M.S. in Human Resources Development

 H R D Alice Hajjar candid illustration


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.

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

  • Completed application for graduate study
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75
  • Three official professional or academic letters of recommendation. These requests will be emailed directly to the recommenders through your application.
  • Provide a personal goal statement (approximately 500 words) describing how your participation in the graduate program will help you to achieve your career goals


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


Julie Develin, M.S.
Co-Coordinator, M.S. in Human Resources Development

Kristi Yowell, M.S.
Co-Coordinator, M.S. in Human Resources Development

Important Dates

Fall Cohorts

The Human Resource Development program begins each fall in a cohort model. These classes start in early August so applicants are encouraged to submit the application and all official supporting documents by mid-June.


For questions or additional information, contact GPS Admissions at 410.857.2516.

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 36 credit hours (including all coursework, the required practicum, and the portfolio project) within a three-year period.

4. When do classes meet and what is the method of delivery?
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. The program consists of a mix of online, on campus, and hybrid courses.

5. How and when do I apply for the HRD Program?
You may apply to the program online.  A complete application package includes:
•    Application
•    Official transcripts showing an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better from a regionally accredited college or university
•    3 Letters of Reference (Professional or academic)
•    Personal Goals Statement
All materials must be submitted before your application can be reviewed.  

6. 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.

More questions?  Contact Julie Develin or Kristi Yowell, HRD Program Co-Coordinators