Human resources professionals are increasingly becoming an integral part of an organization’s
strategic planning process. MTSU’s new Human Resources Leadership concentration allows
working professionals to earn a Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) around their
schedules and boost their careers through a 24/7 online program. The 30-hour degree
plan culminates with a professional project, typically related to the student’s work.
Company executives today are turning to HR professionals for policy directives and
creative ways to use human capital for improved performance results. The HR Leadership
coursework focuses on a variety of workplace factors (economic, environmental, ethical,
legal, political, and administrative) and the impact they can have on organizational
productivity, performance, and behavior. The program helps students build a strong
foundation in HR principles and procedures and develop critical thinking skills required
to make decisions and solve problems concerning the human side of an organization.
Graduate moves up in HR career with M.P.S. degree
Nancy Terrell, a 2014 Master of Professional Studies graduate, works in talent development
for information systems at Community Health and plans to earn Society for Human Resource
Management certification soon. Terrell began in administration and moved into HR talent
acquisition for the company’s Revenue Cycle Service Center. “I chose the M.P.S. program
because I had a little of this and that, but had not mastered any,” she says. A New
York native, Terrell earned her bachelor’s degree in 2010 while working in administrative
roles with an HR focus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. MTSU’s University
College made her believe getting a master’s was easily attainable. “The classes were
flexible, relevant, interesting, and personalized,” she says. “At first I was hesitant
that I would be successful in an online learning environment, but the professors were
excellent and engaging communicators.” Terrell’s two daughters previously attended
MTSU, and her eldest is finishing a Master of Education. “I am True Blue!—I always
wanted to be able to say that,” Terrell says.
HR Leadership studies help Eaton with current and future career
Leanne Eaton, director of Coffee County Juvenile Court’s Youth Services Office, is
pursuing MTSU’s new Human Resources Leadership concentration for her M.P.S. degree.
Eaton, holding the supervisory position for 18 of her 25 years in the court system,
has long been interested in employee development and training, as well as employment
law. She has served on county employee compensation and personnel review committees.
“Not only have I been able to utilize what I have learned through the M.P.S. program
to enhance my current career, but at some point I plan to pursue a career in human
resources,” she says. “I have learned a wealth of information.” Her professional project
examines issues and conflicts of women in the workplace who share the dual role of
mother and employee. The Youth Services Office, which provides probation supervision
for juvenile offenders, hired Eaton just before her MTSU graduation with a B.S. in
Psychology. A mother of three, Eaton decided to fulfill her lifelong promise to get
a master’s degree when her oldest daughter began college at MTSU in 2013. “She inspired
me to keep working hard,” Eaton says.
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
The Human Resources Leadership master’s degree is designed for working professionals
interested in recruiting, selection, and retention of human capital, compensation,
and benefits, and other areas of human resources management. National job growth for
human resources managers is higher than all other professions on average, and median
annual pay was $102,780 in 2014 for human resources managers. A master’s offers a
competitive edge in a competitive field. Some possible professional opportunities for degree-holders:
Employers of MTSU alumni
MTSU offers the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.), an online program designed
for working professionals, with three concentrations available: Human Resources Leadership, Strategic Leadership, and Training and Development.
Each M.P.S. program consists of 12 hours of core requirements, 15 hours related directly
to the concentration, and a 3-hour culminating professional project.
Applicants must have the following:
- an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
- an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken (at least 2.75 for
- completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores (generally at least 146 verbal, 144 quantitative, and
4.0 on analytical writing), OR a non-GRE option is available for those with a 2.75
GPA or higher and five (5) years of professional full-time work experience requiring
the submission of a portfolio of works.
- competency in word processing, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets,
and databases (Students must be computer literate—using email, posting discussions,
using chat, web page navigation, uploading attachments, etc.—as well as have excellent
time management skills in order to be successful in the online course environment.);
- regular access to a computer and reliable Internet connection
Applicants who do not meet the criteria for unconditional admission may apply as a
non-degree seeking student and take up to 6 hours before officially applying to the
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.
Professional Studies, Human Resources Leadership Concentration, M.P.S.
Pamela D. Morris, Program Director
The University College offers the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) with concentrations in Human Resources Leadership, Leadership in Nutrition, Operations Research, Strategic Leadership, and Training and Development in conjunction with six Tennessee universities. For more information, contact Pamela.Morris@mtsu.edu, call (615) 898-5920, or visit www.mtsu.edu/mps.
