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Master of Human Resource Development

Masters in Human Resources DevelopmentOverview

Human Resource Development (HRD) is a process used to develop talent and improve the learning and performance of individuals and organizations to enhance their competence, effectiveness and change.

HRD practitioners work to maximize the performance and potential within the fields of: training, learning and development; individual and organizational performance improvement; and, strategic HRD.

Program participants will learn innovative approaches to address contemporary challenges in the workplace including leadership, ethics and cultural diversity while engaging in high-quality, applied research and professional learning.

Taught by both practitioners and academicians, this fully online MHRD program will benefit working professionals and leaders in business, non-profit, government, and education settings who wish to advance their career, gain HRD expertise and earn an advanced degree from a highly respected institution that is at the forefront of the profession. This program includes an optional emphasis area in Athletic Leadership. (See Program of Study section below for details.)

The MHRD program consists of 36 semester credit hours of course work.

  • Students are admitted in the fall semester and are expected to complete the program in two years.
  • All courses are delivered online.
  • Admitted students must register for two courses each semester.
  • About the Program

    The Human Resource Development (HRD) field draws from systems design, psychology, education, sociology, organization development and management theory to improve human and organizational performance. The Master of Human Resource Development (MHRD) degree program at Clemson University prepares people to become strategic thinkers and problem solvers who can address a broad spectrum of performance issues within business, industry and the public sector. HRD specialists commonly help organizations and people to identify performance gaps and to deliver appropriate interventions that improve human performance in the workplace. Designed for in-career professionals, program participants come from many different fields and disciplines. Prior experience or course work in HRD is not required. However, work experience is highly preferred. The MHRD program is designed to meet the educational needs of practitioners, and for this reason, is taught by practitioner-scholars using the latest Internet technologies to create an interactive environment that meets the needs of busy professionals wanting to update their skills and abilities to improve human and organizational performance.

    Meeting Current and Future Needs
    21st century organizations are experiencing change as never witnessed before. The shift from a manufacturing-based economy to one that is based on the creation and application of knowledge has produced an unprecedented demand for employees who are critical thinkers and problem solvers. Today's employees must develop and implement effective solutions as problems are encountered. For this reason, one of the major goals of this program is to provide a framework that includes creative and critical problem-solving skills, and the appropriate use of emerging technologies, accompanied by an appreciation for diversity and ethics to develop highly valued and productive workplaces.

    Facts About the HRD Profession

    • According to the American Talent Development 2015 salary survey, the average HRD professional makes between $70,000 and $80,000 a year.
    • Based upon Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period 2008 to 2018, training and development specialists will be among the top 20 hottest career fields. Employment is projected to grow by 22 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.
    • College graduates and those who have earned certification should have the best job opportunities.
    • Job specialties within the profession include:
      • Instructional Designer/Technologist
      • HRD/Training Specialist
      • Human Performance Improvement Consultant
      • E-Learning Specialist
      • HRD Generalist
      • Training Manager
      • Program Designer
      • Curriculum Designer/Developer
      • Training Facilitator
      • Program Evaluator
      • Organizational Development Consultant
      • Corporate Learning Specialist
      • Chief Learning Officer
  • Program of Study

    Built on a Solid Foundation
    The MHRD program was developed around the competencies identified by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) as essential for effective leadership in the areas of human performance improvement. This program is continually being enhanced to reflect best practices in business and academia and course titles, descriptions, content and instructional methods will be revised as needed. Admitted students must successfully complete a 36 semester-hour program composed of 12 required courses.

