Master of Science in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MSIR) – West Virginia University

A program with an outstanding reputation for imparting employer Human Resource Management practices

Ours is one of the earliest Human Resources programs established in the United States and is among a very limited number of human resources/industrial relations full-time day programs in the country. Our graduates are excellently positioned for a wide range of management positions, and our program has an exceptional placement record, enhanced significantly by our extensive alumni network and employer base.

A curriculum driven by employer needs

WVU MSIR students graduate able to analyze and solve problems, apply leadership and interpersonal skills, and find efficient and fair ways to balance the needs of employees, employers, and society at large. The curriculum focuses on some of the most important issues in helping today’s organizations solve problems: global human resource business partnering, performance management and enhancement, increasing productivity, worker participation, expanding and declining labor markets, and new methods of decision-making in the human resource field. Students in our MSIR program enjoy a high level of student/faculty interaction as they prepare for work in a variety of functions, including:

  • Human Resource Management

  • Labor Relations

  • Facilitation and Consulting

  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution

  • Organizational Development

  • Change Management

  • Training and Development

  • Compensation and Benefits Design

  • Employee Plans Administration

  • Equal Opportunity Compliance

  • Human Resources Consulting

Global focus

The MSIR curriculum incorporates a strong international emphasis. All domestic MSIR students will participate in a two week study abroad experience in Europe at the end of the first year. The students visit many European companies and experience the difference of Human Resources in a global economy. In addition, students have the option to choose the Global Track focus and study abroad a whole semester at the University of Strasbourg in France.

A richly diverse student body

Students in our program come from a wide range of backgrounds. They may have undergraduate degrees in psychology, business, sociology, history, political science, communications, engineering, and many other fields.

Active co-curricular activities to enhance learning

MSIR students can participate in a wide variety of co-curricular learning opportunities. Many are co-sponsored by the Industrial Relations Student Association (IRSA), Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and the MSIR department. These include speakers and workshops, internships, social events, and honor banquets. Students have numerous opportunities to forge friendships, build leadership skills, and receive personal guidance from a formal alumni mentor process. Corporate sponsors of practicum events include firms such as Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Westinghouse, PPG, Nestle Waters, Amazon.com, Marathon, Honeywell, Dow, and General Electric.

Student Placement Success

Graduates from the MSIR program enjoy successful placement in a diverse group of high quality employers and economic sectors. Recent graduates have accepted challenging positions with national firms such as Bechtel Corporation, General Electric, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, PPG Industries, Westinghouse, Eaton, Dow Chemical, Shell, Marathon Petroleum and more. The public sector also finds great value in the WVU MSIR with students going to the United Way, West Virginia University Department of Human Resources, Department of the Navy, and the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service to name several. The consulting arena has sought graduates with recent placements at Accenture, Mercer Consulting, Helios HR, Towers Watson and Korn- Ferry International. Placement rates for the MSIR program are driven by: on-campus recruiting by large national firms, the use of the College’s Center for Career Development, and the strong involvement of an active alumni. While placement is a function of employer needs and graduate matches, the WVU student is seen as highly competitive in the market place by employers who actively seek Human Resources graduates at the Masters level. The MSIR program has one of the most revered placement rates for graduates, at approximately 90% upon graduation.

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