Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Master of Arts in Human Resources and Employment Relations program is now aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management's “HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.”

IUP is one of only two universities in the State System and one of nine universities in Pennsylvania with a program officially recognized by SHRM certification, which is the only human resources certification offered by SHRM, the world's largest human resources membership organization.

IUP's alignment period, which can be renewed through an application process, extends through 2025.

Focused on human resource professional development, SHRM has supported more than 100,000 employers representing 140 million employees worldwide. SHRM membership includes more than 300,000 human resources and business executives in 165 countries.

IUP has been home to a student chapter of SHRM, based in the Department of Employment and Labor Relations, since 2003. IUP's chapter and the Indiana County SHRM chapter formed a collaborative partnership in 2019. The chapters work together to offer professional development and networking programs. IUP's Graduate SHRM chapter is a very active student group that works to expand learning and educational opportunities by bringing in alumni speakers that share important tips to students as they begin to think about their careers. IUP Graduate SHRM also sponsors a leadership retreat to Walt Disney World every year to allow students to connect with leaders and educators from Disney on how to manage diverse workforces.

The HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates were developed by SHRM to define the minimum human resources content areas that should be studied by human resources students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The guidelines—created in 2006 and revalidated in 2010, 2013, and 2017—are part of SHRM's Academic Initiative to define human resources education standards taught in university business schools and help universities develop degree programs that follow these standards.

As a university with a degree program aligned to SHRM's curriculum guidelines, IUP students will be eligible to apply for the SHRM certification exam, provided that they meet eligibility requirements.

“This recognition is like the good housekeeping seal of approval for our program—it is the closest thing we have to accreditation,” David M. Piper, chair of IUP's Department of Employment and Labor Relations, said.

“Our curriculum is very strong and follows industry best practices, and now our students can add this important international recognition to their resume, and they will be better prepared to seek national certification through the Society for Human Resource Management,” he said. “This national recognition will improve the visibility of all graduates from the Department of Employment and Labor Relations program at IUP.”

IUP's Master of Arts in Human Resources and Employment Relations is a multidisciplinary, graduate-degree program designed to prepare professional practitioners in the field of employment and labor relations and human resources in public and private management, unions, government agencies, and neutral and service organizations. Students can complete the program in one year through multiple learning modalities. The program can be taken through face-to-face instruction, online instruction and distance education using Zoom technology that allows students to remotely attend class.

IUP's program is designed to provide the most flexibility to the learning needs of all students: students can learn through online courses, they can Zoom into face-to-face courses, or they can come to campus and experience the traditional graduate learning experience and work hand-in-hand with faculty in the department. The department also provides several graduate assistantships that help defer costs to students.