    Download the Program Handbook

    First Year

    HRD 8200 Human Performance Improvement (3 credits)
    HRD 8300 Concepts of HRD/ Talent Management (3 credits) 

    HRD 8470 Instructional Systems Design (3 credits) 
    HRD 8800 Research Concepts and Skills (3 credits)

    HRD 8700 Consulting for Education and Industry (3 credits)
    HRD 8900 Instrumentation for Human Performance* (3 credits)

    Second Year

    HDR 8450 Needs Assessment for Education & Industry* (3 credits) 
    HRD 8600 Instructional Materials Development (3 credits)

    HRD 8250 Organizational Performance Improvement (3 credits)
    HRD 8490 Evaluation of Training and Development (3 credits) 

    HRD 8820 Knowledge Management for Improved Performance* (3 credits)
    HRD 8970 Applied Research and Development (3 credits)

    * Note: Students may be offered the opportunity to substitute one or more EDL 8850 Selected Topics in Education Administration for HRD 8450, 8900, 8820.

  • Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership Option

    The intercollegiate athletic option was developed to provide a unique opportunity for individuals wanting to pursue a career in intercollegiate athletics. Based upon the curriculum, the AL option substitutes four courses that focus on ethics, psychology, leadership and administration. To complete this option, you must successfully complete a 36 semester-hour program comprised of 12 required courses.

    First Year

    HRD 8200 Human Performance Improvement (3 credits)
    HRD 8300 Concepts of HRD/ Talent Management (3 credits) 

    HRD 8470 Instructional Systems Design (3 credits)
    HRD 8800 Research Concepts and Skills (3 credits)

    AL 8620 Psychological Issues in Collegiate Athletics (3 credits)
    HRD 8900 Instrumentation for Human Performance* (3 credits)

    Second Year

    AL 8490 Athletic Leadership Development (3 credits)
    HRD 8600 Instructional Materials Development (3 credits)

    AL 8640 Ethical Issues in Collegiate Athletic Administration (3 credits)
    HRD 8250 Organizational Performance Improvement (3 credits)

    AL 8610 Athletic Leadership for Intercollegiate Administration (3 credits)
    HRD 8970 Applied Research and Development (3 credits)

    * Note: Students may be offered the opportunity to substitute one or more EDL 8850 Selected Topics in Education Administration for HRD 8900.

  • Course Descriptions

    Please Note This program is continually being enhanced to reflect best practices in business and academia and course titles, descriptions, content and instructional methods will be revised as needed and subject to change.

    HRD 8200 Human Performance Improvement (3 credits) 
    HPI recognizes that not all performance problems in the workplace can or should be solved through training. For this reason, alternative strategies and techniques ranging from work redesign, organization development, reward systems, feedback systems, ergonomics and psychometrics have become powerful alternatives for improving performance in the workplace.

    HRD 8250 Organizational Performance Improvement (3 credits)
     Organizational Performance Improvement provides concepts and skills employed by effective managers and change agents to promote and sustain productive organizations. Using the principles of industrial/organizational psychology, students will learn how to perform behavior analysis and management, how to determine criteria for performance appraisals, and how to establish leadership in the workplace.

    HRD 8300 Concepts of HRD/ Talent Management (3 credits) 
    This course provides an introduction to the field of Talent Management and establishes the foundation for all subsequent courses in the MHRD program. This course: defines the field of talent management and its relationship to human resources and human resource development; describes organizations including the functions of management and leadership; and, it addresses how to plan, attract, develop, retain, and operationalize talent in organizations.

    HRD 8450 Needs Assessment for Education and Industry (3 credits) 
    Theory and practice of needs assessment activities in human resource development (HRD) programs; importance of the process to the identification of content/curricula topics and the overall training environment; specific methodologies used in the needs assessment process; supportive components of various program planning systems. 

    HRD 8470 Instructional Systems Design (3 credits) 
    Theory and practice of instructional systems design activities in human resource development (HRD) programs; identification, selection and organization of subject matter appropriate for competency-based training (CBT) programs: occupational analysis techniques; rationale statements, goals and objectives; related instructional materials; participant evaluation; and instructional scheduling.

    HRD 8490 Evaluation of Training and Development/HRD Programs (3 credits) 
    Theory and practice of evaluation processes related to training and development in human resource development (HRD) programs; developing a results-oriented approach based on specific criteria or standards; designing instruments; determining program costs; and collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to ascertain return on investment.

