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Program Options

In order to fulfill the requirements of the MSLD program, you will complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework, including 24 hours in core classes and a minimum of 12 hours in at least one of the following emphases:

  • Human Resource Development (Training & Development)
  • Human Resource Management
  • Higher Education
  • Multidisciplinary (coursework selected from one of the emphases above)

You may also choose to complete two related emphases.  See the Dual Emphasis option below for more information. For course information in each emphasis, consult the Program Content page.  

Program Emphases

Higher Education (HEDE) Emphasis

The Higher Education emphasis includes three courses covering the content recommended by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS, 2012). The fourth course is an elective, and may specific to Higher Education (Student Services) or be chosen from other emphasis areas (i.e., HRME, HRDE) or from other MSLD or Drake University graduate electives. 

Human Resource Development (HRDE) Emphasis

The HRD (Training and Development) emphasis includes four courses. Three of the courses include the content recommended by the American Society for Training and Development – ASTD (Bernthal et al., 2004).  The fourth course is an elective, and may be chosen from other emphasis areas (i.e., HRM, Higher Education) or from other MSLD or Drake University graduate electives. 

Human Resource Management (HRME) Emphasis

The HRM emphasis within the MSLD has been acknowledged by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as being fully aligned with their curriculum guidelines.  See SHRM Endorsement for details.  The HRM emphasis includes four courses, covering the Human Resource Certification Institute Body of Knowledge and key HRM competencies. In particular, the HRM emphasis follows SHRM’s curriculum recommendations.  These guidelines - which are part of SHRM's Academic initiative - were set up by SHRM to define the HR content that should be studied by HR students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

Multidisciplinary (MULT) Emphasis

Students who prefer a more customized and flexible program sequence may select, with the assistance and approval of their adviser, four elective courses (or 12 credit hours) from the other three MSLD emphases. Students may also choose to complete Special Topics courses offered each semester by the MSLD program. The following are examples of past Special Topics courses offered in the MSLD program:

  • Personality and Leadership
  • Coaching, Improvisational Techniques in Leadership Development
  • Spirituality in the Workplace
  • Technology and Learning.  

Dual Emphasis

The number of hours required to complete a program emphasis depends on the number of emphases selected. Each emphasis requires 12 hours of coursework. Students selecting two emphases, however, do not need to complete additional electives. For instance, a student selecting Human Resource Development and Higher Education will need 18 credit hours to complete both emphases.   Please consult a program faculty for additional information on this option.

Program Concentrations

A shorter Graduate Concentration option is offered to students who hold at least an undergraduate degree and are interested in completing only a select number of graduate courses in an area of interest.  If you are admitted to a Graduate Concentration you will complete 15 hours in one of four Concentration areas:

  • Higher Education
  • Human Resource Development (Training & Development)
  • Human Resource Management
  • Leadership

Graduate concentration students may later apply to be formally admitted to the MSLD program.  These students may then transfer all or most of their credits into the MSLD program (the exact number of transferable credits depends on factors such as the exact courses taken, the date of completion, and the requirements of the chosen emphasis within the Master's, please consult a program faculty for additional information).

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