asset to sustainable competitive advantage to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. A framework for the strategic management of diversity, equity, and inclusion will also be developed and discussed.

Other SCPS certificate courses may count for elective credit with approval from the Senior Director of Certificates. Current students may contact their student success coach with questions.

The information contained on this web site is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

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