Most Affordable Online Master's in Human Resources

Updated November 22, 2022

Check out our list of affordable online Master's in Human Resources degree programs to find the most affordable online program f or you. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Affordable Online Master's in HR

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Welcome to our list of affordable online Master's in Human Resources degree programs.

Any serious company with more than just a handful of employees undoubtedly has a human resources department. The professionals who work in this department must have a keen understanding of business and managerial techniques, but also must possess the unique ability to connect with employees and solve conflicts. Of course, most people aren't just born with these skills, which is why a graduate degree can come in handy!

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Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

If you have already entered the business world and are thinking of making the transition to human resources, an online master's degree in human resources management might be right up your alley. You can gain all the knowledge you need to excel in HR - without ever entering a classroom!

The 20 Best Online Master's Degrees in Human Resource Management Ranking Methodology

Selection Criteria

For this ranking, we looked for public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer graduate degrees in human resources management online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $20,000/year or less.

We also limited our search to programs that are accredited by one of the three business-related accrediting agencies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Ranking Factors

After compiling a list of all the colleges that offer online master's in human resources degree programs and meet the above criteria, we then collected data in three categories:

  • Program Popularity: How many graduate students choose to earn their MBA or master's degree in human resources over other business-related programs? To find out, we looked at both the number of students who earned their master's degree in HR in the most recent school year as well as the percentage of all business program graduates that that number represents.
  • Accreditation: Which specialized business accreditation agency has approved the program's curriculum? For this category, we awarded points based on the reputation of the agency (AACSB > ACBSP > IACBE).
  • Affordability: What is the average annual cost of attendance?

After collecting and sorting all the information, we ranked the candidates according to their performance in each area. Finally, we summed up the results and gave each school a final score using a curve so that the top-scoring program earned an even 100 points.

Read more about the best cheap online MBA in human resource management programs below!

Cheap Online MBAs in Human Resources Management Ranked

  1. Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Aurora, CO



    The folks who developed CSU's master's in human resource management know that graduates will want to pursue various careers in the field, so they created a flexible curriculum that will help you meet your goals. Indeed, courses prioritize the development of critical thinking, time management, problem solving, and other versatile skills. This program is also an especially suitable choice for students who are concerned about earning an accredited MBA in HR online that's overly traditional or broad in its focus. In fact, Colorado State's program provides a uniquely contemporary perspective by emphasizing 21st-century topics like data, metrics, systems, and critical analysis.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $9,000/yr
    Score: 100

  2. Indiana State University

    Terre Haute, IN



    At Indiana State University, the accredited M.S. in HR has lots to offer any student. For one, it's a flexible program you can customize to meet your career goals by designing your own specialization. Alternatively, you can choose a ready-made specialization in Higher Education and Industry - the perfect option if you want to work in government, social services, or education. It's also one of the few programs on this online master's in human resources degree program ranking to require an internship, which you can complete while still retaining your current employment. Plus, the program is quick: You can finish it in only one and a half years of full-time study.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $10,757/yr
    Score: 96

  3. Brenau University

    Gainsville, GA



    The best and most effective HR managers have experience in both HR and business, according to Brenau University. That's why its MBA program teaches you to take sound HR practices and incorporate them into your company's larger strategy and mission. As you earn this accredited MBA in HR online, you'll focus on key topics like talent acquisition, employment law, total rewards, and more. Plus, you'll take at least one "Global Sequence" class to gain a worldly perspective and understand your role in a larger context. With options such as "International Finance," "Cross-Cultural Business Challenges," and "International Travel Experience," there's no doubt you'll find something that appeals.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,136/yr
    Score: 88

  4. Ottawa University-Online

    Ottawa, KS



    As the role of the human resources professional has evolved from an administrator to a high-level strategic planner, Ottawa University has updated its M.A. in HR accordingly. Today, the program uses case studies and research to help you develop the skills you need to guide your organization. The program also stands out on this online master's degree in human resource management ranking for its two concentrations: Population Health/Health Care Management and Leadership and Management. Both options bring focus to your studies and help you stand out from the competition as you apply for jobs. In particular, the Population Health concentration provides a rare opportunity to acquire specialized HR training as it pertains to hospitals and other healthcare settings.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $11,485/yr
    Score: 87

