M.S. in Human Resources Development



The graduate program in Human Resources Development (HRD) provides students with opportunities to study current theories and practices while preparing for success in the rapidly changing workplace.  Program coursework emphasizes human resources development (not human resources management) which integrates training, organization, and career development efforts in order to improve individual, group, and organizational effectiveness.  Join a program that attracts diverse individuals from industry, nonprofit, and governmental organizations, including managers, technical specialists, and human resource professionals. This program is appropriate for recent bachelor's degree graduates zeroing in on career goals, experienced professionals advancing their careers, or individuals interested in making a career change.

HRD experts teach a group called a cohort (10 to 15 students) with a variety of career goals and experiences. Each cohort begins in August and takes the sequence of required courses together.

Master of Science in Human Resources Development (36 Credits)

Merritt Hall (formerly Academic Hall)

Ms. Crystal Perry, M.S.

Why McDaniel?

  • Program emphasis is on human resources development which integrates training, organization, and career development efforts in order to improve individual, group, and organizational effectiveness.
  • SHRM has acknowledged this program as aligning with its HR curriculum guidelines for HR studies at the graduate level.
  • Meets professional standards and competencies established by the American Society for Training and Development.
  • Follows a cooperative cohort model and small group classes — building teamwork, leadership skills, and professional networks.
  • Offers a schedule convenient for students employed full-time.
  • Emphasizes oral and written communications and using new technology.
  • Encourages experiential and cooperative learning, leading to effectiveness as change agent.

Admissions Requirements


Degree Requirements


  • Complete 36 semester hours
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA with limit of one course at or below “C”
  • Successful portfolio review documenting professional growth and mastery
  • 3-credit field practicum


Crystal Perry, M.S.
Interim Academic Advisor, M.S. in Human Resources Development
Phone:  410-857-2516


Theories and Practices
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Required Capstone Experience
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Portfolio Assessment
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Important Dates

Fall Cohorts (Westminster)

Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year but the College recommends that students submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll.

Recommended Application Filing Dates:
Fall Semester – by or before August 1

These filing dates are after the opening of registration for this semester so students wishing to have the greatest choice of courses should submit their applications earlier.

Spring Cohorts (Arundel Mills)

Recommended Application Filing Dates:
Spring Semester – by or before December 15 (not currently accepting new applications for this location)

These filing dates are after the opening of registration for this semester so students wishing to have the greatest choice of courses should submit their applications earlier.

For questions or additional information, contact Ryan Lillis, HRD Program Coordinator at 410-871-3351 or rlillis@mcdaniel.edu

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program find employment as specialists in the following Human Resources areas:

  • Organizational development
  • Training
  • Instructional design
  • Staffing and recruiting
  • Career development
  • Executive development
  • Compensation and benefits

Program Locations

The HRD degree program at McDaniel is currently available in two locations in the Baltimore/Washington Corridor.

• McDaniel College Campus
   2 College Hill
   Westminster, MD  21157

• AACC at Arundel Mills
   7009 Arundel Mills Circle
   Hanover, MD  21076
   (not currently accepting new applications for this location)

In Westminster, new cohorts begin during the first week in August. The start of any cohort is based on student enrollments and not guaranteed.  Contact the Program Coordinator for availability.


1. What is a cohort?
A cohort is a group of approximately 10 to 20 students who move through the program and sequence of courses together.  It is a unique group experience and an innovative approach to graduate education that allows for cooperative learning throughout the program.  It facilitates the development of teamwork, interpersonal skills, and important professional networks.

2. How does the HRD Program work?
The HRD Program offers two consecutive 8-week courses per-semester.  This approach allows candidates to complete two courses in each semester without course overlap.

3. How long does it take to complete the program?
Students can complete 42 credit hours (including all coursework, the required practicum, and the portfolio project) within a three-year period.

4. Where is the program offered?
The HRD Program is offered on campus in Westminster, MD. Generally, we begin new cohorts during the first week in August.

5. When do classes meet?
Classes are held twice each week during the semester:  Wednesday evenings, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday mornings, 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

6. Are any HRD classes offered online?
Currently, most classes in the HRD program are offered as in-classroom instruction only but there are a few courses currently offered online.  Contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

7. How and when do I apply for the HRD Program?
You may apply to the program either online or by mailing your application.  A complete application package includes:
•    Application
•    Official transcripts showing an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better
•    3 Letters of Reference
•    Personal Goals Statement
All materials must be submitted before your application can be reviewed.  

8. How and when do I register for classes?
Once you have been accepted to the HRD Program, you will register for classes online using McDaniel’s registration system called Archway.  You are given detailed instructions about this after you have been accepted and before the start of the semester.

8. Do I have to go through the entire program without a break?
Due to the nature of the cohort experience, we recommend that students remain with their cohort throughout the program.  However, if necessary and in rare circumstances, breaks are permitted with approval from the program coordinator.

More questions?  Contact Ryan Lillis, HRD Program Coordinator, 410-871-3351, or email at rlillis@mcdaniel.edu.