Online Human Resources Management Certificate | Penn Foster College

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources Management

Get financial and academic credit for previous classes taken.

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transfer credit policy and process.

Program Overview

Gain new skills and expand your existing human resources knowledge with online training from Penn Foster College. Learn how to professionally hire, train, retain and manage the type of employee talent that can help businesses succeed. As a Human Resources Management student with Penn Foster College, you can learn at the pace for you, gaining new skills in a flexible, convenient way.

The credits you earn with this program are transferable to an Associate of Science Degree in Human Resources Management at Penn Foster College.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To gain skills and knowledge related to human resources to prepare for a job or continue education at the undergraduate level.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Discuss features, founders, and benefits of various management perspectives, skills required by managers, and the need for an ethical business structure and a diverse business environment
  • Explain specific responsibilities of and skills needed for human resource management (HRM), types of illegal discrimination, and techniques to conduct successful interviews and choose prospective employees appropriately
  • Demonstrate methods of organizing material for a professional setting, by composing business memos, emails, outlines, reports, and proposals using the ABC method
  • Discuss the features and examples of various compensation strategies, calculate appropriate pay increases, and analyze features of total compensation
  • Explain accepted theories regarding training and the management of the training function in organizations, and identify successful and unsuccessful training practices
  • Describe the legally required social insurance programs for employees in the United States, the difference between group and individual insurance; the requirements for qualified pension plans and evaluate benefit packages to determine comprehensive plan coverage
  • Explain the features of labor organizations, the effects of labor unions on employees and businesses, and how labor organizations fit into the business structure of the United States

Course 1

Basic Skills Assessment

Applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

BUS100 Business Orientation 1 credit

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.

Course 2

BUS110 Principles of Management 3 credits

This course familiarizes the student with both the business environment and the manager's role within it. It covers decision making, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, as well as developing an ethical perspective.


  • Summarize the functions of management and the basic steps in various planning processes
  • Explain how to make effective decisions as a manager and a leader
  • Describe the fundamental elements of an organization's structure and the components of an organization's competitive environment
  • Explain principles for setting goals that motivate employees, why companies develop control systems, and why teamwork is beneficial
  • Analyze why diversity is a critical organizational issue, the criteria for technology decisions, and managing change

Textbook: Management, 5th Edition


Course 3

HRM201 Human Resources Management 3 credits

This course provides an overview of Human Resources Management (HRM) as it's understood today. It illustrates the dynamic interaction of the personnel functions with each other and with the objectives of an organization.


  • Describe the elements of human resource management, including labor considerations, regulation, and management of workflow
  • Explain how companies should prepare for and implement HRM to hire new employees and create training programs
  • Identify the aspects of employee, career, and turnover management
  • Summarize how employees are paid, including legal requirements, performance-based pay, commissions, salaries, and benefits
  • Describe other HRM functions including collective bargaining, labor relations, global HRM, and building a high-performance organization

Additional Course Materials:
Textbook: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management


Course 4

ENG121 Business and Technical Writing 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.


  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Course 5

HRM210 Compensation Management 3 credits

The course covers the basic components of a total compensation package (salary, bonus, and benefits), the development, implementation, and maintenance of a program, the impact of internal and external equity, and additional factors which must be considered for the overall success of a program.


  • Explain the factors and methods included in compensation strategies
  • Describe how to evaluate employee performance and motivate workers using compensation strategies
  • Explain how unions, laws, and special groups affect compensation
  • Discuss labor regulation locally and globally
  • Compare job postings for different pay models

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Compensation


Course 6

HRM355 Training Concepts 3 credits

Learn the accepted theory regarding training and the elements of training.


  • Learn the management of the training function in organizations, training design, and training methods.
  • Analyze successful and unsuccessful training practices.
  • Get tips on best practices for training in several training areas.
  • Examine the pros and cons of training evaluation.

Research Assignment

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices


Course 7

HRM320 Employee Benefits 3 credits

This course examines employer and employee objectives for benefit plans.


