Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some commonly asked questions regarding the program. Should you have follow up questions or ones not covered by the below information, please contact the program director.

f.a.q.

1. How long does it take to complete the program?

Students must complete 12, 3-credit courses. Most students take 2 courses per Fall and Spring semester and 1 course over the summer. At this pace, the program takes about 2.5 years.

2. Is this a program than can be taken full-time or only part-time?

Students may take courses in this program full-time or part-time.  Most students take courses on a part-time basis. It is up to the individual students to determine how many courses they wish to take in any given semester. 

3. When are classes offered?

All regular fall and spring classes are offered in the evenings, after 6 p.m., Monday - Thursday. All classes are one time per week for 2.5 hours.

4. Is the degree available online?

No, the degree cannot be earned online. There are no fully online courses in the HRD program; however, some courses are offered in a hybrid format (i.e., some online potions and some campus-based portions). Currently, all classes consist of at least 50% campus-based classroom instruction.

5. When can I begin? When should I apply?

Students may enter the program in either the fall or spring term.  In order to be considered for the fall term, students should have all their application admission materials into the graduate school by June 1.  For the spring term, all materials should be in no later than November 1.

Note: You may request an early admission decision for the fall term. In this case, all materials must be in the graduate school by April 1 for a mid-April decision.

Admission is granted on a competitive, space available basis.

Students may apply after those deadlines and still be considered for admission to the next semester. Please contact the program director for more information or details. 

6. Do I have to take the GRE?  

No, we do not require students to take the Graduate Record Examination for admission into the program.

7.  Must I pass a comprehensive examination in order to complete my degree?

No, but you must satisfy the Field Work Experience requirement prior to graduation. There are several ways to complete this including current/past work in HR, internship, practicum, and with a professional HR certification (e.g., PHR, SHRM-CP). More details about the Field Work Experience requirement are available under the “Resources for Students” section of the website.

8. How is this degree different than an MBA degree with a concentration in Human Resources?

MBA degrees typically require the student to complete a number of traditional, core business courses, such as accounting, finance, economics, business law, strategy, and marketing.  As a result, number of “free” or elective courses that a student may take in a human resources concentration is somewhat limited.  In the Towson University HRD program, the six required courses are all human resources courses, and the student has a lot of flexibility in selecting the elective courses that best meet his or her educational goals.

9. Can I customize my studies to focus in certain areas?

Absolutely. While not required, the flexibility of the degree allows the student to focus in one of several different areas once the core, required courses are completed.  For example, a student wishing to pursue a generalist sequence in Human Resources Management could take courses that include Compensation and Benefits, Talent Management, Diversity Management, or Employee Relations.  Or a student wishing to specialize his or her studies in the direction of Training and Employee Development could take electives offered through the Instructional Systems Development program.  The student wishing to specialize his or her studies in the field of Leadership and Organization Development & Change could choose courses that include Business Fundamentals, Team Building, Leadership, Conflict Management, or Employee Wellness.  Finally, students wishing to move onto doctoral studies in industrial psychology, organizational leadership, human resources development or a related discipline may choose to combine coursework in research and statistics (offered through the Experimental Psychology degree program) with classic content courses in Industrial-Organizational Psychology such as Leadership, Staffing and Selection, Organization Behavior, and Training.  We offer a full complement of courses for the variety of different Human Resources areas students may hope to specialize in after graduation.  Students are not required to select a coursework area of focus. These suggestions are offered as frameworks only for helping students plan their courses and schedule. 

10. Must I take only HRD courses?

No. The six required core courses are HRD courses. However, there are a number of pre-approved electives in other Towson University graduate programs (e.g., Instructional Design, Psychology). Courses taken at other institutions that are not available at Towson may be eligible to be transferred into the program.

11. It has been a long time since I’ve been to school.  Will I fit in?

While some of our students are continuing their education straight from their undergraduate degree, many students are working professionals who completed their undergraduate degrees many years ago.  We encourage returning students to continue their education and professional development with our degree. 

12. I’m an international student.  Will I fit in?

We have a number of international students in our degree program. We encourage international students to join our program.  Towson University offers a number of services to help and support international students in their studies here.

13. Can I transfer in credit courses that I’ve taken in other programs and/or at other schools?

Yes, it is possible to transfer in courses you’ve taken elsewhere.  Eligible courses must meet these criteria:

  • The course(s) must be graduate-level taken at an accredited college or university.
  • You must have earned a grade of B or better for the course
  • The course(s) must be related to Human Resources and/or to the student’s career direction.
  • The course(s) cannot have been used to earn another degree.

University policy allows up to 50% of a degree program’s course requirements (18 credit hours) to be transferred in.  However, it is the Program Director’s final decision as to which courses, if any, may be transferred into this degree program. The Director is under no obligation to approve every transfer application or to approve the full 18 hours. The student must be enrolled in the program and complete a Transfer application to have courses considered. No assurances of transfer credit can be granted prior to admission into the program.

14. Must I use prior faculty teachers for my letters of recommendations?

No, all that is needed are two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your academic background, professional experience, and/or personal qualities.  This may include coworkers, managers or supervisors. Letters of recommendation from family members or significant others are not acceptable.  Students that are applying directly from an undergraduate or graduate program are expected to provide at least one letter of recommendation from a recent faculty member.