    HRD 8600 Instructional Materials Development (3 credits) 
    Development and application of instructional materials and laboratory activities for training programs in education and industry; reinforcement of instructional training concepts and materials development procedures that are applied across human resource development (HRD) programs.

    HRD 8700 Consulting for Education and Industry (3 credits) 
    Theory and practice of external and internal consulting practices in human resource development programs; dynamics of professional helping relationship; methods and techniques for initiating and terminating consulting relationships; diagnosing client situations; evaluation of professional consulting relationships.

    HRD 8800 Research Concepts and Skills (3 credits) 
    An introductory course in research designed to familiarize human performance improvement professionals with the nature of research and reporting processes and to help develop the necessary criteria to become critical and analytical consumers of published research.

    HRD 8820 Knowledge Management for Improved Performance (3 credits) 
    Introduction to knowledge management to familiarize students with organizational competencies required to adapt and prosper in a chaotic, global environment. Focuses on contemporary theory, research and application of knowledge management as a strategy for improving personal and organizational performance.

    HRD 8900 Instrumentation for Human Performance Improvement (3 credits) 
    Introduction to commercially available instruments used to assess and evaluate human performance in the workplace. Students develop critical judgment skills to determine the adequacy and use of instruments in modern organizations. 

    HRD 8970 Applied Research and Development (3 credits) 
    Study of a particular topic under the direction of a faculty member. Students identify a special problem related to the human resource development (HRD) profession based on their personal interests, experiences, needs and goals.

    AL 8490 Athletic Leadership Development (3 credits) 
    Investigation of leadership principles and theories as they relate to collegiate athletic coaching and the effect they have on the performance of the collegiate academic athlete. Collegiate coaching responsibilities and requirements for various levels of appointment will be examined.

    AL 8610 Athletic Leadership for Intercollegiate Administration (3 credits) 
    Investigate effective leadership principles and theories relative to the supervision and administrative responsibilities of intercollegiate athletics

    AL 8620 Psychological Issues in Collegiate Athletics (3 credits) 
    Investigation and intervention of psychological issues athletes, coaches and administrators face at the collegiate level.

    AL 8640 Ethical Issues in Collegiate Athletic Administration (3 credits)
    Investigation of current ethical issues and the promotion of positive character development in collegiate athletic programs.

  • Schedule of Classes

  • Tuition and Financial Aid

    Information on tuition and fees can be found by clicking here.

    Financial Aid
    Fellowships and assistantships are administered by the colleges or departments, and applicants should contact the department for more details. The Federal Stafford Loan is the only form of federal aid available to you through Clemson University’s Financial Aid Office.

  • Instruction Technologies

    Technology Required
    Students must have access to email, the Internet and have the ability to read a CD-ROM or DVD. In addition, students should have current versions of their computer's operating system, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. Being an online program, students will be required to send and receive large files of information. Therefore, students need an up-to-date computer, microphone and speakers or headset with mic, and a DSL or other high-speed Internet connection. To be successful, students need to allocate sufficient time to participate in online classes and discussion groups and to complete all assignments as described in the syllabus for each course. All testing is conducted online. Because this is a graduate level program in HRD, students must be prepared to allocate six to eight hours a week for each course taken in order to be successful.

    Adobe Connect
    Adobe® Connect™ is a powerful and flexible online meeting and conferencing tool used by the MHRD program. Using Adobe® Connect™ students and faculty can share documents, PowerPoint presentations, audio recordings and other media.

    Blackboard is Clemson's primary course development and documentation tool, used by colleges, universities and other learning organizations worldwide. Each MHRD course is designed to provide students with information and resources to be successful. Within each course developed in Blackboard, students will find a course syllabus, study questions, discussion questions, Internet links, tests and information about projects and papers.

