Human Resource Management Certificate: Curriculum

Course Overview

The program is a 12-week intensive course covering the main functional areas of Human Resource Management, addressing subjects relating to People, Organization, Workplace and Strategy. Rather than using only one instructor for the course, we have slated multiple instructors so that an expert in the field will lead each of the weekly topics. In short, we have opted for professional expertise for each class over instructor continuity throughout the course. We believe the program will be of value to a wide range of individuals, from the HR professional preparing for the SPHR/PHR or SHRM certification exams, line managers, small business owners, to a prospective HR professional seeking to establish a career in the HR field. No prior experience or education is required for admission to this program. This program has been designated as a Preferred Provider and is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

You can expect each instructor to supplement and go beyond the information presented in your textbook. Careful study of assigned readings prior to class will result in your optimal benefit from the class. We have been offering our Certificate for over 18 years and have over 1100 graduates from this program. A few details about the program are listed below for your reference.

The program combines technical knowledge with skill building in the following areas:

  • Management Practices
  • Managing a Diverse Workforce
  • The Legal Context
  • Selection and Placement
  • Training and Development
  • Compensation
  • Benefits Administration
  • Conflict and Dispute Resolution
  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Employee Development
  • Health, Safety, and Security

Who Should Attend

  • Seasoned professionals who desire a systematic and comprehensive review of
    Human Resource Management
  • HR practitioners preparing for the PHR, SPHR or SHRM certification exams
  • Professionals whose primary training in Human Resource Management has been on-the-job training
  • Early careerists who aspire to work in the Human Resource Management field
  • Managers who need current, specialized knowledge
  • Small business persons who do not have in-house professional Human Resource Management expertise

Please note that this is a professional development course, and upon meeting the course requirements, you will earn a completion certificate in Human Resource Management from SSU’s School of Business and Economics and the School of International and Extended Education (joint program). This course does not earn credits towards an undergraduate or graduate degree, but is recognized as continuing education by current and future employers.

Preparation for Professional Examination

This program may be used to prepare professionals for HR certification exams, such as the Professional in Human Resources Certificate (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources Certificate. Course fees do not include the examination, nor is there an affiliation with any certification organization.


Our class will be held live via Zoom this term. Instructions will be emailed upon registration.


Attendance for the whole class session is mandatory. One absence during the semester is permitted without makeup. If an additional absence occurs, we permit the participant to make up this absence in the semester immediately following the course without any added expense.  The certificate will be conferred after the make-up class has been completed, and this must be completed the following semester (no extensions permitted).  Excessive absenteeism will directly affect your ability to receive a certificate. 


Image of front cover of the Human Resources textbookRequired Textbook: Lussier and Hendon (2018) Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, and Skill Development, Third Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc.   
ISBN 9781506360348 (paperback) or 9781506360331 (looseleaf)

Our textbook has been selected because of its focus on practical application and its alignment with HR competencies as defined by the Society of Human Resource Management. This text also comes with a companion website that offers self-study resources to ensure your understanding of the HR concepts. This textbook may be purchased or rented online (Amazon or the publisher directly:, or purchased at the SSU Bookstore.  Please note that the textbook information forms the foundation of the course content, but the instructors each evening will be supplementing this text by providing timely and California-specific information.

Please note that while there are no tests in this program, attendance is required as are weekly assigned readings . Students will also benefit from participation in the HRM online class forum on SSU's Canvas. For more information, please attend an information meeting or contact SSU Extended and International Education at 707-664-2394.

Testing and Assessment

While we do not require students to complete any exams or quizzes in order to successfully complete the program, online quizzes are available through our textbook website that students can use each week to assess their knowledge.  This is highly recommended to ensure understanding of key concepts.  

Online Participation

Upon registration, all students will be given a Sonoma State email account and login for our online course platform, Canvas. All students must check this email address at least weekly and access the online platform to access reading assignments and presentations prior to each class. Assignments, presentations, and all other course communication will be through Canvas. Computers are available in the Schultz Information Center (Library) for student use. For instructions on how to add the Sonoma State email address to your email client or phone, please see the instructions at

Assessment of Instructors

You will be asked to assess your experience with each instructor and the overall course through surveys. This is a regular part of our program and has helped us continually improve our instruction.  

Certificate of Completion

In order to be awarded the Certificate of Completion, students must successfully complete all twelve modules (36 hours) of instruction. Make-up sessions are offered the following semester if students miss sessions


The course fee is $825.

Register online early. Course with limited enrollment fill quickly.