30 Best Online Human Resources Degree Programs [2021 Guide]

Home » 30 Best Online Human Resources Degree Programs [2021 Guide]

Ready to start your journey?

Have you ever considered a career in human resources? Now may be a great time to work towards earning your online human resources degree. There are plenty of online degree programs available covering different branches of human resources.

Online Human Resources Degree

Choosing to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or even an online master’s in human resources can help lead to a successful career. Businesses big and small are often looking to fill positions in their human resources department.

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Obtaining a human resources degree at any level can help make you an excellent candidate for the career you’ve always wanted.

Online Human Resources Degree

human resource student studying on her computer

Those in human resources are responsible for recruiting, training new hires, explaining employee benefits and company policies, managing payroll, and much more. Acting as a go-between for management and employees is another important part of the job. Good communication skills and the ability to mediate disputes are desirable skills for those working in human resources.

Those with a human resources degree often become:

  • Human resources specialists
  • Human resources coordinators or managers
  • Benefits specialists or managers
  • Labor relations specialists
  • Development/training specialists or managers
  • Recruiting coordinators
  • Technical recruiters
  • Health and safety specialists

After completing your human resources program, there will be many human resources and other business-related careers that you can pursue.

Why Earn Your Degree Online?

human resource student studying online at home

One reason to earn your human resources degree online is that it can be convenient. Many people with full-time jobs, children, or other responsibilities pursue degrees online because of the chance to work from home at their own pace.

Human Resources Curriculum & Courses

human resource students studying in university classroom

When it comes to a human resources curriculum, there are several courses you’ll likely have to take. In addition to your basic human resources courses, you will likely also take classes in business administration.

Here are some common courses taken in human resources programs.

Introduction to Financial Accounting: This course gives an overview of accounting for business purposes, budgeting, understanding business taxes, assessing risks, and more.

Fundamentals of HR: This is a core human resources course that discusses the responsibilities of human resources employees.

Employment Law: This course is designed to help students build a basic understanding of employment law, covering such topics as safe working conditions, how many hours an employee can work, OSHA regulations, etc.

human resource managers drafting a contract during a meeting

Compensation and Benefits: This course covers the different types of benefits companies may provide to their employees and appropriate compensation, as well as how to effectively explain these things to others.

Effective Recruiting Techniques: HR employees often help with recruiting new employees. This course can help you learn the best business practices for recruiting.

Operations Management: This class can help you learn a bit about management and how it relates to planning and directing a department when it comes to services, products, and staff.

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Labor Relations: This course examines various workplace policies and can help you learn how to deal with conflicts and disputes in the workplace.

human resource managers welcoming a trainee

Effective Employee Training: This class can help prepare you for another important aspect of HR—training new hires. It covers how to effectively train employees, evaluate training programs, assess new hires, and other aspects of training new hires.

Organizational Development: This class covers behavioral science principles and how to use them to improve your organization.

Workplace Diversity: This course discusses how to work with people from diverse backgrounds to improve the inclusivity and diversity of your organization. It can help you learn how to create a healthy and diverse workplace, including training staff to work well with all types of people.

In addition to these possible classes, you’ll likely be required to take a variety of general education classes.

Human Resources Concentrations & Specialties

Human Resources Consultant talking to a colleague

Earning your bachelor’s degree in human resources can help make you eligible for a variety of jobs in human resources. There are also some specialty areas of human resources that you may focus your talents on. Focusing on a specialty could potentially open up even more jobs for you.

Strategic Management: This specialization is more focused on business strategy. It can help you acquire the skills needed to become strategically minded and to develop an understanding of an organization and how to manage it.

Benefits Administration: This specialization focuses on employee benefits. It covers topics such as how to explain benefits to employees, how to conduct research to keep up with the best and most competitive benefits, the costs of benefits, and benefits laws.

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Compensation Management: Similar to benefits administration, this concentration focuses on effective compensation strategies and techniques, as well as the analysis and implementation of employees’ compensation and benefits.

hr managers in a meeting

Employment and Labor Law: This is an in-depth concentration on employment law at the local, state, and federal levels. It covers such topics as gender pay equality, salary vs. hourly pay, employment contracts and agreements, overtime, and annual and sick leave policies.