Admission to the Master of Professional Studies program requires
- an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
- an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken (at least 2.75 for unconditional admission);
- three (3) letters of recommendation;
completion of a portfolio of works OR Graduate Record Examination (GRE) based on criteria below:
completion of a portfolio of works for those with a 3.25 GPA or higher; OR
completion of a portfolio of works for those with a 2.75 GPA or higher and five (5) years of professional full-time work experience; OR
completion of the GRE General Test with acceptable scores;
- competency in word processing, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and databases. Students must be computer literate (using email, posting discussions, using chat, web page navigation, uploading attachments, etc.) as well as have excellent time management skills in order to be successful in the online course environment;
- regular access to a computer and reliable Internet connection. To view hardware and software requirements please go to tnecampus.info/d2l-hardware-and-software-requirements.
NOTE: Candidates for the Master of Professional Studies may enroll for one semester before being fully admitted to the program.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts from all collegiate institutions attended;
- submit three letters of reference;
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). A composite GRE score of 291 is expected for consideration of unconditional admission. applicants with a 2.75 GPA or higher and five (5) years of professional full-time work experience may submit a portfolio of works in place of a GRE score. Applicants who meet this requirement may inquire about the portfolio requirements by e-mailing Pamela.Morris@mtsu.edu or going to www.mtsu.edu/university-college/mps/portfolio.php.
The Master of Professional Studies with a concentration in Human Resources Leadership requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours.
- complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit (See Curriculum section below for specifics.);
- complete a professional project during the final semester of the program.
Curriculum: Professional Studies, Human Resources Leadership
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Core Courses (12 hours)
PRST 6000 - Leading Organizational Transformation
Focuses on the leadership aspects of creating, implementing, and monitoring initiatives that will help an organization's employees make the essential transitions necessary to enable their organization to successfully transform to the needs of its operational environment.
PRST 6100 - Professional Environment: Issues and Ethics
Introduces the discipline of ethics and values. Explores the various theories and practices that have led to, and continue to dominate the study of ethics and values in public service. Students will display their knowledge of ethics and values in various reading, writing, and oratorical assignments.
PRST 6300 - Research Methods
Study and application of research methods appropriate to professional studies. Provides a general introduction to research methods as well as providing practical exposure to problem statements, literature reviews, writing the research proposal, and organizations of the research report. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies briefly covered in preparation for later courses in these areas.
PRST 6600 - Statistical Analysis
Prerequisite: PRST 6300. Explores the fundamental principles that form the foundation of the scientific process. Ultimate goal is to enhance student's ability to effectively interpret and translate the results of research.
Human Resources Leadership Concentration (15 hours)
Human Resources Theory (9 hours)
- PRST 6910 - Employment and Human Resources Law 3 credit hours
- PRST 6920 - Diversity in the Workplace 3 credit hours
- MGMT 6680 - Seminar in Human Resources Management 3 credit hours
Leadership Theory (3 hours)
Choose at least one:
- MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation 3 credit hours
- PRST 5510 - Using Teams to Facilitate Organizational Development 3 credit hours
Specialty Elective (3 hours)
Choose at least one:
- PRST 6400 - Instructional Design Training and Development 3 credit hours
- PRST 6700 - Conflict Management and Negotiations 3 credit hours
- PRST 6930 - Compensation and Benefits 3 credit hours
- PRST 6940 - Recruitment , Selection, and Retention 3 credit hours
Professional Project (3 or 4 hours)
PRST 6998 - Professional Project
3 to 4credit hours
Capstone course for the Master of Professional Studies degree. The integrative culmination of the program of study.
PRST 6998 must be taken during the final semester of the program. Students should begin planning their projects when they enter the M.P.S. program. They should consult their advisors about appropriate topics and submit their proposals for approval prior to entering this course.
Students applying for EXL Scholar Designation should take PRST 6998 for 4 credit hours.
NOTE: The 5000 and 6000 levels numbering of courses for APSU/ETSU/TSU will be crosslisted with the 6000 levels used by MTSU and TTU and the 7000 levels numbering of courses used at UOM.
MPS students are limited to no more than 6 hours of prior learning assessment (PLA) credit and transfer credit combined.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the degree programs offered by University College,
faculty are drawn from disciplines throughout MTSU.