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Villanova University Graduate Programs in Human Resource Development

Frequently Asked Questions




  • What classes do I need to take to graduate with my MS in HRD?

    • MSHRD Curriculum (36 Total Credits) 

      • Required Courses: 

        • HRD 8101: Introduction to HR in the Business World* 

        • HRD 8102: Critical Evaluation & Research Writing* 

        • HRD 8419: Foundations of Strategic HR 

        • HRD 8003: Financial & Human Capital 

        • HRD 8215: Employment Law 

        • HRD 8210: Strategic Workforce Planning 

        • PSY 8475: Training & Development 

        • PSY 8875: Organization Development 

        • HRD 8006: HR Analytics

      • Elective Courses (need 9 credits): 

        • HRD 8212: Total Rewards – Compensation (3 credit) 

        • HRD 8213: Total Rewards – Benefits (3 credit) 

        • HRD 8214: HR Technology (3 credit) 

        • HRD 8421: Diversity in a Global Economy (3 credit) 

        • PSY 8425: Organizational Behavior (3 credit) 

        • HRD 8420: Strategic & Global HR Leadership (3 credit) 

        • HRD 8345: Relational Capital (1.5 credit) 

        • HRD 8303: Ethics (1.5 credit) 

        • HRD 8899: Contemporary Special Topics in HR (1.5 credit) 

        • HRD 8007: Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methods (6 credit) 

            *Eligible to be waived through work experience/research writing experience

  • Are there any specializations I can get with my MS in HRD? 

    • Yes! We offer 5 different graduate certificates that you can get as a part of your degree or on their own: 

      • Inclusion and Diversity Strategy  

      • HR Business Partner 

      • HR Leadership 

      • Organizational Development 

      • People Analytics and Research 

Please refer to the official Villanova University website for more details on specific courses needed for each certificate    


  • What is SHRM Certification? 

    • The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are exams based on a core set of competency and knowledge principles outlined in the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge® (SHRM BASK®). Earning your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credential makes you a recognized expert and leader in the HR field. It’s also a valuable asset to your organization and helps you and your organization remain competitive in today's economy. This professional distinction sets you apart from your colleagues, proving your high level of knowledge and skills.* 

  • Do I take the SHRM-CP or the SHRM-SCP? 

    • SHRM-CP: For HR professionals functioning at the operational level performing duties such as implementing HR policies, supporting day-to-day HR functions, or serving as an HR point of contact for staff and/or stakeholders.* 

    • SHRM-SCP: For HR professionals functioning at the strategic level performing duties such as developing HR policies and strategies, overseeing the execution of integrated HR operations, or directing an entire HR enterprise.* 

  • When can I take the exam? 

    • There are two testing windows offered each year: December – February and May – July.  

  • Do I need to take the exam to graduate? 

    • Yes and no. Taking and passing one of the SHRM certification exams will fulfill the Capstone Requirement for the MSHRD program. However, there are two other options that fulfill the graduation requirement – check the “graduation” section for more info.  

  • How do I register to take the exam? 

    • Go to the SHRM website to apply and register. 

  • Are there prep courses available? 

*Information is taken from the SHRM website 

**Please refer to the SHRM website for more information on prices, how to apply, exam prerequisite requirements, and other specific and important details  


Graduation Requirements 

  • Are there specific requirements that I need to graduate? 

    • All MSHRD students are required to complete a Capstone Experience. There are three options: HR Certification (examples include SHRM-CP, PHR, GPHR, etc.), Experiential Project (examples include internship, Masters’ thesis), and the Villanova Written Comprehensive Experience.

  • For specific information on each of these capstone options, please refer to the Graduate HRD Program page under "My Organizations" on Blackboard. Once there, navigate to the "Capstone Information" page on the left hand side. 


Reach out to with questions and for guidance on registering, deadlines, and more. ​


  • Where do I go to register for classes?

    • Go to MyNova and search 'Course Registration (login to register)'.

    • Use the CRN number for each course to register. These can be found on the Master Schedule.

  • Where do I find what courses are being offered?  

    • Go to MyNova and search 'Master Schedule'. Select the term you are looking for (example, Fall 2023) and then filter by subject by choosing 'Human Resource Development'. ​

    • All courses available for that term will be shown. Please note whether they are in-person or distance learning, the available seats, and the dates they are being offered. The CRN number is also found on this page.

  • When will I know when registration begins? 

**Please note we run on a different calendar than most Villanova programs 

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