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Course Descriptions

Certificate Program in Human Resource Management

The University of Virginia Human Resources Management Certificate Program offers a core of courses addressing the basic functional areas of human resources. Elective courses give students the opportunity to dig deeper into specialized areas, polish communications skills, and explore timely topics.

The University certificate provides evidence of specialized educational achievement. It is appropriate both for those who already have undergraduate (and graduate) degrees and those who do not. The program is currently offered in the Charlottesville and Northern Virginia centers. Contact either of these centers for specific information regarding admission, transfer credit, and certificate completion requirements.

Required Courses (6): HR 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, and 406.

Electives (4): HR 407, 408, 409, 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 502, or 503.

Course Descriptions


HR 401 - (3)
Management of Organizations
Presents a broad view of management theories and principles. Topics include historical and current trends in management, how organizations plan and make decisions, leadership, and resource management.

HR 402 - (3)
Human Resource Management
Prerequisite: HR 401.
Survey of individual (as opposed to systemic) HR management. Topics include employee relations, job satisfaction, personnel selection and placement, job analysis and design, interviewing techniques, performance appraisal and training, and wage and salary administration.

HR 403 - (3)
Organizational Change and Development
Prerequisite: HR 401.
Analysis of the key concepts and theories in organizational behavior and organizational development. Focuses on the student’s development of the diagnostic skills necessary to effectively manage organizational change. Also deals with specific issues such as downsizing.

HR 404 - (3)
Human Behavior in Organizations
Prerequisite: HR 401.
Helps students develop conceptual, diagnostic, and personal skills for dealing with human interaction in complex organizations. Also addresses issues arising from the diverse nature of today’s work force.

HR 405 - (3)
Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Resources
Prerequisite: HR 401.
Addresses personnel laws and issues including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, FLSA, ADA, FMLA, ERISA, selected immigration laws, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and other issues of gender and racial/ethnic equity. Also deals with business ethics issues as they relate to HR.

HR 406 - (3)
Strategic Human Resources Management
Prerequisite: HR 401.
A capstone course bringing together material in all the other core courses and addressing the strategic role HR managers must play in the larger organization.

HR 407 - (3)
Human Resources Information Systems
Focuses on using technology to manage the infrastructure. Explores current HR information systems and demonstrates how they improve decision making, respond to business needs, provide value added service, and increase administrative efficiency.

HR 408 - (3)
Compensation and Benefits
Provides a working knowledge of compensation theory and the variety of methods organizations use to compensate their employees.

HR 409 - (3)
Recruiting, Placement, Performance Appraisal, and Outplacement
Addresses HR recruitment planning, actual recruiting, job placement, performance appraisal, and outplacement (whether from layoffs, downsizing, or firing).

HR 410 - (3)
Employee Development
Addresses training and development at all levels, from initial orientation to executive development. Discusses in-house training, using vendors, and developing partnerships with colleges and universities.

HR 411 - (3)
Consulting Theory and Practice
Prepares HR professionals to be more effective internal consultants, to do consultative selling of HR programs, and to work with outside agencies to meet their organization’s needs.

HR 412 - (3)
Business Communication
Emphasizes the art of writing and speaking and the craft of revising and editing one’s own work. Focuses on direct, concise, reader-oriented business communications and helps participants develop and focus a purpose, create powerful sentences, adjust tone, and clearly communicate ideas. Participants prepare speeches, letters, and memoranda.

HR 413 - (3)
Financial Management
Provides an understanding of finance, ranging from basic finance and its application to HR to more complex applications. Useful for HR professionals with little background in finance.

HR 414 - (3)
Labor Relations
Examines the National Labor Relations Act and addresses negotiation and conflict resolution, labor theory, labor history, and labor economics.

HR 415 - (3)
Topics in Labor Economics
Examines unemployment in the United States today: what causes it, why it persists, and what can be done about it; the impact of discrimination in labor markets, both from a theoretical and historical perspective; and the real effects of labor unions on the economy.

HR 416 - (3)
Current Topics in Human Resources
Provides a forum for addressing timely topics in human resources, such as downsizing, reengineering, 360-degree feedback, and telecommuting.

HR 417 - (3)
Managing the Training Function
Explores the fundamental theory and concepts needed to design and deliver a training program. Topics include how to conduct needs assessment, design a training course and modules, develop training materials, and create competency-based evaluation strategies.

HR 502 - (3)
Staffing and Career Management
Examines the processes and techniques that establish and govern the flow of interrelated organizational staffing activities. Includes case studies covering the latest staffing models and systems, economic conditions that impact staffing, laws and regulations, strategy and planning, measurement, job analysis, internal and external recruiting, and decision making.

HR 503 - (3)
Strategic Compensation
Explores strategic choices in managing compensation through a pay model that is based upon the foundational policy decisions of the compensation system, the means of compensation, and the objectives of the compensation. Includes strategic perspectives, internal consistency, external competitiveness, employee contributions, and administration of the pay system efficiently, equitably, and in compliance with the law.


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