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Despite the advancements of the digital age, companies will always have a strong need for people who understand life’s challenges and can provide a personal, human approach to workplace management.

Michigan State University’s online Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership concentration in Human Resource Management helps individuals enhance their ability to lead and motivate others by gaining a strategic human resource management perspective.

What is Human Resource Management?

Human resource management is focused on supervising the administrative processes associated with each employee and their relation to company objectives and strategies. This involves recruitment, training, compensation, policy development and strategic management aimed towards fostering a strong workforce and workplace culture.

The Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership concentration in Human Resource Management from MSU provides students a tailored education experience designed to build knowledge and skills in the diverse facets of managing human resources to achieve your organization’s strategic objectives.

Application Deadline

August 2, 2024

Start Date

August 26, 2024

View Start Dates

Academic Calendar

Fall 2024
Application Deadline

August 2, 2024

Start Date

August 26, 2024

Spring 2025
Application Deadline

December 4, 2024

Start Date

January 6, 2025

Apply Now

AACSB Accredited Logo

The Broad College of Business has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1953

Program Formatting

The Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership concentration in Human Resource Management program can be completed through a combination of video-based lectures, interactive online classroom sessions and one-on-one instructor time.

Structured in an accelerated timeframe of sequential, five-week course modules, the program can be completed in under two years, helping you earn your graduate degree and apply your knowledge to your career quickly.

  • 100% online
  • 15 five-week courses
  • 30 credits
  • 20-month completion time for most students

Access to a laptop or desktop computer with an internet connection is necessary to complete your MSU Online program.

  • Learn more about specific hardware and system requirements

    System Requirements

    To ensure an optimized classroom experience on both desktop and mobile devices, please adhere to the following system requirements.


    • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 or later
    • OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later
    • Web Browser Google Chrome latest version
    • Mozilla Firefox latest version
    • Microsoft Edge latest version
    • Apple Safari latest version

    Computer Processor: 2 GHz or faster

    Computer Memory: RAM 3 GB or more

    Hard Disk Space: 160 GB available


    • Speakers/Headphones
    • Microphone (optional)
    • Webcam (optional)


    • Microsoft Office 2013 or later (Windows)
    • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 or later
    • Adobe Reader latest version
    • Macromedia Flash Player latest version

    Internet Connection: High-speed internet capable or streaming video smoothly

    Mobile Experience

    Although these programs are accessible from mobile devices like tablets or smartphones, students should not use a mobile device as their only educational technology option. A laptop or desktop with reliable and daily access to the internet is required.

    Mobile Operating System:

    • Android v4.4 and later
    • iOS 9.02 and later

What You Can Learn

The online Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership features 10 core courses that explore topics in business strategy, leadership, negotiations and conflict resolution, international management, ethics and more.

In addition, students opting for a concentration in Human Resource Management must complete the following four courses (each carrying two credit hours):

  • MGT 811 – Fundamentals of Human Resource Staffing
    Familiarize yourself with the essential components of talent acquisition and development, including legal issues, measurement, job analysis, performance assessment and recruitment.
  • MGT 814 – Managing Diversity in the Workplace
    Explore how organizations can benefit from differences in ethnicity, age, tenure and education. You can also discover some of the challenges that may arise and learn techniques to manage conflict.
  • MGT 818 – Talent Management and Development
    How do you manage human resources to realize an organization’s goals and mission? Study strategies for employee recruitment and development, performance management, succession planning and retention, career management and leadership development.
  • MGT 822 – Developing Reward and Compensation Systems
    Learn how to apply compensation principles to organizational objectives and strategically use compensation systems to attract, motivate and retain employees. You can also discover the managerial aspects of paying employees at all levels.

The full program curriculum covers additional topics in human resource management, team development and leadership to help students empower themselves and gain the skills and knowledge to become HR leaders.

What to Expect from the Online Learning Experience at MSU

When you enroll in an online course at MSU, you can expect to receive a high-quality education that is convenient and flexible. You’ll be able to access your courses 24/7 from any computer with an internet connection, and you can complete your assignments on your own schedule. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with your professors and fellow students through online discussion boards and meetings. And because MSU is a world-renowned university, you can be confident that you’re receiving a quality education. So, if you’re looking for an online learning experience that is both challenging and rewarding, MSU may be the right choice for you.

Who You'll Learn From

The program is led by the top management researchers from the AACSB-accredited Broad College of Business, one of the largest top-ranked business schools in the country.

Our faculty members are dedicated to challenging students to develop forward-thinking solutions to some of the most important issues impacting organizations today and anticipating the challenges ahead.

  • 1
  • Leadership
  • Speciality ranking (U.S. News & World Report Best Online Master's in Business Programs, 2024)
  • 1
  • General Management
  • Speciality ranking (U.S. News & World Report Best Online Master's in Business Programs, 2024)
  • 2
  • Online Master's Programs
  • Among Public Universities (U.S. News & World Report Best Online Master's in Business Programs, 2024)

Top 25 Best Online Master's in Business Program, 2017-2024

Top 5 for Specialties


HR Management
General Management

Health Care Administration
Organizational Behavior

International Business

No. 2 Best Online Master's in Business Programs for Veterans


Who You’ll Learn With

A diverse, passionate, team-oriented network of leaders like yourself who are looking to maximize their potential in managing effective teams, leading their organizations and advancing their careers.

