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Human Resources Management Major

Human resources management involves the effective management, development, and deployment of an organization’s greatest asset: its people. The field has been transformed by the greater use of analytics and the diversification of a global talent pool.

To succeed in this environment, the Pitt Business Human Resources major prepares students to become both good managers of people and good users of data. We equip students with strong business, technical, and professional competencies that balance their qualitative and quantitative skills. On the quantitative side, we incorporate HR analytics into every course taught in the program. Students are taught how to collect, interpret, and implement data in order to make strategic HR decisions that create a competitive advantage for the organization. Through the extensive use of Microsoft Excel and Tableau, students develop the capability to understand the implications of prescriptive analytics and human capital management.

As part of the school’s commitment to experience-based learning, Pitt Business HR students have the opportunity to complete real-world projects in their classes. Global companies in Pittsburgh work directly with our faculty to develop these unique projects, which incorporate organizational challenges in people analytics, workplace diversity, and training and development. Students put HR theory into practice, and have the opportunity to present their findings to company executives.

The Pitt Business HR major is aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) curriculum. Students are eligible to take the SHRM CP Exam program, which provides a significant competitive advantage on the job market.


Core Courses

Must complete with a C or better in order to proceed with the Human Resources Management major. 

  • Organizational Behavior
    Provides an overview of topics and concepts in the field of Organizational Behavior (OB). Emphasis is on developing a theoretical grasp of issues and problems and an understanding of practical implications of various theories of human behavior at work. Specific topics include leadership, motivation, teamwork, career issues, work roles, job enrichment, employee participation, and work and nonwork integration.

  • BUSHRM 1050: Human Resources Management
    Provides an introduction to the management of human resources at the organizational level. Human-resources management is viewed as an integral part of the basic management process and the orientation of the course is toward developing managerial skills useful in establishing organizational personnel policy. Specific topics include the role of human resources in the management process, human-resources planning and forecasting, job information systems, recruitment and selection, human-resources development, compensation, legal framework, and evaluation.
    Prerequisite/corequisite BUSORG 1020, 60 credits

Required Major Courses

  • BUSHRM 1675: Human Resources Staffing
    Provides an in-depth examination of the organizational-staffing process. Procedures for human-resource needs assessment such as personnel audits and forecasting are discussed. Recruitment strategies and recruitment sources are explored. The process of organizational choice by candidates may be covered. The emphasis is on understanding basic types of assessment tools and procedures for choosing new employees. Core concepts in measurement and validity are discussed. Issues relating to organizational entry and socialization may also be covered.
  • BUSHRM 1677: Training and Development
    With increasingly complex technologies, a more diverse workforce, industry globalization, and a tight labor market, organizations are turning to training and development as an option for meeting today's workplace challenges. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the concepts, processes, and issues associated with training and development. Many aspects will be emphasized included planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating training programs. Attention will also be given to broader issues such as employee development and training for specific needs.

    Prerequisite/corequisite: BUSORG 1020
  • BUSHRM 1680: Compensation & Performance Management
    Examines the general structure of an organization and the rewards employees seek in exchange for the efforts and contributions they provide. Topics include rewards and motivating work environment; government and union influences; job-content analysis, description, and evaluation; determining competitive relationships, developing pay structures; measuring performance and paying for performance; employee benefits; administration of the compensation plan; executive, managerial, professional, and sales compensation.
  • BUSHRM 1685: Employment & Labor Relations
    Provides a close examination of the day-to-day labor-management relationship and processes. Considers contract negotiations, contract administration, discipline and grievance procedures, and third-party conflict resolution assistance such as mediation, fact-finding, and arbitration. Emphasis is placed on the structure, organization, and objectives of the parties. The similarities and differences between private- and public-sector bargaining are also considered.

Elective Major Courses

Must complete at least two courses. 

  • BUSORG 1650: Issues in Career Management
    Focuses on the issue of careers in organizations or the sequences of jobs and occupations that a person will hold over his or her lifetime. Examines a variety of perspectives on career management. Focuses on the individual and organizational factors in career development by addressing issues such as career planning, job choice, work socialization, career stages, mentoring, and work and family concerns.

    Prerequisite: BUSORG 1020
  • BUSORG 1655: International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior
    Provides an introduction to organizational behavior in a global context. Emphasis is on applying core organizational behavior concepts such as leadership, motivation, and group processes, as well as more contemporary topics such as cultural diversity and expatriation, to workers in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Develops an understanding of culture and cross-cultural differences and an awareness of the key skills needed to interact effectively in cross-cultural settings.

