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College of Education

Human Resource Development, MHRD


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, strategy, adult education, and diversity while engaging in high-quality, applied research and professional learning.

Taught by both practitioners and academicians, this fully online MHRD program benefits working professionals and leaders who wish to gain valuable, in-demand skills that can be applied in business, non-profit, government, and education settings. Those who wish to advance their career and gain HRD expertise can earn an advanced degree from a highly respected institution that is at the forefront of the profession. 

  • Overview

    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 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
    Today's employees must develop and implement effective solutions to solve difficult business problems. 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.

    Job specialties within the profession include:

    • Instructional Designer/Technologist
    • HRD/Training Specialist
    • Human Performance Improvement Consultant
    • E-Learning Specialist
    • HR Generalist
    • Training Manager
    • Program Designer
    • Curriculum Designer/Developer
    • Training Facilitator
    • Program Evaluator
    • Organizational Development Consultant
    • Corporate Learning Specialist
    • Chief Learning Officer
  • Admission Requirements

    Admission to the Program
    The Human Resource Development master’s program admits students for a spring or fall entrance term. Only complete applications are considered for admissions. Applications are evaluated on a continual basis until the application deadlines have passed.

    Application Deadlines
    All application materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

    • June 30, to enroll in the fall semester
    • November 15, to enroll in the spring semester

    Application Requirements
    To be considered for the program, applicants must:

    • Have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • Submit an online Graduate School application which requires:
      • Unofficial transcripts (official transcript(s) will be required if accepted into the Program)
      • A current resume
      • Two recommendation forms
        • Recommendation forms are emailed directly to recommenders via the online application process
      • A personal statement
        • Statement should Include any relevant experience in Human Resources, HRD, and/or Organizational Development
      • A response to three of the essay questions listed below
      • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students

    Essay Questions

    Responses for each short answer prompt should be double spaced and one to two pages. Please select three of the five questions. Responses should be uploaded as one document on the next page of the application.

    • If individuals, teams and organizations are to improve, they need to effectively develop the talents of their workforce. Describe a current issue individuals and organizations experience in the workplace and how the field of human resource development might be used to address the issue.
    • Describe a situation when you were able to bring about positive change in others. What was the issue? What did you do? How did you know that you were a successful change agent?
    • Describe a time when you had to improve the performance of an individual, team, or organization; include: a description of the organization, how you determined there was a problem, and your approach in identifying an appropriate intervention.
    • Describe a time where you had to develop a learning intervention (instruction and training) to improve the skills, knowledge and attitudes of adults in the workplace. Describe your approach to planning, design and developing the learning intervention?
    • Describe a situation when you led others, how you approach leading others, what you learned about your leadership skills and how did your leadership benefit others?
  • Program Requirements

    Human Resource Development MHRD (30 credit hours):

    Core course requirement (18 credit hours)

    HRD 8250 Organization Development (spring)
    HRD 8800 Research Concepts and Skills (spring) 
    HRD 8100 Foundations of HRD Leadership (summer)
    HRD 8490 Human Resource Development Program Evaluation (summer)
    HRD 8300 Concepts of Human Resource Development (fall)
    HRD 8470 Instructional Systems Design (fall)

    Concentration course requirement (12 credit hours)**

    Student will choose ONE of the following concentration areas:

    Comprehensive HRD Concentration - This option is for students who would like general exposure to all the core elements of HRD: learning and development, organization development, and career development.  Students will choose 12 hours of HRD courses among which may include:

    HRD 8110 Leading the Learning Organization
    HRD 8120 Intercultural Workplace Learning Leadership
    HRD 8200 Human Performance Improvement
    HRD 8450 HRD Learning Analytics
    HRD 8600 Instructional Materials Development
    HRD 8820 Knowledge Management for Improved Performance
    HRD 8900 Instrumentation for Human Performance
    HRD 8970 Applied Research and Development

    Athletic Leadership Concentration - 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.  Students will choose 12 hours of AL courses among which may include:

    AL 8490 Athletic Leadership Development
    AL 8610 Athletic Leadership for Intercollegiate Administration
    AL 8620 Psychological Issues in Collegiate Athletics
    AL 8640 Ethical Issues in Collegiate Athletic Administration

    Learning Leadership Concentration - This option is for students interested in increasing the leadership capacity of individuals and organizations. Participants will: enhance their individual leadership skills and learn how different leadership styles can improve organizations; enact leadership across cultures; enhance leaders’ capacity to build engaged, effective, and productive teams; facilitate the leadership development of others; and, manage the learning and HRD functions in organizations. Students will choose 12 hours of HRD courses among which may include:

    HRD 8120 Intercultural Workplace Learning Leadership (3)
    HRD 8820 Knowledge Management for Improved Performance (3)
    HRD 8110Leading the Learning Organization (3)
    HRD 8700 Consulting for Education and Industry (3)
    HRD 8105 Foundations of Mentoring & Coaching (3)
    HRD 8970 Applied Research and Development (3)

    Organization Development, Innovation & Change Concentration
    HRD 8450 - HRD Learning Analytics
    HRD 8200 - Human Performance Improvement
    HRD 8900 - Instrumentation for Human Performance
    HRD 8970 - Applied Research and Development

    ** Students must complete all core courses before beginning concentration courses.

  • Program Delivery

    Courses are offered in eight-week terms (excluding summers which are five-week terms). Taking one course at a time, students complete two courses each semester. Most students complete the program within five semesters.

    With the support of CU Online, Clemson uses the most advanced online technology to provide a rich, supportive, seamless learning environment. Courses will be asynchronous thus allowing students to access courses when and where they need. 

    While students have great flexibility in asynchronous learning, there are key deadlines in each course when learning modules must be completed. Students will be provided with timely support from instructors and technology personnel so that learning is maximized. 

    Canvas, a very user friendly learning management system, is used for all courses to guide the learning experiences. An orientation module will be provided before the start of the program to allow students to become comfortable with expectations and the technologies before classes formally start.

  • Financial Information

    Tuition and Fees
    Explore information on tuition and fees using the Student Financial Services’ tuition and fee calculator (be sure to choose the ‘online’ tab at the top of the page).

    Financial Aid
    For information regarding Financial Aid, please contact the office of Student Financial Aid.

  • Information Sessions & Calendar

    Review our College of Education Graduate Calendar to view upcoming events and information sessions.

  • Find Out More

    For more information regarding the program or questions associated with applying to the program, please contact Ashley Vaughan at

Hear From Our Graduates

Captain Anthony Bryant, USAF

“Clemson’s MHRD program is great! It’s exactly what I was looking for because I love working with people, solving problems and managing projects, which is what this program is all about. Despite hectic personal and work schedules, the flexibility of the online program allows me the opportunity to get a quality education from a top-ranked school like Clemson. As an active duty Air Force officer, I travel quite a bit and move fairly often, so the online format keeps me from missing classes and allows me to start and finish the program without the worry of finding classes to transfer back to the program, or even worse, having to start a new program at a new school. If this program did not exist, I would not have been able to work on a degree with my current schedule. I definitely recommend this program for anyone looking for a high quality degree with a need for flexibility.”

Anthony Bryant
U.S. Air Force
Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development
Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development | 330 Gantt Circle