    Canvas Guides is the online documentation site for students, instructors, instructional designers, parents and learning management system (LMS) admins. The lessons are continually updated online.

    Skillport and Other Online Tutorials
    As a MHRD student, you will have access to Skillport and other online tutorials at no additional cost. These additional learning resources include computer skills; business strategy and operations; finance, human resources and administration; management and leadership; professional effectiveness; and much more.

    Technical and Distance Education Support Services
    Online but not alone is one of our core values. Regardless of where you live or work, you have access to technical support services and expertise. Both online and telephone support is available.

  • Admission Requirements

    Interested students may apply to be admitted to MHRD cohort either fall or spring semesters. The MHRD application deadline is June 30 for Fall and November 15 for Spring. A complete application consists of:

    • Online application - Select Human Resource Development program
    • Unofficial Transcripts from prior institutions from which a Baccalaureate Degree was awarded and from which transfer credit is desired. Official transcripts will be required if admission is granted.
    • Personal Statement detailing your interest in this program and your career plans
      1. A brief introduction as you describe your background or interest in the field of human resource development and how you heard about the program
      2. A summary of background and qualifications that make you a strong applicant for the program; transferable skills, why are you drawn to this program, what do you plan to do after graduation from this program, do your interests match things that the program offers or specializes in; and, are there faculty with which you would like to work
      3. Demonstrated competencies that include the skills, knowledge and attitudes you have demonstrated which have or will make you successful in the field of human resource development; and, describe how these competencies will enable you to achieve your present or future career goals and plans
      4. General tips: Present a professional, concisely written, and well proofread letter, refer reviewers to any information you would like to highlight from the application package, use this as an opportunity to engage the reviewers and excite them about your application.
    • A resume’ or curriculum vitae listing that describes your work history.
    • Two letters of recommendation. General tips:
      1. Strong letters that provide high impact in applications typically come from those who have worked closely and most recently with the applicant: someone who can talk about your potential for academic success at the graduate level, and/or supervisors or managers who have direct experience with your workplace contributions and competencies. Letters speaking only to character reference can be provided as additional support but should not be primary references.
      2. A well written letter contains specifics from a direct work/academic reference. This is better and more impactful than a letter from a “big name” reference who has not worked closely with you. Remember, we are selecting students, not their recommenders.
    • An Essay that answers short prompts provided by the MHRD program
    • Optional
      1. Submit results from the GRE, Miller Analogy, or GMAT exams
  • Faculty

    Angie Carter, Ed.D.Angie Carter Ed.D.
    Angie Carter received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgia State University. She obtained her Master of Education degree in Workforce Development Education from University of Arkansas after a long stint as a manager in the shopping center industry, and career change to instructional design and corporate training. After completing an EdD in Adult Education in 2015 from University of Georgia, Angie went on to serve an academic appointment at UGA in the same department, where she taught a variety of human resource and organization development courses, as well as recruited and marketed for the program.  Angie’s research focus is on talent development, action learning, and emergent leader development. Dr. Carter is married with two children, and can be often found at sporting events, as her daughter plays college softball and her husband is the Head Track Coach at Georgia Southern University.

    Kris Frady, Ed.DKris Frady, Ed.D.
    Kris Frady is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the College of Education Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership and Development and the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences Department of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University and also Faculty Director for Clemson University Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD) and the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Center for Aviation and Automotive Technological Education using Virtual E-Schools (CA2VES). Kris has previously worked as a professional corporate trainer, as an instructor at a two-year institution, and as a career and technology education teacher at the high school level. Kris and the CUCWD/CA2VES team aim to develop an exchange which will help identify, understand, and elevate best practices; facilitate peer learning and deepen knowledge; spark replication and advancement across regions; and inform long-term public investment in talent development through research and educational resources.