Recruiting: Although all human resources degree programs have a recruitment component to them, if you choose to specialize in recruiting, you should learn advanced recruitment techniques, as well as how to design incentives for new employees.

Training and Development: This is an in-depth exploration of how to train new employees, develop and evaluate training programs, track organizational change, and conduct competency assessments of new hires.

Any of these concentrations may be beneficial when trying to figure out which area in human resources will lead you to the career of your dreams.

Online HR Degree Careers & Salaries

Online HR Degree Careers and Salaries

Whether they have the words “human resources” in their title or not, there are a lot of jobs that are part of the human resources field and can be pursued after earning a degree in human resources. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the jobs that can be pursued with a human resources degree and their average salaries:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Chief Human Resources Officers $185,950
Compensation and Benefits Managers $125,130
Human Resources Managers $121,220
Training and Development Managers $115,640
Administrative Services and Facilities Managers $98,890
Training and Development Managers (Healthcare and Social Assistance) $98,470
Labor Relations Specialists (Management of Companies and Enterprises) $90,620
Labor Relations Specialists $73,240
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists $67,190
Training and Development Specialists $62,700

Management positions often pay the most money, but even at the specialist range, the pay for human resources careers is often quite good. Considering the national median salary for the average American right now is $41,950 a year, pursuing a career in human resources may be a very lucrative decision.

Accreditation

Online Human Resources Degree Accreditation

When you find a college or university you’re truly interested in enrolling in, it will be important to check if it’s regionally accredited. You can find out if your college of choice is regionally accredited by visiting the school’s website or visiting the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) website.

Regional accreditation is a long-standing standard that shows future employers that your education has met industry requirements. It also allows you to transfer class credits from one regionally accredited college to another more easily. This can be helpful if you decide to continue your education at another university, such as graduate school.

Human Resources Licensure & Certifications

human resource manager shaking hands with an applicant

There are licenses and certifications that can make you a stronger candidate for your dream job. While none of these certifications are required for you to be hired into a human resources position, they may give you an edge when going up against others for a new job in your field.

Professional in Human Resources (PHR): This certification focuses on the actual operations of human resources and is meant for HR associates with both logistical and tactical HR experience.

Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR): This certification is usually sought by those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources and are working to move into management positions.

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Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR): This certification has sections on the global development of human resources policies and global recruitment.

You can work towards earning one or all of these certifications through the Human Resources Certification Institute, also known as the HRCI. A certification may not only help you get noticed by a future employer, but it can also help ensure your training is up-to-date.

Online Human Resources Degree Professional Organizations

human resource managers meeting other people during a seminar

There may be more needed than just getting your degree if you want to build a successful human resources career. Joining a professional organization can give you opportunities to network with other professionals who work in human resources.

Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM): This organization provides members with online learning and offline professional development workshops all over the world.

National Human Resources Association (NHRA): The NHRA’s goal is to advance the careers of human resources professionals through networking, professional development services, and educational training.

Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD): This organization seeks to develop the field of human resources through research and scholarly publications.

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International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR): This group provides HR professionals with professional development, education, resources, jobs, and HR news.

International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP): The IAAP is a non-profit professional association for human resources professionals that works to provide its members with the insights, skills, and knowledge needed to advance their HR careers.

In addition to networking, professional organizations can help you advance your career and keep you up-to-date with the most current laws, practices, techniques, and skills needed to stay at the top of your field.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Human resources degree students

There are quite a few financial aid options available for you to apply for if you want to obtain your human resources degree.

You can apply for Federal Pell Grants and federal loans from the federal government. You can visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website to learn more about how you can qualify.

Unless they are misused, Pell Grants don’t need to be repaid. Federal loans must be paid back, along with accrued interest. Loans from the government usually have lower interest rates than other loans. You can also apply for loans from private banks, credit unions, or other loan institutions.

Another great option for getting financial help to pay for college is by finding scholarships. You may find scholarships on your college’s website or by doing good old fashion research.

There are a lot of different types of scholarships out there. Some are awarded based on degree types, GPA, exceptional talents or abilities, or written papers on specific topics.