Who Should Consider Enrolling

The Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership concentration in Human Resource Management is catered toward:

  • Dedicated HR professionals (early, mid and late career) looking to enhance their credentials and advance their careers.
  • HR professionals who are primarily focused on the HR field, but who are open to other functional areas as part of their career plans.
  • HR professionals or other managers with the goal of running their own organization.
  • Those wanting to gain a strategic human resources management perspective.
  • Individuals looking to develop an understanding of how human resource management relates to an organization as a whole.

Admission Requirements

This graduate degree is designed for experienced business professionals looking to maximize their potential in managing people and leading organizations, while enhancing their career opportunities.

To be considered for MSU’s online MS in Management, Strategy and Leadership program, you should have:

  • 3 years (minimum) full-time managerial experience in a supervisory role and a high degree of potential for advancement to an organizational leadership role
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA)

International Applicants click here for more information.


MS in Management, Strategy & Leadership Program Application Checklist

Start Your MSU Application ✓

  • Complete your online application with a $100 application fee (one-time, nonrefundable)

Order Transcripts ✓

  • Official transcripts from all college/university programs or courses of study attended prior to applying to Michigan State University
  • Official military transcript (if denoting servicemember or military veteran status in application)

Provide Professional Resume, Essay & Recommendations ✓

  • Applicants’ resumes must include up to 20 years of work experience (if applicable).
  • Applicants’ resumes must explicitly list supervisory vs. non-supervisory for each role within their work experience. If the role was supervisory, the applicant must include a range of direct reports.
  • Applicants with military service must denote rank (and associated pay grade) for every position listed on their resume (military roles).
  • 3 letters of recommendation from professional, work-related references, preferably supervisors. Letters should speak to your ability to work within and lead teams, and your contribution to a professional business environment are strongly recommended.
  • Statement of intention essay (2 pages), detailing your direct supervisory and/or management experience, and stating how you see the degree furthering your career and organizational goals.

Apply Now


Please note, while the application deadline has been extended, if your application is submitted after April 5, 2024 we cannot guarantee consideration for the Summer semester.

Take the next step in your career with our program guide!

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Time Commitment and Cost

Time Spent Learning Weekly

MSU’s Master of Science in Management, Strategy & Leadership concentration in Human Resource Management program is completely online and designed for students to earn at their own pace. Therefore, there is no set time commitment each week. However, students should expect to spend a few hours on coursework, including readings, discussions and assignments.

Cost Per Credit Hour

Cost Per Credit Hour: $1,130

Total Credits Needed: 30

Tuition is determined by the university and does not include books or other fees that may apply. These rates are subject to change at any time during the program or enrollment process.

Career Opportunities

Projected Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for human resources managers is projected to increase 7 percent from 2021 to 2031, as fast as average for all occupations.

For more information on other management occupations, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

Potential Outcomes

Graduates of the MSL Human Resource Management concentration may qualify for a wide range of positions, including:*

  • Program manager
  • Director of HR
  • HR manager
  • HR business partner
  • HR generalist
  • Technical program manager
  • Program director
  • Analytics manager
  • Recruiter
  • Associate director

* Source: EMSI/Burning Glass Job Postings – Occupations: Mgmt. Occupations (11-0000); Education: Master’s; Skills: Strategic Mgmt., Innovation, Corporate Strategy, Strategic Decision Making; Timeframe: Apr ‘21 – Mar ‘22

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I do with a concentration in human resource management?

    A concentration in Human Resource Management can help you prepare to meet organizational needs for strategy-driven HR solutions. You will study how to build and implement talent development plans and effectively motivate teams. In addition, you can gain the skills to lead organizations through times of transition while protecting workers and helping companies maintain the processes that achieve goals and objectives.

  • What kind of degree will I receive?

    Upon completion of your online MSU program, you will receive a master’s degree in Management, Strategy & Leadership with a concentration in Human Resource Management. This advanced credential can show employers that you have earned the specialized training for HR leadership careers.

  • What management and leadership skills are helpful for succeeding in human resource management?

    Communication, organization, flexibility, patience, negotiation abilities, a sense of morality and ethical thinking and compassion are all important areas of expertise for being effective in an HR position. These skills, both individually and applied together, help HR professionals meet the requirements of their position and empower them to remain a critical part of their organization’s overall strategy and objectives.

  • What is the relationship between human resource management and leadership?

    Human resource managers are responsible for offering support to an organization to meet long-term goals. HR professionals often carry out and manage strategies to satisfy objectives through their tangible and intangible skills, such as the ability to relate to people in an abstract, subjective way, while also having the know-how and practical skills to perform. Their work assists leadership by helping ensure their employees are performing ethically and efficiently.

  • Is Michigan State’s online degree in Management, Strategy & Leadership affordable?

    Michigan State University’s online degree program does offer financial assistance opportunities, making it a competitive option for those who are interested in pursuing a career in the fields of human resources and business management.


National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Information provided is not intended to represent a complete list of hiring companies or job titles, and certificate or degree program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.