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Graduate Certificates

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Graduate Certificates in Human Relations

The Department of Human Relations offers two graduate certificates:  Helping Skills in Human Relations and Human Resource Development and Workforce Diversity.  These certificates can be taken by individuals with a bachelor’s degree, or by those who have or are pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Oklahoma.   All course work taken for the certificates will apply to the Master’s of Human Relations (MHR).  However, the certificate can be taken separately from the MHR.  If you complete a certificate before you are in the MHR program, only 9 hours of the certificate coursework will count towards the MHR.


The Graduate Certificate in Helping Skills in Human Relations provides professionals in a wide variety of helping professions with the knowledge and skills to improve relationships, and to be effective and ethical helpers.  Individuals who work or desire to work in helping agencies, non-profit and business organizations, government institutions, the military, schools and universities, religious organizations, athletics, advising, personnel services, hospitals, or any other setting in which helping skills are a necessity will benefit from this program. 

The certificate in Helping Skills in Human Relations requires 12 hours of course work: 

HR 5003 Theoretical Foundations in Human Relations

HR 5463 Counseling Skills in Human Relations

HR 5453 Ethical Issues in Human Relations Counseling

and a 3 credit hour counseling elective. 

Elective options include but are not limited to Career Counseling, Group Counseling, Women and Mental Health, Social Justice Counseling, Violence Against Women, Counseling Approaches, Multicultural Counseling, Counseling with Diverse Populations, Psychosocial Development, Chemical Dependency, Diagnosis in HR Counseling, Crisis Intervention, Posttraumatic Stress, Family Assessment and Intervention, and Recovery from Addiction.   Theoretical Foundations of Human Relations and Ethical Issues in HR Counseling are available as online classes, and some of the elective options are available online or as directed readings.

To receive the certificate, you must be admitted to the MHR program, an HR certificate program, or any other graduate program at OU.  You must complete the Graduate Certificate Program Report (GCPR) form for the graduate certificate you wish to receive and submit it to the appropriate staff member.           


The Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Development and Workforce Diversity (HRD/WD) is designed to prepare students for careers in a wide range of professions, local, state, and government agencies, healthcare, and numerous other workforce industries. Earning the HRD/WD certificate demonstrates a dedication to individual growth and lifelong learning.

Human Resource Development (HRD) is a growing field of practice that develops the skills and talents needed for today’s workforce. Because the workforce is composed of multiple social groups and social identities, individuals must work collaboratively and cooperatively to achieve competitive advantage for employers. Sustaining a workplace climate that is conducive to learning and development is crucial for that goal.

The HRD/WD certificate program is designed to develop:

· the necessary interpersonal and organizational competencies for applied and practical perspectives of the human resources profession,

· an awareness of workforce trends influencing human resource practices,

· an understanding of human behaviors in the workplace and ways that various organizational structures and work processes influence such behavior,

· critical awareness for minimizing negative workplace behaviors and sustaining a healthy organizational climate,

· philosophical and ethical perspectives needed to address social justice issues in organizations, and

· fundamental strategies for designing and implementing programs that attract, develop, and retain workforce talent.

The HRD/WD certificate requires 12 hours of graduate course work:

HR 5143 Human Resources for Human Relations Professional

HR 5323 Organizational Behavior

HR 5053 Diversity and Justice in Organizations

HR 5833 Human Resource Development

Note: You can apply the above courses from the HRD/WD towards a graduate degree in Human Relations. You can also apply related courses earned in the MHR to the HRD/WD. However, you cannot apply courses completed in one certificate program towards another graduate certificate. If you enroll in the certificate program first, you should enroll in the MHR degree program before you complete the last class so that those courses can be applied to the degree.

To earn the HRD/WD certificate, you must be admitted to the MHR program, another Human Relations certificate program, or any other graduate program at the University of Oklahoma. You must complete the Graduate Certificate Program Report (GCPR) form for the graduate certificate you wish to receive and submit it to the appropriate staff member. Faculty contact for the HRD/WD certificate is

Dr. Marilyn Y. Byrd. Email:


You can double count courses towards a graduate degree and a graduate certificate if you are in the MHR program.  However, you cannot double count classes towards more than one graduate certificate.  If you do the certificate first, be sure to enroll in the MHR degree program before you finish the last class so you can count all the classes towards the degree.


Admission to Graduate Certificate Programs

Individuals interested in pursuing graduate certificates must have a bachelor's or graduate degree and an overall 3.0 GPA. 

Current Graduate Students: Those students who have already been admitted to the Master of Human Relations program or another OU Graduate program need to complete an Addition or Change of Program request in order to also be eligible to earn an MHR graduate certificate. The Change of Program request will allow students to complete the MHR certificate program of choice in conjunction with their existing Master's program. 

Other Prospective Students: Those who are interested in pursuing either the Helping Skills in Human Relations or the Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Development and Workforce Diversity and are not already admitted to a Norman-based graduate program must complete the online application

Application Requirements: Students must submit a degree-conferring transcript and the application fee. Students who have questions about the application process may visit for more info.