While researching, you can look for businesses that award scholarships based on criteria that fit you. You may apply for as many scholarships as you want. In some cases, you may be able to apply for the same scholarship more than once.

Get a Human Resources Degree Online

Can You Get a Human Resources Degree Online?

Yes, many students obtain human resources degrees online.

There are many online and on-campus schools that offer online degree programs in human resources. In fact, there are schools offering human resources degrees at all levels online, from an associates degree in human resources online all the way up to a doctoral degree.

What Is the Best Online School for Human Resources?

There is no one best online school for human resources, but there may be an online school for human resources that best fits your needs. To start finding yours, you can look for an accredited institution that has your desired major and fits your budget.

You can also check out reviews of the school to see if the professors’ teaching styles and the online schedule work for you. If you find a school that matches your needs and your budget, that should be a great school for you.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Human Resources Degree?

human resources manager meeting with colleagues

It usually takes about 60 credit hours to earn an associate’s degree and 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources. Traditionally, this takes 2 years and 4 years, respectively. Depending on a number of factors, it could take you less time or more.

For example, if you only take one or two classes a semester, it can take you longer. If you take a full load of classes each semester and then take summer classes too, you’ll likely finish faster.

What Kind of Degree Do You Need for Human Resources?

human resource managers interviewing a job applicant

The type of degree you’ll want to pursue (i.e. associate, bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) will depend on what type of job you hope to get after graduation. Some upper-level management positions require bachelor’s degrees. If you want to move into a director’s position, that may require you to have a master’s degree.

If you just want a job as a specialist or general human resources employee, an associate degree will likely suffice for that. The key is to do your research. You can research your dream job to find the typical qualifications for someone who holds that job.

If you already work in human resources and are trying to advance your career, you can talk to your boss or immediate supervisor and ask them what type of degree you’ll need to advance to the next few levels in the field.

What Kind of Topics Will I Focus on in Human Resources?

human resource managers in a meeting

In a human resources degree program, your courses will probably focus mostly on the types of responsibilities you’ll be required to perform in a human resources career.

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These commonly include employment law, labor relations, employee training, benefits and compensation, recruiting, workplace disputes/mediation, and other similar topics.

How Much Does an HR Degree Online Cost?

Tuition rates vary at different colleges and universities, but the average cost per credit hour for an online human resources degree is about $315. Assuming a bachelor’s degree takes about 120 hours to earn, you’re looking at an average tuition cost of about $37,800.

What Kind of Job Can I Get with a Human Resources Bachelors Degree Online?

There are many potential jobs you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree in human resources. Many with this degree become human resources managers, benefits and compensation managers, labor relations specialists, operations managers, human resources consultants, technical recruiters, and training and development specialists.

Universities Offering Online Human Resources Degrees

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bellevue University

Bellevue University

Bellevue University began in 1966, and over time, many changes in developments have thrust this university into the forefront of public education, including as a leader in online learning. Bellevue University has a wide array of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that allow students flexible education in a variety of curriculum options.

  • BS in Management – Human Resources

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Brenau University

Brenau University

Beginning as a way for women to have access to higher education, Brenau University started in 1878 as a private educational institution. Today, Brenau University serves both men and women seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of academic programs. Students attending BU have the option to learn online or on-campus.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

Brenau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

Built in 1914 in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Colorado Christian University is among the top private education facilities in the West (U.S. News & World Report). Offering a variety of educational paths that lead to undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degrees, Colorado Christian University strives to meet the needs of all learners.

  • BS in Human Resource Management

Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Columbia College

Columbia College

Columbia College began in 1854 and was initially designed to provide educational options to women. With growth and development, this private, faith-based college has become a co-educational institution for higher learning and paves the way for both women and men to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of academic areas.

  • BA in Human Resource Management
  • BS in Human Resource Management

Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Concordia University—St. Paul

Concordia University St Paul

Concordia University—St. Paul is a private Christian school that was founded in 1893. Serving more than 5,000 students annually through e-learning and campus-based learning options, CSP has over thirty academic programs that help students obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students from all over the globe look to CSP for their educational needs.