    Prerequisite: BUSORG 1020
  • BUSORG 1660: Managing Diversity in Organizations
    Examines the similarities and differences in the work experiences of men and women within organizations. Also examines some of the individual and organizational consequences of gender and work. Topics include gender-role attitudes, occupational segregation, gender and leadership, sexual behavior within the workplace, career mobility, and workforce diversity.

    Prerequisite: BUSORG 1020
  • BUSHRM 1665: Negotiating in Business
    Negotiating permeates human interactions. It affects the balance and distribution of resources among nations, organizations, families, and individuals. In business, outcomes of negotiations influence the bottom line. Students will understand the theory behind successful negotiations; recognize situations that call for negotiations; explore the use of alternative negotiating strategies and tactics; and be able to analyze and carry out a successful negotiation.

  • BUSHRM 1670: Global Workforce Management & Change
    This course provides an integrative framework for understanding the business and legal challenges that are associated with effective workforce management around the world. As more and more companies try to leverage the benefits of a global labor market, it is critical to understand the challenges that managers must deal with as they try to coordinate work practices across country settings and prepare individuals for international assignments. Toward that end, we will examine how labor markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia compare in terms of labor costs, labor supply, workplace culture, and employment law. High-profile news events from developed and emerging economies will be used to illustrate the complex cultural and regulatory environment that multinational firms face in such areas as talent management, performance management, offshore outsourcing, downsizing and industrial relations. The last segment of the course will focus on the individual and organizational factors that promote successful expatriate assignments and globally-oriented careers.
  • BUSHRM 1687: Human Resources Planning & Strategy
    The role of human resources in creating a sustainable competitive advantage is covered in detail. Topics often include organizational factors (e.g., cultures, values) that impact HR planning and strategy, HR environmental analysis and competitor analysis, internal analysis of the HR system for competitive initiatives, HR contributions to business strategy formulation, human resources forecasting and planning, HR strategy implementation, succession planning, facilitating organizational change, downsizing and restructuring the organization, and HR aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

    Prerequisite/corequisite: BUSORG 1020, BUSHRM 1665, BUSHRM 1675, BUSHRM 1680, BUSHRM 1685
  • BUSHRM 1688: Human Resource Analytics
    In many companies, the practice of human resources is taking on an increasingly more strategic orientation. Where HR has for years served in a decidedly support focused role to the rest of the business, a number of progressive HR departments have recently secured places at executive strategy sessions with new tools that supply valid and reliable information showing the financial impact on and by human resources to the business as a whole. Additional tools offer predictive information that allow firms to shape plans, policies and programs in a manner that builds the competitive advantage of the firm’s resources. These new tools require additional, and sometimes, different, skill sets than those formerly covered in the HR curriculum. To prepare you to take leading edge jobs in HR this three credit elective in Human Resources centers on Human Resource Analytics. The course is designed to develop the aforementioned “different” skills sets in the human resource area. Specifically, the course will focus on building your proficiency in human resource data management, reporting, metrics and predictive analytics.

    Prerequisite BUSHRM 1050 Human Resource Management
  • BUSHRM 1689: Sports Management
    Many students aspire to careers in professional sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and MLB. This course recognizes that the sports industry is much broader than just professional sports teams, as it also includes firms in sports clothing, sports equipment, sports drinks, sports medicine, venue management, food and beverages, sports media, and sports marketing. The sports industry is a labor intensive industry with human resource and project management skills as key success factors. Planned topics, exercises and activities in the course include a look at gameday preparations; facilities management including a behind the scenes tour of a facility; player selection (through a draft simulation); and retention, coaching, licensing, sports media, and sports marketing.

Skills Needed

  • Able to communicate your thoughts, ideas, and information clearly and concisely both in writing and verbally
  • Listen by giving full attention, understanding points being made, and asking appropriate questions
  • Recognize problems and devise an appropriate plan of action to resolve them
  • Organize and interpret data
  • Work well with others especially in a team environment

Types of Jobs

  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Employee Relations
  • Global HR
  • Labor Relations
  • Organizational & Employee Development
  • Staffing/Recruiting
  • Training
  • Consulting

Types of Industries

  • Medium to Large Corporations
  • Retail
  • Government
  • Banking
  • Consulting Firms