Human Resource Management Certificates

The Human Resource Management certificate program teaches students how to develop staff, analyze processes and evolve workplace culture.

The program offers two certificates:

  • Human Resource Management: Fundamentals (11.2 CEU) 
  • Human Resource Management: Professional (8.4 CEU) - On Hold

Students may take individual courses based on professional goals (and prerequisites) or complete a full certificate.


HRM: Fundamentals Curriculum

Take all eight courses (11.2 CEU)

Prerequisite: take first

This class describes the Human Resource Management certificate program, the role of human resource management and its practitioners in organizations and the specific disciplines within the human resource career field.

With the nature of the workforce always changing, the modern talent acquisition function needs to think more holistically about how this critical aspect of the business aligns itself to strategic goals for maximum benefit to the company. In this class we will cover the most important features of a high-performing talent acquisition function: the recruitment lifecycle, sourcing methodologies, recruiting programs, organizational structure and duties, best practices, key performance metrics and emerging trends. Central to these topics will be the philosophies behind effective assessment, development, implementation as well as measurements of success.

Key learning objectives for this course include:

  • Learn to identify each function within the talent acquisition team and assess effectiveness.
  • Harness the ability to assess, design, develop, implement and evaluate recruiting systems, people, processes and programs.
  • Become familiar with emerging trends to create a strategic organization that aligns itself to the key goals and initiatives of the business.

This online class explores the processes and techniques by which organizations ensure that their employees have the requisite skills and maintain performance standards to accomplish the organization's business. The course introduces concepts related to strategic workforce planning, skills and competency assessments (supply and demand analyses), macro and micro development planning and how to impact a large population in order to create an effective and healthy organization. Participants learn how to evaluate, measure, and prescribe solutions to business leaders on how to lead, educate and develop a company's workforce in both the short and long term.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding strategic workforce planning, analysis and development as a concept and the subsequent actions to take to become a more strategic HR professional.
  • Creating development, training and education plans to address underlying business issues, gaps and strengths.
  • Deciphering, learning and applying organizational behavioral techniques and best practices to create a more engaged, productive and performant workforce.

This class is a survey of federal, state, and selected local statutes, regulations, and case law affecting the workplace, including laws that apply specifically to workplaces in California. Through a combination of lecture and interactive class exercises, students will learn and apply principles and practices that prepare them to work anywhere in the United States, with specific state and local laws and regulations included for comparison and contrast.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognizing applicable laws affecting hiring, termination, and employee management in the workplace.
  • Analyzing and applying employment laws to common workplace situations.
  • Locating sources of legal information related to HR and determining when additional legal support should be sought.

This class discusses the fundamental principles for workforce compensation and benefits. It includes a survey of short-term and long-term compensation programs. It will also introduce students to the basic types of benefits and managing their costs.

Learning objectives:

  • Naming compensation principles and legal constraints.
  • Summarizing methods to evaluate and set job compensation.
  • Identifying types of benefits plans.
  • Discussing approaches to benefits administration.

Designed for the human resources management (HRM) generalist practitioner or anyone who is preparing for a career as a specialist in labor/employee relations, this course provides a hands-on approach to analyzing and resolving employee relations problems typically found in the workplace. Students work together to review and analyze case studies applying laws and practical approaches to HR issues.

Learning objectives:

  • Surveying significant laws and regulations that affect the practice of HRM in the U.S. and California.
  • Managing employment from application to termination and specifically performance management issues to provide a productive, harmonious, and efficient work environment while meeting business objective.
  • Addressing leaves of absence and accommodation in the workplace while balancing the rights and responsibilities of employees and managements.

An organization that prioritizes and promotes equity among all staff can improve employee motivation, relations, and retention. One way toward equity is through the practice of cultural humility, a perspective that values lifelong engagement, self-analysis, and active listening with the motivation to learn. Using cultural humility as a cornerstone, we will examine elements of equity that can be used to create a more inclusive workplace. In addition to identity, diversity, and inclusion, students will study EEO laws and other related workplace requirements.

Learning objectives:

  • Discussing benefits of a multicultural workplace that values equity.
  • Increasing communication skills and developing strategies to increase equity.
  • Identifying varying layers that compose public identity.
  • Reviewing EEO hiring practices and laws related to issues of identity.

Take this course after completing all other required courses.

Successful completion of the required seven classes is a prerequisite for this class. The class integrates all of the subject matter learned in the preceding classes of the Human Resource Management Certificate program using real world case studies that require application of the concepts, principles and practices of the various HR functions consistent with the expectations of an HR generalist practitioner.



HRM: Professional Curriculum

Please Note: The Human Resource Management: Professional Certificate is on hold

Prerequisite: Human Resource Management: Fundamentals Certificate

Choose six courses (8.4 CEU) based on professional goals and interests. Courses for the Human Resource Management: Professional certificate may be taken in any order, unless there is a prerequisite course.

