Human Resources & Industrial Relations Courses

The Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations program is offered both full-time and part-time. The program requires the completion of 40-semester credits.

Full-time students typically enroll in 12-14 credits per semester and complete the degree in 16 months. Working part-time professional students usually take 4-8 credits each semester and complete the program in 3-4 years.

To help you get a feel for the topics covered in each class, below are samples of recent syllabi. If you are a current MHRIR student and are interested in seeing a complete description of the courses below, visit OneStop.

Core courses provide an applied foundation for understanding the functions of HRIR and the critical intersections with business, economics, psychology, and law.

HRIR 6001 Business Principles for the HRIR Professional (4 credits)         
Nature/functions of business corporations. Role of HRIR in business. Markets, competition, profitability, employment, investment. Introduction to finance/accounting. Global business pressures/HRIR. Trends for future.

HRIR 6111 Using Data and Metrics in HRIR (4 credits)        
Theory/applications of methods of data analysis for using data in HRIR decision-making. Descriptive/inferential statistics, especially hypothesis tests/confidence intervals. Regression analysis. Identification of appropriate techniques. Avoiding unreliable inferences. Introduction to HRIR metrics.

HRIR 6301 Staffing, Training, and Development (3 credits)      
Developing plans for hiring to facilitate strategic goals, attracting talent, selecting best candidates, helping new employees onboard, developing knowledge/skills over time, keeping talented people. Evaluation of staffing, training, development effectiveness.

HRIR 6305 Leadership Practicum (1 credit) 
This course is designed to help build a foundation for HRIR students to be leaders in the HR profession. The course will consist of leadership training, cross-cultural agility assessments and development, scenario-base exercises, and reflection by the student on themselves as an HR global leader.

HRIR 6401 Organizational Theory Foundations of High-Impact HRIR (2 credits)     
Economic aspects of individual and group behavior in organizations. Individual and collective rationality, information, incentives, coordination problems, and contracts. Impacts on HRIR decisions and outcomes. Solutions and approaches to problems in organizations at micro and macro levels.

HRIR 6441 Organizational Behavior Foundations of High-Impact HRIR (2 credits)    
Psychological aspects of individual/group behavior in organizations. Individual motivation, attitudes/job satisfaction. Leadership. Organization design/culture. Impacts on HRIR decisions/outcomes. Solutions/approaches to problems in organizations at micro/macro levels.

HRIR 6501 Compensation and Benefits (3 credits)  
The objective of this course is to provide students a foundation for designing and implementing a complete compensation plan. Through cases, lectures, and simulations, we examine how organizations set up the base compensation, incentive structures, equity awards, and benefits programs that attract, retain, and motivate the people who will execute the organization’s strategy. Topics include job analysis, labor markets, pay structures, merit raises, short-term incentives, long-term incentives (e.g. stock options), benefits, and compliance issues (e.g. the FLSA). Regular cases illustrate the type of strategic, technical, and interpersonal issues confronted by compensation and benefits professionals.

HRIR 6505: Compensation and Benefits Practicum  (1 credit) 
Practical application of compensation and benefits concepts in a course designed to practice these ideas and how they work within the HR workplace

HRIR 6701 Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (3 credits)  
Evolution of U.S. labor unions/public policy, bargaining environment/structure, goals/negotiations, contract administration/results. International comparisons, labor-management cooperation, newly emerging issues.

HRIR 6801 Experiential Learning Capstone (3 credits) 
Types of strategies. Developing/executing HRIR strategies. Project management. Ethical frameworks, issues, considerations in HRIR.

HRIR Offerings - Partial Listing

Choose at least 8 credits from a rich array of HRIR offerings, such as:

HRIR 5450 Change in the Workplace                 
Change is the only constant in our world today. This course focuses on how to lead in a VUCA world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. Specifically, this course covers models & frameworks, strategies, best practices, and challenges to leading change management. We will discuss preparing and planning for change, implementing change, communicating change, and sustaining & reinforcing change. We will also explore how to apply these concepts in various personal & professional situations.

HRIR 5222 Creating and Managing Diversity and Inclusion (2 credits)                
This course covers the challenges and rewards associated with managing today’s increasingly diverse workforce. Diversity has the potential to benefit employees and organizations alike, yet the benefits of diversity are only realized in organizations with effective diversity management practices. In this course, we will discuss the power of inclusion as it relates to the employee experience. We will study effective strategies for building diverse and inclusive companies, and will address the barriers that can often exist. We will look at approaches to organizational design that limit unconscious bias and produce more objective decisions across the employee experience—from engaging and hiring candidates to retaining employees and helping them thrive. Finally, we will dive into how to create inclusive cultures and a sense of belonging, across local and global contexts. Student engagement and willingness to share diverse perspectives are critical to the success of this course.

HRIR 5252 Employment and Labor Law for the HRIR Professional (2 credits)               
Application of statutes/case law to work settings. Civil rights/equal opportunity. Discrimination/harassment. Compensation/benefits. Employee protection/privacy. Labor relations. Emphasizes application/ability to recognize legal aspects of HRIR issues.

HRIR 5442 Employee Performance Management: Strategies, Systems, and Skills (2 credits)              
Performance management strategies. Components of effective performance management systems. Alignment with HR strategy. Integration with HR practices. Measurement/appraisal. Feedback, coaching. Legal issues.

