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Program Overview

Human Resource Certificate Programs

Which program is right for me?

Advance your career in human resources with certificate programs from Northwestern offered in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management.

SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification is a great choice for HR professionals who want to increase their knowledge, advance their skills, and earn recognition from the global community. For more information about the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials visit www.shrmcertification.org.

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SHRM Certification — A Roadmap for Today's Profession

Next generation HR credentials — listen to insights from HR professionals and find out how SHRM certification can advance your career.

About SHRM Certification Preparation

SHRM Essentials of HR Management

Human resource issues impact every company in some way. That's why it's important to understand the fundamental issues surrounding HR today. Offered in partnership with SHRM, the SHRM 201-0 Essentials of HR Management course provides an introductory overview of the human resource function.

Knowing the basics of HR can make you a better manager, improve workplace morale and employee performance, and protect your organization from needless litigation. This course addresses the complex, real-world, and legal issues you face and is a must for anyone in the business of managing people. Designed as a thorough introduction to HR basics, the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course provides a solid foundation in HR management across many different job functions and career paths.

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Is this program right for me?


SHRM Essentials is an introductory course the Human Resources role and functions.

The primary target markets for the SHRM Essentials course are:

  • Entry-level HR professionals who are exploring HR as a career field.
  • Professionals who perform HR tasks as part of their daily role.
  • Line managers who have HR responsibilities.
  • HR professionals, such as staffing specialists, whose experience has been in a single functional area.
  • Corporations requiring contract training.
  • Subordinates or line managers.


People with the following job titles could benefit from this course:

  • HR specialist
  • Administrative assistant
  • Trainer
  • HR generalist
  • Executive assistant
  • Recruiter
  • Office manager
  • HR administrator
  • Product manager
  • Staffing specialist
  • Admissions counselor
  • Manager
  • Small business owners
  • Line managers concerned about human resource management


People with the following job functions could benefit from this course:

  • Trainer
  • HR Generalist
  • Labor Relations
  • Training
  • Organizational Development
  • Administration
  • Consulting
  • Employee Relations
Program details

SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP Certification Prep

The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CPSM) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCPSM) credentials are the new standard for all HR professionals around the globe. These HR certifications focus on teaching and testing the practical, real-life information HR professionals need to excel in their careers today, including knowledge, skills and competencies.

The SHRM Certified Professional course (SHRM 301-0) is offered twice per year in September and January. This intensive 36-hour program combines expert instruction with the SHRM Learning System® for SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, so you will learn faster, retain more knowledge and stay on track for success on the exam.

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Is this program right for me?


The certification preparation course is designed primarily for HR professionals seeking SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certification.
  • SHRM-CP is designed for HR professionals who are engaged primarily in operational roles — implementing policies, serving as the HR point of contact for staff and stakeholders, and/or performing day-to-day HR functions.
  • SHRM-SCP is designed for HR professionals at a senior level who operate primarily in strategic roles — developing policies and strategies, overseeing the execution of HR operations, analyzing performance metrics, and/or contributing to the alignment of HR strategies to organizational goals.

For those not interested in certification who want to advance their career by improving their HR skills, this course provides a comprehensive and accelerated option for professional development. Participants gain a generalist viewpoint, refresh key ideas and concepts, strengthen their understanding of core behavior and technical competencies and increase productivity in the workplace.

Program details
Core Courses:Course Detail
Essentials of Human Resources <> SHRM 201-0

The SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course is 18 hours. By covering a breadth of practical HR topics, Essentials of Human Resources provides the knowledge to perform daily tasks. Through this course you will also:

  • Review key pieces of federal legislation on sexual harassment, age discrimination and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Gain insights into employee recruitment and selection while avoiding legal pitfalls.
  • Enhance your skills related to total compensation systems, pay increases and incentives, and employee benefits.
  • Increase your knowledge of employee orientation, onboarding, professional development and training.

View SHRM 201-0 Sections
SHRM Certified Professional SHRM 301-0

This is an exciting and pivotal time in the HR profession. Now, more than ever, HR teams are required to assume a greater leadership role, contributing to the strategic direction of their organization.

The SHRM Learning System for SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP includes four modules covering the comprehensive SHRM BoCK so you'll learn everything you need for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam.

This class is the same for students in interested in either the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. The difference is based on your experience and which test you take, as determined by SHRM rules. See the Eligibility Requirements Matrix on our SHRM webpage. Northwestern University does not administer the test or make the eligibility determination.


View SHRM 301-0 Sections
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