    William (Bill) Havice, Ph.D.William Havice, Ph.D.
    Bill started his career as a high school teacher and wrestling and football coach in Morenci, Arizona. Later, he was employed as a faculty person at Fort Hays State University for seventeen years. While serving as a Professor in the Technology Studies department, Havice was influential in creating a new graduate degree and curriculum in Instructional Technology as well as assisting with the development of the degree in Information Networking and Telecommunications. In his tenure at FHSU, the Technology Studies department made the transition from manual to computer aided drafting and developed a communication systems lab. Further, he was part of a media merge task force that laid the foundation for the creation of a virtual college.
    In his 38 years in higher education, Bill has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in technology and instructional/educational technology. He has an extensive background in curriculum development, teacher and trainer education, student organizations, technology laboratory development and maintenance, leadership activities in technology, as well as designing and implementing distance/distributed learning environments. Dr. Havice has numerous published articles, book chapters, professional presentations and an edited book on distance and distributed learning. Specifically, his work is focused on the introduction of technology and engineering into the K-16 classroom and the integration of technology to enhance learning. He is a strong advocate of technological literacy of all people and has been involved in activities such as creating a Master's degree in instructional technology, designing and developing Web sites, developing on-line coursework, etc.
    Dr. Havice has served on the Board of Directors for the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) and served two three year terms on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Examiners. He is a Laureate member of the Epsilon Pi Tau an international honorary for technology. Bill is a charter member of The STEM±Center for Teaching and Learning™ ( that was established by ITEEA in 1998 to strengthen professional development and advance technological literacy. Center initiatives are directed toward four goals: development of standards-based curricula; teacher enhancement; research concerning teaching and learning; and curriculum implementation and diffusion.

    Bill has received numerous awards for outstanding teacher, program, and service to his profession, including, the Distinguished Faculty Advisor for the ITEEA/Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA), and the ITEEA's Distinguished Technology Educator (DTE) award. In 2001, he received the ITEEA Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association Competitive Events Program Award. He served as the Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA) International Advisor. In 2005, he was awarded Fort Hays State University’s Alumni Achievement Award (the highest award given to a graduate). In 2012, Havice was awarded the prestigious "Technology Teacher Educator of the Year" by the Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education. Further, Bill was awarded the “Lockette/Monroe Humanitarian Award” in recognition of outstanding efforts to promote humanistic values.

    Havice is especially known for the creation and support of student competitions and leadership development initiatives. He created a problem-solving competition that has been used for the past two decades in a national college competitive events program. Additionally, he developed and coordinates a career leadership and professional development initiative titled “Twenty-first Century Leader Associates Program” that enhances leadership and professional development opportunities for junior faculty in the international association. For the past ten years, the program has provided an opportunity for rising technology educators from across the country to develop as professional leaders, develop community and have experiences related to the promotion of technology and engineering education and technological literacy in schools.

    Cynthia SimsCynthia M. Sims, Ph.D.
    Cynthia Sims is a practitioner scholar of human resource development. She has extensive expertise in learning leadership and strategy, operations, instructional design and distance learning, learning management systems, organizational development and human resources from working at a U.S. Fortune 100 company and winner of Training Magazine’s Top 125 award. Sims also worked at an international consulting firm. She recently joined Clemson after completing her doctorate in organizational leadership. Her research interest includes leadership as a gendered process, entrepreneurial leadership and the function of identity within the authentic leadership framework. She is a member of the International Leadership Association (ILA), ATD, SHRM, and ISPI where she frequently presents her research.

    Adjunct Faculty
    Being an online program, we are not limited to faculty who live near Clemson University. For this reason, we have assembled a national faculty of distinguished practitioner-scholars. Each is considered a leader in the HRD field, with many years of experience. This experience brings an added dimension to the program, ensuring that students not only learn the theory and concepts related to HRD, but how that knowledge is most effectively applied in the workplace.

  • Alumni Resources

    For MHRD alumni news, MHRD social media, MHRD graduate testimonials, job listings, job resources and MHRD-related meetings and conferences, please see our MHRD Alumni Resources Page.

  • Find Out More

    For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Alison Search.