Formerly HR Technologies and Collecting Data

This course provides students an overview of the types of systems used in HR that support the employee life cycle. Topics covered include purpose of systems, importance of good business processes and data accuracy, system implementation, and reporting. The class provides students the opportunity to perform hands-on activities with an HRIS and reporting in Excel.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding the different types of HR systems and how they are used.
  • Gaining hands-on experience accessing information and entering data in an HRIS.
  • Gaining understanding of HR metrics and reporting.

Formerly Using HR Data to Persuade

This course teaches students how to present data in a meaningful way to aid in decision making. Data sources discussed and reviewed will be both internal and external to a company. Students will learn to effectively build a business case.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding how to scope an issue and identify relevant sources of data to give context to the issue.
  • How to use Excel for data analysis and presentation.
  • How to build a meaningful business case.

To gain competency in addressing complex organizational challenges, HR professionals must have a strong understanding of the theory and skills of organizational development (OD). This course is structured to provide a broad overview of OD and its relationship to HR. We will review OD principles and concepts such as culture, systems, roles, structure, and change. Participants will also become familiar with OD interventions and practices including strategic planning, team building, and leadership development.

Learning objectives:

  • Understanding the practice of OD and its connection to HR.
  • Assessing organizational challenges and recommend and implement OD solutions.
  • Gaining knowledge about how to manage organizational change.

This online class focuses on the underlying principles of performance management and ways to intervene early in behavioral problems. Topics to be covered include an overview of performance management, methods for motivating staff, coaching techniques to facilitate employee success, establishing performance plans and conducting performance evaluations. The class emphasis is on improving employee performance without resorting to disciplinary action.

Learning objectives:

  • Developing tools to enhance employee performance for both high and low performers.
  • Understanding employee motivators and recognition strategies in order to tailor interventions.
  • Utilizing exercises to develop practical ways to enhance performance at all levels.

Formerly Discipline and Termination

If you have supervisory responsibilities or are a human resources professional who is or will be advising supervisors and managers about employee disciplinary processes, including terminations of employment, this practical "how-to" course is for you. Relationships between workers and the workplace are subject to increasingly complex regulation. This course provides common sense approaches to navigating the regulatory framework that encompasses the disciplinary process and a knowledge base from which to draw when you are called on to advise managers who are contemplating disciplinary action.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognizing the common grounds for discipline and the justifications required for each.
  • Analyzing employee conduct and determining the appropriate disciplinary action and most effective ways to administer disciplinary action.
  • Describing the disciplinary investigation process and critically evaluating its results.

This course will address the challenges of supporting and managing a work force with diverse attitudes towards conflict. At the end of the class, you will be able to choose appropriate methods and structures to facilitate conflict resolution in the workplace. You will also learn about emotional triggers, and how to engage constructively in negotiations at work. In addition, you will learn the best method to mediate others' conflict in the workplace.

Learning objectives:

  • Gaining insights into your own reactions to conflict.
  • Learning skills to handle interpersonal conflict constructively.
  • Learning tools and practicing mediating others' conflicts.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of HRM 9115: Employment Laws, Regulations, and Compliance

This advanced skills-based practicum will take students through the steps of investigating and responding to a formal employment complaint filed with a government agency. Using a case study approach, students will learn to identify relevant legal and procedural issues, create an investigation plan, prepare findings, and draft written responses to formal complaints.

Learning objectives:

  • Deepening knowledge of employment laws most frequently involved in formal complaints.
  • Understanding procedures and timelines for responding to formal complaints.
  • Sharpening HR investigation, evaluation, and communication skills through hands-on practice.



Additional Information

There are no formal requirements or prerequisites to fulfill prior to enrolling in the Human Resource Management: Fundamentals program. The first class, HRM Overview (HRM 9080) is the prerequisite for all other Fundamentals classes. Previous HR experience is not necessary.

Students who wish to earn the Human Resource Management: Professional certificate must first complete the Fundamentals certificate.

All Human Resource Management courses provide 14 hours of instruction (unless otherwise indicated) and are usually scheduled on four weekday evenings from 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. or two Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Occasionally, there are some exceptions to the above format, so course times and dates should be read carefully. Students who wish to earn a certificate will have to take both weeknight and Saturday courses. All coursework for the eight-course Human Resource Management: Fundamentals certificate must be completed within two years, and coursework for the six-course Human Resource Management: Professional certificate must be completed within an additional two years.

The eight required courses for the Human Resource Management: Fundamentals certificate are usually offered in spring, summer and fall terms. Approximately four to six courses in the Human Resource Management: Professional program are offered each term on a rotating basis.

All HRM courses are graded on a credit/no credit basis. Grading is based on student attendance, participation and satisfactory completion of class assignments. Grading criteria are provided in course syllabi. You must attend all class sessions of a course in order to earn a grade of Credit.

Once you register and pay for your course, you may go to Canvas, and log in using your SF State Login and Password. It takes up to 24 hours to process you into the system.

The program is not eligible to provide the I-20 form for the purpose of receiving the F-1 student visa. For more information, visit Center for Global Engagement.

Once you have completed the necessary coursework, submit the Certificate Request Form.

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