Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

Brad Bell, program director, Executive Master of Human Resource Management

Reach your career goals, without interrupting your career.

The mission of the Cornell ILR School is to advance the world of work and prepare its future leaders. Our new Executive Master of Human Resource Management program extends that mission to working professionals who want a flexible program that prepares them for the next level of HR leadership. This innovative program takes only 15 months to complete.

Online coursework

Much of the coursework is completed online, making it flexible and convenient for busy working professionals. All courses are authored by Cornell ILR School faculty, and are taught by a combination of ILR faculty and senior HR practitioners. There are many opportunities for personal and direct interaction with faculty through small, seminar-style discussions, online chats, and face-to-face meetings during on-campus sessions.

You can work at your own pace and fit your coursework into your schedule. Expect each online course to require a minimum of six to eight hours of coursework, in addition to the assignments related to your case project.

On-campus sessions

The program's three one-week sessions of on-campus instruction are great opportunities to meet, learn from, and share best practices with the other HR professionals in your cohort. These are rigorous educational experiences during which you meet one-on-one with faculty, work closely with faculty and fellow students, and build the relationships that will become the foundation of your professional network.

Accommodations for your three on-campus sessions are at your expense; you can make arrangements at any of several local hotels, inns, or bed and breakfasts. We offer recommendations regarding lodging, transportation, travel agencies and more to help you facilitate your travel to Ithaca.

Case project

A critical component of the Executive Master of Human Resource Management program is the case project, through which you'll apply the knowledge and skills you learn on campus and online to a challenge facing your organization. The major objectives for this project are:

  • to bind learning from the program to your real-time challenges
  • to provide a small group of professional colleagues an opportunity to consult with one another and to facilitate mutual learning
  • to help you ground your learning in practical on-the-job and business-related experience
  • to provide concrete steps for the practical application of program content

Prior to the first on-campus session, you must develop a case that focuses on a critical business issue that has significant human resource management implications for your company. Throughout the project, you'll work with program faculty and advisors, as well as your cohort. On-campus sessions give you the opportunity to refine the scope and objectives of your case, receive feedback on your ideas from faculty and fellow students, and learn from their ideas and experiences.

The case project has five phases, each with its own deliverable:

Phase 1 – Identifying the Business Challenge
Phase 2 – Expanding the Business Case and Identifying HR Challenges
Phase 3 – Developing an HR Intervention
Phase 4 – Developing a Change Plan
Phase 5 – Final Presentation and Report