HRIR 5443 Principles of Effective Coaching (2 credits)             
Skills/competencies required to coach, mentor, develop employees/leaders. Managing coaching process. Planning coaching relationship. Coaching as leadership development strategy. Coaching executives.

HRIR 5655 Public Policies on Work and Pay (3 credits)  
Analysis of public policies regarding employment, unions, labor markets. Public programs affecting wages, unemployment, training, worker mobility, security, quality of work life. Policy implications of changing nature of work.

HRIR 5662 Personnel Economics (2 credits)  
Application of economic tools to issues in human resources/industrial relations. Incentives/imperfect information. Incentive-based pay. Promotions/tournaments. Human capital/training. Screening/signaling. Applications/limitations.

HRIR 6112 People Analytics (2 credits)           
Grounded in a data-driven approach to solving business challenges tied to people, this course emphasizes how students can apply their HR domain knowledge to inform, shape, and deliver on people analytics projects. The course aims to give you exposure to core concepts in machine learning, including prediction, classification, and segmentation, in order to collaborate with data scientists, generate insights, and inform decisions. Students will learn how to more effectively communicate their data insights through streamlined storytelling to provide compelling recommendations to decision makers. Students will be given the opportunity to use Excel and/or Tableau, and will also be introduced to predictive analytics software.

HRIR 6114 Human Resource Information Systems (2 credits)           
Integrating human resources practices with information technology to effectively support organizational needs. Determining HRIS needs. HRIS implementation/acceptance. HRIS applications in HR administration/operations, recruitment/selection, talent management, other HR areas. Emerging trends.

HRIR 6302 Staffing and Selection: Strategic and Operational Concerns (2 credits)          
Theory/practice related to staffing decisions. Recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, dismissal, layoff, retirement in organizations. Legal environment in which staffing decisions are made. Staffing from strategic/organizational perspectives.

HRIR 6303 Employee Training: Creating a Learning Organization (2 credits)         
Theory, research, practice related to design/implementation of employee training programs. Needs analysis. Training outcomes. Instructional design/training techniques. Program evaluation/costing. Role of employees, firm policies/practices in training.

HRIR 6304 Employee Development: Creating a Competitive Advantage (2 credits)        
Career development/planning. Employee/management development techniques, organizational/employee concerns related to socialization, cross-cultural assignments, change, engagement, performance management.

HRIR 6444 Employee Motivation, Engagement, and Well-being (2 credits)       
Employee motivation, behavior, job attitudes. How they can be channeled into productive/unproductive behaviors/employee well-being. How work behavior is influenced by individuals, groups, features of organizations.

MGMT 6465 Leadership and Personal Development (2 credits)      
Understanding effective leadership. Identifying personal leadership strengths/vulnerabilities through feedback. Developing leadership skills through practice as informed by theory/evidence. Exercises, role play. Creating customized leadership development plan.

HRIR 6484 Management of Groups (2 credits)     
Factors that influence performance, well-being of groups in organizations. Group dynamics, norms, culture, structure, leadership, decision-making, problem-solving. Managing dynamics, learning, performance, creativity of groups. Intergroup relations, incentives, effect of environment.

HRIR 6502 Rewards Management Strategies (2 credits)    
This course focuses on strategies for defining, measuring and rewarding employee contributions to organizational success. Concepts, principles and techniques for effectively managing employee performance and rewards will be explored. This course will utilize cases to illustrate real-world conflicts and the application of compensation principles and practices to arrive at their proper analysis and resolution.

HRIR 6503 Employer-Sponsored Employee Benefit Program (2 credits)   
Design, administration, management of non-mandatory compensation benefit programs, including health/dental care plans/insurance, retirement plans, disability benefits, paid time off, accommodation benefits. Effects of providing benefits on workers' incentives for performance. Psychological foundations of employee benefits. Role of benefits in employee recruitment/retention.

(This is a partial list.)

Related Fields Courses - Partial Listing of options to choose from

To enhance and strengthen the education of our HRIR students, all students are required to take at least 6 credits of courses outside of HRIR. whether you choose to build your business acumen with courses from inside the Carlson School or choose courses from graduate classes elsewhere in the University - all related field courses will build your education in a way that's best for you.

  • CSPH 5805 Wellbeing in the Workplace (3 credits)
  • CSPH 5807 Mindfulness in the Workplace (2 credits)
  • LAW 6203 Labor Law (2 credits)
  • LAW 6632 Employment Law (3 credits)
  • MBA 6030 Financial Accounting (3 credits) 
  • MBA 6220 Operations Management (3 credits)
  • MBA 6230 Financial Management (3 credits) 
  • MBA 6210 Marketing Management (3 credits) 
  • MCOM 5400 Managerial Communications for the HR Professional (2 credits)
  • MGMT 6004 Negotiation Strategies (2 credits)
  • MGMT 6040 Competing Globally (2 credits)
  • MGMT 6050 Management of Innovation (2 credits)
  • OLPD 5033 Foundations of In/Org Career Development (3 credits)
  • OLPD 5048 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Leadership (3 credits)
  • OLPD 5202 Adult Learning and Development (3 credits)
  • PA 5251 Strategic Planning and Management (3 credits)
  • PA 5401 Poverty and Inequality (3 credits)
  • PUBH 6102 Issues in Environmental and Occupational Health (2 credits)
  • PUBH 6542 Management of Healthcare Organizations (3 credits)
  • SCO 6041 Project Management (2 credits)

(This is a partial list.)

Contact Master's in Human Resources