Students who have their bachelor's degrees and are interested in pursuing graduate studies in business have many degree options. A Master of Human Resource Management degree is a one- to two-year program that's exclusively focused on the study of human resources, while a Master of Business Administration is a two-year graduate degree addressing various areas of business including leadership, finance, management, marketing and administration.


Unlike the MBA, which is a broad degree program, the Master of Human Resource Management is mainly focuses on management of human resources and is intended for students who are already working in human resources or those who are primarily interested in this area of business. Universities offer MHRM programs in many different formats including full-time, part-time and online to cater to working professionals with different responsibilities. Graduates of this degree program advance in their careers in human resources departments and prepare to take the human resources certification exam offered through the Human Resource Certification Institute.

MHRM Curriculum

Requirements vary, but most MHRM degrees require students to complete 36 to 45 credits of coursework. A large portion of these credits is filled by foundational courses in the field and the rest are filled by electives. Examples of possible foundational courses are human resources global workforce strategy, human resources decision-making, financial and database decisions, managing workforce flow and developing human capital. Examples of possible electives are employee benefits, corporate governance, internal consulting, managing reward systems and developing professional capabilities.

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Master of Business Administration programs require students to complete 45 to 60 credit hours of course work. They are typically offered by schools of business and are available in many different formats to cater to a variety of students. In addition to traditional full-time programs, there are also accelerated or executive MBA programs, which allow students to complete all coursework in 12 months, and part-time programs that allow students to take courses in the evenings or on weekends. In addition to these on-campus programs, universities are also offer the MBA online, giving students the opportunity to take courses in programs throughout the country over the Internet.

MBA Coursework

Most MBA programs have two years of full-time coursework. First-year MBA students typically take foundational courses in many different areas of business including marketing, finance, economics, accounting and leadership. During their second year, MBA students specialize in a particular area of business and take electives in that specialization. For example, students who specialize in finance might take advanced courses in investment banking, international business and mathematical modeling. After graduation, students with MBA degrees pursue careers in management in many different companies and organizations including engineering firms, healthcare systems, investment banks and start-ups.

About the Author

Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.