About the hr department


The Department of Human Relations was founded in 1970 with a mission to train professionals in the field of human relations. It was established during a period of time in which social activism and social justice was a prominent, visible, and developing ethic within the American culture. The program has grown in size and scope during the past four decades, while it has maintained an orientation toward social justice through a multidisciplinary perspective. Human Relations is a multi-disciplinary field of study and professional practice that incorporates teaching and learning techniques which promote democratic values, advocacy, and social justice. The program provides the skills and knowledge to work with diverse populations and to confront systemic discrimination and oppression in a variety of workplaces.

What is the importance of understanding Human Relations?

Our History and Founder


Dr. George Henderson Dr. Henderson

Dr. George Henderson became a University of Oklahoma faculty member in 1967. He was the third African-American appointed to a full-time faculty position. During his tenure, he has achieved many notable achievements, including four distinguished professorships and fifty University and community awards and honors.

Dr. Henderson created the Human Relations Program. He was dean of the College of Liberal Studies from 1996 to 2000. In 2001, the University established the Henderson Scholars Program to honor Dr. Henderson. Also, the Henderson-Tolson Cultural Center bears his name.

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Dr. Henderson is a civil rights scholar and lecturer. He has authored or coauthored thirty books and fifty articles. He has served as a consultant to dozens of state and national organizations. In 2003, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Also in 2003, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

OETA Interview with Dr. Henderson (Originally broadcast on February 22, 2011)

Learn more about Dr. Henderson

our graduates


Graduates of the MHR program work in a wide variety of professional settings. MHR graduates have an understanding of the theories of human personality, organizational development, and multicultural issues. The have learned how to analyze critical current issues and problems and to evaluate the validity of research.


The Master in Human Relations program can be highly personalized to fit the learning objectives of each student, and every graduate has a thorough understanding of issues, approaches and skills related to his or her areas of special academic emphasis. In addition, each graduate has spent the time equivalency of nearly a full semester in a supervised internship that has provided the student with the experience of applying classroom theories to real life situations.

The Master in Human Relations has grown to become one of the largest graduate programs at The University of Oklahoma. The degree is offered at the Norman and Tulsa campuses, and through OU’s Oklahoma’s College of Continuing Education’s Advanced Programs on selected military bases in the United States and Europe.




The Master in Human Relations program is taught by diverse and committed faculty members. We invite you to meet them by going to our main faculty page on the website of the Department of Human Relations. There you will find links to the pages of individual faculty members.