  • BA in Human Resource Management

Concordia University—St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Davenport University

Davenport University

Opened in 1866 as a private learning facility, Davenport University assists learners in obtaining their vocational and personal education goals.

Providing an assortment of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in a variety of program areas, Davenport University allows students to participate in the education process via online or face-to-face learning options.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University began in 1918 and became a part of the North Dakota public education system in 1987. Known for its leadership programs, museums, and renowned learning facilities, Dickinson State University offers students the means to earn associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees.

Popular programs at DSU include Human Resources, Business, and Education.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

Dickinson State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DeSales University

DeSales University

DeSales University was opened in 1964 by the Catholic Church as a private educational facility. With an emphasis on personal development and character education, each undergraduate and graduate degree offered at DU is designed to help students understand themselves and their global community better.

Some programs offered at DU include Health Care, Human Services, and Business.

  • BA in Human Resource Management

DeSales University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Florida International University

Florida International University

Florida International University was established in 1965 as a public research facility for higher learning. Offering a range of degree programs that lead to undergraduate or graduate degrees, FIT works with students worldwide to engage in discovery and innovation in health, science, and space exploration.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida Tech

Florida Tech

Born in 1958, the Florida Institute of Technology is a world-renowned, private facility where students can learn and discover through research-driven academics. Florida Tech utilizes practical learning and technological advances to help students become industry leaders as they pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees.

  • BA in Human Resources Management

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University began its extensive educational journey in 1902. It is a public university that strives to gives students a dynamic college education at an affordable tuition rate.

Offering numerous undergraduate and graduate degree programs, FHSU helps students choose degree paths that best fit their needs by including hybrid and e-learning options in its learning options.

  • BBA in Management – Human Resource Management

FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Geneva College

Geneva College

Offering a private education that is based on the Christian worldview, Geneva College opened in 1848 and has been serving as a liberal arts educational facility ever since.

More than 1,400 students annually take part in the numerous undergraduate and master’s programs offered at Geneva College. Each student at Geneva College, no matter their program, is immersed in humanities.

  • BPS in Human Resources

Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Golden Gate University

Golden Gate University

Paving the way for higher education since 1901, Golden Gate University gives students access to private education at an affordable tuition rate. Thousands of students around the globe take part in the many undergraduate and graduate degrees offered at Golden Gate University.

Online programs at GGU allow more flexibility for military members and busy adults.

  • BA in Management – Human Resources Management
  • BS in Business – Human Resources Management

Golden Gate University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Hampton University

Hampton University

Offering an array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs, Hampton University strives to blend hands-on learning with character building and real-world solutions to give students a well-rounded education.

This historically black research institution has been offering a world-class education since opening in 1868. Popular programs include Education, Human Resources, and Healthcare.

  • BS in Systems Organization and Management – Human Resources Management

Hampton University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University

Indiana State University began offering public education in 1865. Today, Indiana State University helps its diverse student body obtain undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Indiana State University offers students opportunities to engage in campus activities or complete studies through its online platform.

  • BS in Human Resource Development for Higher Education and Industry

Indiana State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University began in 1946 to assist in educating military veterans but now serves thousands of students each year through online and traditional learning.

Students enrolled in LeTourneau University have access to a variety of academic majors in which they can pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees. This faith-based, private school serves students of all religious denominations.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Liberty University

Liberty University

Opened in 1771, Liberty University has had a long-standing commitment to providing private, spiritual education to students around the world. Liberty has more than 600 academic programs in which students can pursue undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees.

Some of the programs available at Liberty include Law, Religious Studies, Engineering, and Human Resources.

  • BS in Business Administration – Human Resource Management

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

McKendree University

McKendree University

Seeking to educate others since 1828, McKendree University is a private college that serves students throughout the nation and across 25 other countries. As the longest-standing university in Illinois, McKendree University’s academic portfolio is profound.

Offering a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, MU works to provide students with opportunities to excel in their study areas.

  • BBA in Human Resource Management

McKendree University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University is a public postsecondary school with a high achievement record that has been helping students reach their higher education goals since 1971. Students attending Metropolitan State University have access to an array of academic fields leading to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.

