Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management

The University of Kentucky’s Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management is a 15 credit-hour graduate certificate program that prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to enter or refresh a career in HR.

The Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management (GC-HRM) provides an opportunity to obtain a set of competencies to effectively manage an organization’s employees and contribute to its talent strategy. The courses within the certificate focus on talent acquisition, talent management, employment law, and the effective use of analytics to manage human capital. The program also features an experiential capstone course giving students the ability to apply principles and techniques learned in their coursework to solve real organizational problems. This 15-credit certificate is appropriate for recent graduates hoping to learn more and better prepare themselves for a career in human resources and for working professionals who recognize the need to deepen their understanding and update their skills in this increasingly complex field.

Career Opportunities

HR Coordinator

HR Administrator

HR Analyst

Organizational Development Specialist

HR Representative

HR Associate


Flexible Online/In-Person/Blended


Expected job growth in KY according to O*Net Online

Applied Capstone

Partner with local companies to solve real issues


  • 5 HR courses in 11 months
  • Small class sizes and individualized faculty attention
  • Courses taught by top ranked research faculty and industry experts
  • Access to local HR professionals

The Certificate of Human Resources program is comprised of five online courses (15-credit hours). The only enrollment requirement is the completion of 60 undergraduate hours. Please note that courses in this program are offered on a rotating basis and may only be offered once a year.

This course walks a student through the process of acquiring talent for an organization. Topics discussed in detail include the design and analysis of jobs, HR planning, the recruitment, selection, socialization, and training processes. The course is primarily lecture-based, but includes some hands-on activities with real world applications which leverage concepts from social network analysis and HR analytics. Students will learn and be able to leverage principles that can unlock the potential of the talent acquisition process to be a strategic asset, rather than an administrative necessity, as they prepare to complete their next hire.

With the increasing amount of information available in organizations today, talent and business decisions and recommendations will need to be data-driven and evidence-based. This course will provide an introduction to topics and analytical techniques to leverage people-related data into organizational and human resources (HR) insights. Specific topics will include foundational data literacy, data collection and management practices, data analysis techniques, and strategy development. Given the interconnected nature of organizations, students will also learn how networks in organizations (e.g., communication networks, multi-team systems, social capital, networks) can impact people, HR, and organizational outcomes. In this course, students will be able to interpret data-driven insights, learn basic analytical and data visualization skills, and effectively communicate data-supported findings to management.

This course walks a student through the process of managing talent within an organization. Topics discussed in detail include the performance appraisal and management process, employee development, managing employee turnover, and compensation systems and programs. The course is primarily lecture-based, but includes some hands-on activities with real world applications which leverage concepts from social network analysis and HR analytics. Students will learn and how to design HR systems that will aide in the management of employees to increase the likelihood of strong investments from the hiring process.

Legal issues in the workplace underpin the basic rights and protections for both employers and employees. This course is designed to provide a survey of the current employment laws in the United States. Employment law embodies principles of contracts, torts, property law, constitutional, criminal law, labor law, immigration law, and dispute resolution, among others. The course will cover legal perspectives in staffing, compensation, benefits, safety and health, and employment discrimination. It will also provide the framework for the history and development of employment law in the United States.

The Capstone Consulting course is the culminating experience of the Gatton graduate HR programs. It provides students with a framework to apply the HR knowledge, skills and competencies gained from their coursework to complex real-world organizational challenges. Through this experiential opportunity, students complete unique consulting projects with an outside organization. The semester-long project will utilize both qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine a broad-based or specialized area of HR concern. Student teams will provide analysis and recommendations which both require a demonstrated mastery of the certificate program’s learning outcomes.

  Resident Non-resident Online
Tuition (per credit hour) $886 $1,192.50 $886
University Mandatory Fees (per credit hour) $62 $62 $15.50
Total (per credit hour) $948 $1,254.50 $901.50

Financial Assistance

University Level Funding Opportunities
The University of Kentucky Graduate School provides various funding opportunities for graduate students through fellowships, assistantships, and support funding.

More Information

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management. The application consists of two required components:

Apply with the Graduate School
Here you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Resume
  • Transcript(s)
  • Information for three references
  • Personal Statement (Discuss career goals, your interest in HR, and why you are applying to our program)

Complete the Application Supplement
During this portion of the application, we will ask you to respond (via video capture) to two questions covering:

  • Your experiences working in teams
  • Your view of the role of HR in an organization


Application Deadlines

Domestic Students
Fall semester: July 26th
Spring semester: December 10th

International Students
Fall semester: April 15th
Spring semester: September 15th

Replace the faculty below.

Josh Ackerman
Adjunct Professor

Andrew Hart
Adjunct Professor

Cynthia Vines
Director of UKCFP

Currently Enrolled UK students can register by logging in to myUK.

Register Now on myUK

Visiting students can easily apply at UK Online.

Apply at UK Online

If you already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in taking the courses through the Executive Education Program click the button below to apply.

Apply Through EEC

Connect with Us

Scott Soltis

Scott Soltis
Director, GC-HRM
Department of Management

Rick Mason

Rick Mason
Director of Professional Recruiting
Professional Resource Center
(859) 218-5550