Human Resources Development—Current Students

A student in a classPlease note: New applications to the human resource development program are not being accepted. Instead, consider applying for the Master of Leadership in Organizational Learning and Performance.

The information below applies to current Western Michigan University students already admitted to the Master of Arts in Human Resources Development program in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology who are planning to continuing with the original program and plan to graduate with their Master of Arts in Human Resources Development.


This program is intended for students seeking professional positions in the interdisciplinary field of workplace learning and performance, which subsumes practice in such areas as training and development, performance technology, instructional design and technology and organization development.


This successful program developed in 1983 is focused on research and preparation for the practice of human resources development in a variety of organizations and industries. Graduates of the program hold leadership and professional positions in regional and global companies, nonprofit organizations, education and the public sector.

Curricular goals

The program is intended to meet the needs of three major audiences:

  • Persons with related experience seeking entry into the human resources development profession.
  • Current human resources development professionals seeking graduate education.
  • Current human resources development professionals seeking to expand current skills through advanced professional development.

The program is designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills that enable them to effectively contribute to improving the value and business impact of human resources development products and services. The aim of the program is to prepare graduates in the concepts, methods and tools that allow them to play leadership roles in the design and delivery of human resources development functions and services. Graduates will study and achieve an enhanced understanding of adult learning, human performance and organizational effectiveness in two major domains:

  • Topics central to the design and delivery of effective learning interventions through the study of learning theory, needs analysis, instructional design and evaluation.
  • Topics central to the leadership and management of an effective human resources development function within an organization through the study of general systems theory, organizational effectiveness and leadership processes.

Admission requirements

We welcome applicants who have completed an accredited baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, three letters of recommendations, three years of work experience and a statement of purpose outlining professional goals. Applicants should contact the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology at (269) 387-5100 for detailed information on admission to the program.

Program requirements

CECP core (9 hours) - required

  • CECP 6010 Research methods
  • CECP 6070 Multicultural Counseling and Psychology (diversity)
  • CECP 6220 Psychoeducational Consultation

HRD core (15 hours) - required

  • CECP 6400 Principles of HRD
  • CECP 6410 Fundamentals of Needs Analysis
  • CECP 6420 Evaluation of HRD
  • CECP 6430 Project Management in HRD

Capstone project (3 hours)

  • CECP 6860

Practice area options (12 hours)

 Students will have the option of selecting elective courses in one or more of six practice area specialties listed below. The selection of specific courses is done in consultation with and approval of academic advisor.

  • Counseling and organizational psychology
  • Human performance and technology
  • Instructional design and technology
  • Organizational communication and development
  • Public administration and leadership
  • School leadership and administration

Related professional organizations

Academy of Human Resource Development
American Society of Training and Development
International Society of Performance Improvement
Society of Human Resource Management

Additional information

For further information regarding the master's degree in human resources development, contact:

Dr. Larry Buzas
Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
3521 Sangren Hall
Western Michigan University
Phone: (269) 387-3881
Fax: (269) 387-5090