HRER MS Program Graduating class of Fall 2013
Left to right: Dr. Anner , Codie Rodland, Alissa Hazi, Kaitlyn Knopp, Chelsey Hollenshead, Ethan Pitts, and Dr. Clark
Not Pictured: Amanda Gallo, and Alison Renfrew

The Master of Science in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) is a two–year, 37-credit program. It prepares students to (1) understand the roles employers, employees organizations, and public policy makers play in the employment relationship, (2) analyze systematically and understand the complex personal and organizational issues inherent in the employment relationship, (3) evaluate research results in the process of administering labor and human resource systems, (4) undertake advanced graduate or professional training, including law, beyond the master’s degree, and (5) work as practitioners in the field. Further, the program highlights the growing importance of diversity in the workforce and the globalization of public and private organizations.

The program includes 22 required credits; students choose either a thesis or research paper option. Students anticipating further postgraduate education should take the thesis option, and those who anticipate not being in residence for at least part of their studies should strongly consider it. Some of the most recent thesis titles have been:

  • Impact of Globalization on Employment Relations Policies: A Case Study within the Technology Sector
  • Empirical Analysis of Employment Arbitration Decisions
  • Challenge of Retaining Top Employees in Rural Communities: A Case Study within the Academic Sector
  • Make-up Time: A Study of Morning Grooming Time in the U.S.

The School offers numerous learning opportunities for students to satisfy the 37-credit degree requirement. In addition to a variety of courses, the School and University provide an enriched learning environment in numerous ways. The University Libraries system, ranked thirteenth nationally by the Association of Research Libraries, contains more than four million volumes and subscribes to major periodicals in our field. In the area of human resources and employment relationa, the Libraries system continually expands its holdings and has attracted valuable private collections as well, including papers from the United Steelworkers of America and the United Mine Workers of America, which are housed in Pattee Library on the University Park campus. It also has a major on-line reference system.

Graduate students have access to numerous computer software programs, plus the Internet and the World Wide Web, from various locations on campus and within the School offices.

The Department also presents seminars featuring guest speakers whose research bears directly on the employment relationship.

All applications and materials for the Fall semester, MS Program are due no later than February 1st, & no later than September 1st for the Spring semester MS Program. For any questions, please email Erin Hetzel at

HRER MS Program Timeline

Career Opportunities for MS Graduates

Graduates of the Penn State HRER masters program will find that a variety of opportunities await them, whether they seek employment or more post-graduate education. Depending on a student’s particular interest, employment opportunities exist with private employers, unions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Students may enter the field of human resources management, collective bargaining/labor-management relations, or both. They would be involved in the critical components of managing employment relations, including hiring, job evaluation, compensation and benefit administration, arbitration, contract negotiation and administration, grievance handling, equal employment opportunities, sexual and racial discrimination prevention, occupational health and safety, and employee retention and training.

Those seeking further postgraduate training upon completion of their masters degree will have an equally diverse set of opportunities. Students may pursue doctoral training in economics, industrial relations, history, human resources, industrial psychology, organizational behavior, or sociology. Additionally, students may pursue further education in law, policy analysis, or business management.

Current Positions and Programs of Recent Graduates:


  • Human Resource Specialist, Penn State University
  • People Services Benefits Coordinator, Google
  • Human Resource Generalist, Volvo Group
  • Human Resource Representative, JLG Industries
  • Human Resources Leadership Program, GE
  • Human Resources Manager, Bancolombia Group
  • Recruitment Coordinator, Samsung Electronics
  • Attorney, Albertelli Law



  • Human Resource Leadership Development Program, Lockheed Martin
  • Human Resource Generalist, GE
  • Human Resource Development Program, Air Products
  • Rotational Leadership Development Program, "HR Trax", Microsoft
  • Project Manager (Talent Aqusition), PNC
  • Tax - Human Resource Operation Staff, Ernst and Young


  • Benefits Manager, Jersey Shore Steel Company, Jersey Shore, PA
  • Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA
  • Human Resources, The Hershey Company, Hershey, PA
  • Research Assistant, Alcohol & Skin Care Projects, Penn State, State College, PA
  • Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Human Resources, Education Management Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Human Resources Support, Siemens Medical Solutions
  • Human Resources, Penn State, State College PA
  • Human Resources & Marketing, BBI, New York, NY
  • Office Manager, Nittany Express
  • Reviewer Co-op, NLRB Baltimore, MD
  • Ph.d Program, Workforce Education, Penn State, State College PA
  • Human Capital Analyst, Deloitte Consulting


