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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. This program includes an optional emphasis area in Athletic Leadership. Don't forget to visit the MHRD program pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • 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.

    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
    • 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
    MHRD program applicants are able to start classes during either the Spring, Summer, or Fall semesters. Admission is evaluated on a continual basis until the application dates 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; and
    • April 15, to enroll in Summer semester

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

    • Have completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or a recognized international university with a baccalaureate degree equivalent to a US bachelor's.
    • Submit a Graduate School application which requires:
      • Unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts will be required if you are accepted into the program.)
      • A current resume
      • Two letters of recommendation
      • A personal statement (include any relevant experience in Human Resources, HRD, and/or Organizational Development)
      • A response to 3 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, 1 to 2 pages, and between 500 and 700 words. Please select 3 of the 5 questions. Responses should be uploaded as 1 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?

    Scores from the GRE, Miller Analogy, or GMAT exams may be submitted if desired.

    Additional information concerning supporting materials can be found at:

  • Program Requirements

    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.

    Students may begin the program in fall, spring, or summer. The MHRD program may be completed in 5 semesters. Most students take two courses each semester (6 hours), one 8-week course at a time (5-week courses in summer).

    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:

    Athletic Leadership - 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

    Comprehensive HRD - 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

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

  • Specialization Areas

    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 30 semester-hour program comprised of 10 required courses.

    ** Students may begin the program in Fall, Spring, or Summer. You must complete all first year courses before beginning second year 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.

  • Online Environment

    Technology Required
    Students must have access to email, the Internet and 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 Wi-Fi 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.

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

    Canvas 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 Canvas, students will find a course syllabus, discussion questions, Internet links, assignments, 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.

  • 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 this program, please contact Stephanie Henry, student services program coordinator, at or 864-656-0416.

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