  • Discover legally required social insurance programs for employees in the United States.
  • Learn about the characteristics of group insurance and individual insurance in the categories of life, medical, dental, and disability.
  • Compare managed care plans with traditional medical expense plans.
  • Study the general requirements that must be met by qualified pension plans with respect to eligibility and plan coverage; nondiscrimination in benefits and contributions; funding; vesting; limitations on benefits and contributions; payout restrictions; and top-heavy rules.
  • Learn the difference in pension benefit formulas.
  • Discover general features of pension funding instruments and when each might best be used.
  • Interpret qualified and nonqualified pension plans.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Employee Benefits


Course 8

HRM350 Labor Relations 3 credits

This course examines the interaction between organized labor unions and company management pertaining to rights and responsibilities, negotiations, and collective bargaining.


  • Learn the current trends in labor organization in light of changes in the labor force, such as the trend toward a two-tier wage system.
  • Discover why workers join unions and why management is sometimes not enthusiastic about unions.
  • Study the long struggle to establish the voice of organized labor in America from the nineteenth century to the present.
  • Discover the relationship between national and local unions.
  • Learn characteristics of the collective bargaining process and why early negotiations are marked by exaggerated demands.
  • Study variables that impact labor management negotiations
  • Find out the two major approaches to wage adjustments: escalator clauses and wage reopeners.
  • Study the nature of concessionary bargaining on the part of organized labor.
  • Study administrative issues under collective bargaining, including the role of seniority and affirmative action.

Research Assignment

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Labor Relations


Proctored Exam

Exam information

This assessment will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the program. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources sample lesson, click here.

Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources Program Details

In the Penn Foster College Online Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources Program you'll cover topics such as:

This certificate program is not a degree program, nor does it offer the student a degree upon completion.

Human Resources Management Certificate Online

Human resources professionals hire, train, retain and manage the type of employee talent that can help businesses succeed.

Here are a few qualities that effective human resources professionals have in common:

  • Honest: Handling other employees’ issues and concerns require that you are ethical and responsible.
  • Flexible: You are able to handle stressful situations in a calm and productive way.
  • Amicable: It’s important to be welcoming and approachable to other employees.
  • Organized: A business has a lot of moving pieces to keep on track.

After earning my degree I received a pay increase and a promotion to a supervisor position. The instructors are superb, helpful, and are there with you every step of the way. Also, the student services representatives are courteous and understanding; they are there to answer any questions you may have. After each assignment I completed, the staff of Penn Foster always had encouraging statements that helped me to stay on course. Congrats to Penn Foster College on being the best and bringing the best out of me.

- Shawn C., Penn Foster College Graduate

I enjoyed very much the ability to become part of the Penn Foster group. The instructors were extremely helpful and kind. They were always there when I needed help or just plain needed advice.

- Ashley L., Penn Foster College Graduate

I am currently in my second semester and Penn Foster College is THE BEST online college for those of us who have full-time jobs and shift workers, because Penn Foster gives us the flexibility to study at our own convenience, at our own pace, and WITHOUT deadlines. And the cost is VERY inexpensive for a two-year Associate Degree.

- Todd L., Penn Foster College Student/

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

How do proctored exams figure into a student's GPA?

The proctored final exam counts for 33% of a student's final grade.

What's the difference between Human Resources (A.S), Human Resources Undergraduate Certificate, and Human Resources Essentials Certificate?

The difference between the three Penn Foster College credentials (Associate Degree, Undergraduate Certificate, and Certificate), is based on the amount of coursework that is required to earn each credential. The Penn Foster College Associate Degree requires the most coursework, with the Penn Foster College Essentials Certificate having the least. Penn Foster College Undergraduate Certificate credits are transferable to the Penn Foster College Associate Degree Program, and the Penn Foster College Essentials Certificate credits are transferable to both the Penn Foster College Undergraduate Certificate and the Penn Foster College Associate Degree programs.

More FAQs >

The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.

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