  • Human Resources Specialist, KAS Placement, New York, NY
  • Human Resources, Home Instead Senior Care, State College, PA
  • Human Resources Analyst, Partners Group, New York, NY
  • Human Resources Specialist, Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, Washington DC
  • Research & Communications Associate, American Rights at Work, Washington DC
  • Compensation Analyst, Moodys, New York


  • Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA
  • Human Resources, TJ Maxx, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Human Resources Executive Team Leader, Target, Allentown PA
  • Field Examiner, NLRB
  • Human Resources Manager & FSO, Clovis, Bethesada, MD
  • Human Resources Associate, Aquatech International Corp., Canonsburg, PA


  • Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Lockheed Martin, Valley Forge, PA
  • Human Resources Management Systems & IT Recruiting, Kimball, Ebensburg, PA
  • Human Resources Generalist, Omega Bank, State College, PA
  • Human Resources Coordinator,  Pro-telligent, LLC, Arlington, VA
  • Human Resources Recruitment, Wipro Technologies, India
  • Human Resources Manager, DZH Export/Import Inc., NYC, NY


  • Human Resources Staffing & Recruitment, Fairchild Semiconductor, South Portland, ME
  • Human Resources Manager, Penn State University, University Park, PA
  • Employment Consultant, EDSI's South Earn Center,  Philadelphia, PA.
  • Benefits and Employment Division, Medical University of SC, SC, PA
  • Human Resources Manager, Graduate School, Penn State, University Park, PA
  • Human Resources, Corning Glass Corporation, Oneonta, NY
  • Staff Organizer, United Nurses Association of California, AFSCME, Los Angeles, CA
  • Employment Representative, Lockheed Martin, Albany, NY
  • Human Resources Manager, Nestle, Breinigsville, PA
  • Ph.D Program in Sociology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Senior Officer at BASF, China


  • Human Resources Officer, U.S. Gypsum Corporation, CA
  • Human Resources Manager, Ralston-Purina Corporation, PA
  • Executive Training Program, Target Corporation, GA
  • Compensation Analyst, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, PA
  • Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Lockheed Martin, NY
  • Human Resource Representative, Aramark Corporation, PA
  • Dickinson School of Law, Penn State, PA
  • Human Resources Manager, Lowes, Bloomburg, PA
  • Lecturer and Academic Advisor, LER, Penn State University, University Park, PA
  • Site Manager, Exxon Mobil, Houston TX
  • PhD Program in Organizational Behavior, Cornell Univeristy, Ithica, NY
  • Human Resource Manager, Penn State University, University Park, PA
  • Labor Relations Technician, Madison County Dept of Personnel, Wampsville, NY
  • Human Resources Generalist, Columbia Lighting, Bristol, PA
  • Peace Corps, Kazakhstan
  • Associate, Hay Consulting, Philadelphia, PA
  • Human Resources Generalist, Human Motion Institute, Pittsburgh, PA


  • Human Resources Development Program, Automotive Business Group, Eaton Corporation, MI
  • Administrative Organizer, SEIU/1199, Buffalo, NY
  • Immigration Liaison and Research Recruiter, Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, FL
  • Human Resource Manager, IBM, Burlington, VT
  • HR Management Associate, Citigroup, New York, NY
  • Human Resources Manager, Penn State University, Univeristy Park, PA


  • Education Consultant, Penn State World Campus, University Park, PA
  • Assistant Coordinator, Compliance Department, Intercollegiate Athletics, Oregon State U, Corvallis, OR
  • Human Resources Consultant, Deloitte Touche, NYC, NY
  • Human Resources Manager, Aramark, Philadelphia, PA
  • Human Resources Generalist, D.E. Shaw & Co., NYC, NY
  • Human Resources Manager, Ingersoll-Rand, Denver, CO


  • Human Resource Representative, Citigroup, NYC
  • Human Resource Manager, Ingersoll Rand Corporation, Texas
  • Ph.D. Program in Information and Science Technology, Penn State University
  • Human Resource Coordinator, ABC Carpet & Home, NYC
  • Human Resource Program Manager, Microsoft, Seattle, WA
  • Human Resource Analyst, Neiman Marcus, Dallas, TX