Master of Arts in Human Resources Management (MA-HR)

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About the program

The online Master of Arts in Human Resources Management program at Seattle Pacific University provides you with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel as a professional in the human resources field.

The MA-HR program enhances your past academic work and professional experience, preparing you to become more effective in current responsibilities or to open opportunities for new responsibilities. It is intended primarily for career entry and early-career HR oriented professionals who recognize the need to develop and expand knowledge and expertise in HR. It aligns with the SHRM curriculum guidelines.

Seattle Pacific’s School of Business, Government, and Economics is committed to providing you with an applied, experiential, and collaborative learning environment in which business and Christian faith, ethics, and character are integrated. The objectives of the program are to develop your abilities to do the following:

  • Provide values-based leadership to the management of human resources in organizations.
  • Evaluate the effects of human resource management systems on organizations and personnel with regard to fostering human flourishing (i.e., providing meaningful and creative work; respecting the dignity of persons; and acting with justice and integrity in relationships).
  • Apply in-depth knowledge of human resources management issues to real-world problems.
  • Communicate effectively, work in teams, use information technology, and self-assess personal abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. 

Curriculum

The MA-HR program develops readiness to act as a purpose-driven HR leader. The 45-credit curriculum consists of core courses and specialized courses. A minimum of 45 credits must be completed for the degree with at least 36 credits completed at SPU.

Core and specialized courses

The responsible leadership courses prepare you for acting as a responsible leader. The specialized HR courses prepare you to plan and implement HR strategies and activities in pursuit of improved care for employees and organizational performance. You may not fulfill these courses by undergraduate coursework; transfer credit will be given only for graduate-level courses covering the same body of knowledge from other AACSB accredited institutions.

Prerequisite foundation courses and skills

Prerequisite business foundation coursework includes 10 credits — BUS 6130, 6132, 6140, 6164, 6171. This coursework may be satisfied by prior coursework or may be completed at SPU. Possession of the Microsoft Office® User Certificate in Excel® is also a prerequisite.

Many students have covered some or all of this subject matter in an undergraduate program. In the following circumstances, coursework completed at the undergraduate level prior to admission to the program may fulfill one or more foundations prerequisite courses.

If you earned a bachelor’s degree within seven years* of admission to the program that included courses covering the same body of knowledge as foundations courses:

  • Courses in which you earned a minimum grade of “B” may fulfill foundation courses with comparable content. (See below if the grade was less than B.)
  • A course taken for pass/no credit cannot fulfill a foundation course requirement.
  • To fulfill the BUS 6170 requirement, a course must have been completed with a minimum grade of "B" within three years of admission to the program.

If you completed a bachelor's degree more than seven years prior to admission to the program, or if the grade in the undergraduate course is below “B” but not below “C+”:

  • You may take a competency examination in the subject.
  • Competency tests must be completed within the year following your date of admission to the program.
  • If the competency examination is successfully completed, the applicable foundation course will be considered fulfilled.
  • If you do not successfully complete the competency exam, you must take the graduate course or complete it via credit by examination for which tuition and an examination fee are charged.

Admission requirements

Generally, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies and evidence of at least one year of continuous, full-time, substantive work experience after receipt of the bachelor's degree on your résumé. GMAT or GRE test scores are not required for applicants who demonstrate strong alignment with the program’s goals and who have at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA. (Scores may be requested from those who do not meet the minimum requirements for admission.)

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Current résumé as evidence of a substantive work experience. You will need at least one year, continuous full-time, post-bachelor’s degree experience at the time of application. More is preferred. This is a significant factor in the admission decision process. Applicants with less than 1-year of post-baccalaureate professional work experience, but who are otherwise strong candidates and are currently employed in a meaningful professional role may be considered.
  • Official transcript(s) from colleges or universities attended. Include the transcript from the institution that granted your bachelor’s degree with the posted degree appearing on the transcript. Also send official transcripts for all institutions attended following your undergraduate degree, as well as any other schools where you earned credits that may be used to request waivers of business foundations courses.
  • Personal statement (3-4 pages) responding to the essay questions listed in the online application. 
  • Two professional letters of recommendation listed in the online application (optional).

Language Proficiency

SPU considers you to be a native English speaker if both your primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States (other than Puerto Rico).

If you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to demonstrate English proficiency, regardless of English language studies or academic history.

To demonstrate language proficiency, submit:

  • an official TOEFL score of at least 86 on the iBT
  • an official IELTS score of at least 6.5, or
  • an official Duolingo score of 110.

Otherwise, strong applicants with a TOEFL score of 68-85 (IELTS 6.0) may be probationally or conditionally admitted with the requirement to successfully complete SPU approved ESL coursework prior to or at the outset of enrollment and continuing as needed.

You may be exempted from the English proficiency testing requirement if you have earned baccalaureate or advanced degrees at Seattle Pacific University, at another regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or at an accredited university in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, or New Zealand.

International student applicants

The online MA–HR program is available for international students who plan to learn while remaining in their home country. It is not available for students seeking to attend in the U.S. on an F-1 visa.

In addition to the requirements above, international students must submit a course-by-course transcript evaluation for any non-U.S. transcripts from World Education Services (WES) or Foundation for International Services Inc. (FIS). (A course-by-course evaluation is needed to determine if any pre-requisite foundations have been satisfied.) 

All official transcripts must be submitted in English. International applicants are responsible for all costs associated with translation.

Prequalified students

Qualified individuals may take up to five courses if they have an undergraduate degree (as evidenced by an official transcript(s) from an accredited institution); a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0; and a minimum of one year full-time post-baccalaureate work experience (as evidenced by a current résumé).

Prequalified students must apply for admission to take additional courses. Prequalified status does not guarantee full admission at a later date.

Application deadlines

Your application for admission, application fee, and personal statement must be received by the dates listed below. Recommendation letters, transcripts and test scores must arrive before an admission decision can be made.

  • Autumn Quarter: August 1 
  • Winter Quarter: November 1
  • Spring Quarter: February 1
  • Summer: May 1


Contact

Admission materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions, please contact the SBGE graduate program coordinator: