Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources

22 Credits

Program Outline

Here's how it works
Your certificate program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step toward understanding all the essential elements of Human Resources. Your first course will be sent to you as soon as your enrollment has been accepted.

The first course, Basic Skills Assessment, is available online only, which allows you to start studying right away. You will not receive hardcopy program materials for these lessons. You can access your first course as soon as your tuition payment has been received. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.

Note: Graduates of this program earn 22 college credits toward an A.S. degree in Human Resource Management at Penn Foster College.

This outline covers all the courses required for your certificate program. You complete the following courses in the order indicated:


Program Goal: To prepare students for entry-level employment in human resources management and provide a foundation for further training.

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

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and processes involved in the functional areas and the need for collaboration among the different functions
  • Discuss the management function and application to the business organization
  • Understand the steps of the accounting cycle and utilize financial document information as a management tool to plan.
  • Discuss and apply ethical and legal standards to the Business environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economics and the business economy
  • Discuss the fundamentals of human resources as it relates to the business environment
  • Describe the basic components, development, implementation, and maintenance of a total compensation package
  • Describe the legally required social insurance programs for employees in the United States, the difference between group and individual insurance, and the requirements for qualified pension plans
  • Discuss the interaction between organized labor unions and company management pertaining to rights and responsibilities, negotiations, and collective bargaining
  • Explain accepted theories regarding training and the management of the training function in organizations, and identify successful and unsuccessful training practices

Basic Skills Assessment
All degree 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.

BUS100Business Orientation (1 credit)
Introduction to distance learning; study skills and techniques; reading textbooks and study guides; reviewing for examinations. Four basic life goals; individual life goals and steps needed to fulfill them; similarities between personal financial goals and business goals; determining personal financial goals; setting up a budget; researching, planning, starting up, and maintaining a business.

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 and managerial issue, and describe the criteria for technology decisions and managing change

Textbook: M: Management, 6th edition

HRM201 Human Resource 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.
Textbook: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

ENG121 – Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)
Writing styles; ABC method of organizing material; grammar (parts of speech, active and passive voice, complete sentences vs. sentence fragments; parallel construction); using action verbs; constructing paragraphs; writing memos, business letters, and e-mails; organizing material; conducting research; documenting sources; outlining; providing illustrations; writing reports, proposals, descriptions, instructions, articles, and manuals.

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.
Textbook: Compensation

HRM355 Training Concepts (3 credits)
Employee training takes place in every business. In some organizations, employee training is a formalized process that continues throughout an employee’s entire career. In other organizations, employee training is an informal event used to introduce new employees to the basic skills they’ll need to complete their tasks. Your current or future employer will approach training by some combination of the two methods. This course will help you make employee training a more efficient and effective process. After completing this course, you should be a valuable asset to any employer.
Research Project: Training Concepts
Textbook: Employee Training and Development

HRM320 Employee Benefits (3 credits)
This course examines employer and employee objectives for benefit plans; design and administration of group life and group health insurance programs; government programs for workers’ compensation; employer-sponsored pension plans; and the integration of government and employer-sponsored retirement benefits.
Research Assignment: Employee Benefits
Textbook: Employee Benefits

HRM350 Labor Relations (3 credits)
The study of labor relations examines the interactions between organized labor unions and company management. These interactions between unions and management include rights and responsibilities, negotiations, and collective bargaining.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Analyze the role played by labor unions and the impact of labor laws
  • Explain labor relations management and bargaining strategies, structure, and constraints
  • Discuss empowerment, partnership, globalization, and financialization
  • Analyze various labor relations standards and considerations and what's expected of the union
  • Analyze the successes and challenges facing ALPA

Research Assignment: Labor Relations
Textbook: Labor Relations: Striking a Balance


Online Library and Librarian
Students at Penn Foster College have access to an online library during their college studies. Students can use the library to do the required course research or for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and will assist students in research activities.


We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

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