MSU offers a virtual learning format as well as traditional campuses.

  • BS in Human Resource Management

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University

Park University

Parker University is a private educational facility that opened in 1982. It leads the way in health care, technology, and business education. Parker University offers an array of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degrees and strives to help students gain practical skills during the education process.

  • BS in Management – Human Resources

Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Regent University

Regent University

Regent University is a private, Christian school that opened in 1977. They seek to serve individuals looking to excel in their personal and professional goals.

Offering a wide array of academic programs, Regent University has multiple paths to help students earn associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. RU serves students around the nation and throughout the world.

  • BS in Human Resource Management

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Regis University

Regis University

Regis University began in 1877 as a private, Jesuit school. Today, Regis University has a diverse student population and serves students throughout the world. It offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees that can be accessed through e-learning and in-person learning formats.

Some programs offered at Regis University are Human Resources, Health Care, and Technology.

  • BS in Business – Human Resource Management
  • BS in Human Resource Management

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University was opened by the Catholic Church in 1889. This private, faith-based school provides a fundamental education to a diverse student body. Saint Leo University applies practical learning activities to each of the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees offered.

Offering numerous academic programs to choose from, SLU strives to help all its students reach their full potential.

  • BA in Human Resource Management

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Opened in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a public univeristy that has hundreds of academic programs for students to choose from. SNHU has high standards for each of its associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degree programs. Allowing online access to many degree paths is just one way that SNHU strives to help students succeed.

  • BSBA in Human Resource Management

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

Founded in 1972, Thomas Edison State University has an array of associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degree programs to choose from. Students at this public university are allowed to submit comprehensive portfolios and proof of professional experience or participate in exams to prove their academic field competence. Online study options are also available at TESU.

  • BSBA in Human Resources Management/Organizational Management

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham began in 1969 as a public academic facility. Today, UAB enrolls more than 22,000 students each year and offers over 140 academic majors and minors.

Each undergrad and graduate degree program at UAB is packed with research-based studies and chances to learn practical skills to help students become leaders in their prospective fields.

  • BS in Human Resource Management

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

Opened in 1947, the University of Maryland Global Campus works to serve students who need flexibility in the educational process.

Offering an assortment of undergraduate and graduate degree options, UMGC offers students the opportunity to turn personal skills and experiences into college degree credits. This public facility provides online and campus-based learning.

  • Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management

UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of the Incarnate Word

University of the Incarnate Word

Lying between San Antonio and Alamo Heights, Texas, the University of the Incarnate Word has been giving students a faith-based education since opening in 1881.

This private university believes that education starts at a young age and therefore operates several secondary schools, as well as providing the means to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees.

  • BA in Human Resources

The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University

Western Governors University was established in 1997 with the idea that education can be achieved without walls or boundaries.

Offering students a private education at an affordable price, Western Governors University provides access to a plethora of academic programs that lead to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Its technology-rich programs are designed to help students prepare for 21st-century careers.

  • BSBA in Human Resource Management

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Wilmington University

Wilmington University

Founded in 1968, Wilmington University is based out of Pennsylvania but serves students around the world. This private educational facility has an assortment of academic programs that lead to associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degrees. Students attending Wilmington University have access to both online and campus-based program options.

  • BS in Human Resource Management

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Human Resources Degree

training manager discussing during a company seminar

If you’re serious about earning your degree in human resources, there may never have been a better time than right now.

There are so many colleges out there offering online programs in human resources, some of which are 100% online. For many, this is the most convenient way to earn a degree.

There are also many financial aid options out there as well. The Federal Pell Grant just went up from $6,195 a year to $6,345, and there are also many scholarships you may be eligible for. Loans are another option. A lack of money doesn’t have to stop you from enrolling.

The average base rate of pay for people in human resources careers—especially people with bachelor’s degrees in these careers—is higher than the national average, so this could potentially be a very lucrative degree for you to pursue.

You don’t have to waste any more time debating whether you should enroll. If a career in human resources is your dream, you can look into enrolling today.

Ready to start your journey?
Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.