  5. Tiffin University

    Tiffin, OH



    Tiffin asks its students to draw on their life experiences in the classroom, which leads to lively class discussions and new perspectives on important topics. As you earn the school's cheap online MBA in human resource management, you'll benefit not only from classmates who come from myriad fields but from faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping you succeed. In fact, Tiffin frequently draws praise from graduates specifically because of its personal support network. And on the academic front, you'll take highly focused courses that provide in-depth reviews of specific topics like "Managerial Economics,""Negotiations and Conflict Management," and "Human Resource Planning and Talent Acquisition."
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,600/yr
    Score: 83

  6. Central Michigan University

    Mount Pleasant, MI



    Although Central Michigan University's top online MBA in human resource management is technically a concentration of the broader MBA program, don't let that distinction worry you: The degree leaves you well-prepared to use data, fiscal management, and team-building practices in any environment. You'll also take HR-specific classes that touch on management and hiring, while an organizational development capstone will walk you through the process of planning and implementing change at a high level. As an added perk, state employees, their spouses, and their dependents all qualify for a generous 15% tuition discount, helping reduce the cost of this already affordable program.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $15,224/yr
    Score: 80

  7. Fitchburg State University

    Fitchburg, MA



    If you're looking for a way to earn a cheap MBA in HR online while still cultivating relationships with classmates and instructors, check out Fitchburg State University. Here, you'll participate in lively online discussions and group work as you advance through the program, giving you a chance to network and learn from your classmates. But a collaborative environment isn't all FSU has going for it: It's also affordable, flexible, and quick — you can finish in just 12 months of full-time study. Plus, its IACBE accreditation means the curriculum aligns with international business education standards and readies you for work in both business and administration.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $5,742/yr
    Score: 77

  8. Western Carolina University

    Cullowhee, NC



    Western Carolina University incorporated "knowledge areas and competencies" from some of the country's leading HR organizations while developing its top online master's degree in human resource management. The two-year program teaches students to become HR leaders who are ethical, strategic, relationship-focused, and able to support their organization's needs. Indeed, the dynamic curriculum includes classes that apply to any environment (e.g. "Human Resource Development,""Human Resources Research & Evaluation Methods") and some that prepare you for specific careers (e.g. "HR Consulting"). You can also choose among quite a few electives to bring further focus to your studies.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,396/yr
    Score: 76

  9. Utah State University

    Logan, UT



    While looking into Utah State University's affordable online master's in human resources degree program, keep in mind that only out-of-state residents can take advantage of the fully online option. If you live in Utah, however, you'll need to visit the school's regional campuses for some courses. Those who do enroll will appreciate USU's focus on giving online learners the on-campus experience: Classes are live-streamed from the Salt Lake campus, so you can participate in real time. You can also opt for a one- or two-year course plan, depending on your schedule. Finally, ambitious students might want to consider the dual MHR and MBA program to give their resume a boost.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $12,932/yr
    Score: 74

  10. University of Scranton

    Scranton, PA



    The University of Scranton developed a list of five guidelines for HR leaders that form the foundation to its affordable online master's in human resources degree program. The guidelines range from inspirational ("Never Stop Learning") to pragmatic ("Mind Your Metrics"), shaping the theme of each course while also demonstrating the school's commitment to its Jesuit values. Of course, the curriculum also hits upon hands- on learning through a capstone that asks you to apply what you've learned to real-life scenarios. And on the logistical side, the program boasts six start dates per year and a two-year timeline that requires no campus visits.
    Average Tuition & Fees: $11,402/yr
    Score: 73

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Thanks for reading our ranking of the 20 top cheap MBAs in HR online!

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See also:
Top 20 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degreed in Human Resource Management

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