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.

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

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)
In the business world, people are sometimes put into management situations when they really don’t understand what management is all about. Although some are able to step into a management position and handle it naturally, others find the responsibilities to be overwhelming. Management courses are a must. For those proficient in managerial positions, management courses can help improve their skills and gain a better understanding of their new responsibilities. For those who are overwhelmed by a new management position, or who strive to secure a management position, management courses help by presenting concepts and ideas to build new skills.

This course is divided into lessons that discuss the foundations and principles of management, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. As you read the textbook, try to relate the material to your own experiences. If you don’t have any management experience, try to put yourself in the place of your manager and relate the material to those experiences.


  • 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
  • Demonstrate the foundations and principles of management by completing an open-book proctored exam

Textbook: M: Management

HRM201 Human Resource Management (3 credits)
Welcome to your Human Resources Management course, which is designed to introduce you to the field. Your textbook's learning objectives, found at the outset of each chapter, are meant to introduce you to basic concepts, theories, and perspectives related to effective human resource management. Further, your text includes a wealth of case studies and features that will help you understand practical problems and applications of human resource management principles. If you're seriously thinking about a career in human resource management, you should take advantage of these extra features, even when they aren't assigned.
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 highlights important points of compensation in contemporary work environments. Throughout your studies, you'll learn about different forms of pay, compensation strategies, competitive pay models, and performance evaluation and management techniques. You'll also learn about different laws surrounding compensation and global pay systems. At the end of this course, you'll complete an essay that asks you to take all you've learned throughout your studies and analyze several different job postings that cover these concepts.
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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