Professional in Human Resources Certificate Program


The Professional in Human Resources Certificate Program: The SHRM Learning System® is a rigorous program designed primarily for individuals seeking certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). While DePaul cannot guarantee a passing score on the exam(s), the pass rate of professionals who have taken the SHRM Learning System® course is typically better than the national average.
This strategic course supports career advancement by building confidence for managing HR challenges. You will benefit from learning from instructors who are experienced certified practitioners and networking with other HR professionals. After completing the program, you'll receive a joint certificate from DePaul University and SHRM®, as well as up to 3.6 continuing education units (CEUs).
DePaul offers three options for completing this program:
  • 12-week, in-class course- Classes meet once a week for three hours and participants take one to two weeks to cover each of the six areas of HR. This class is offered at all of DePaul’s campuses, or can be held on site at your organization.
  • Intensive course-This fast-paced Saturday course covers a great deal of information in seven weeks, so it is not recommended for the novice HR professional. The course is designed for HR professionals who do not have the time for a conventional 12-week program.
  • Online, instructor-led course- This online program is designed to provide maximum flexibility. Available in both a 12-week and a six-week (intensive) format, this online, interactive class has no preset times for participation; students typically spend at least three to six hours a week on the class, and there are deadlines for completing tests and assignments.

For More Information, Contact:

Janie Rollinson
  • Email:
  • Phone: (312) 362-5792
  • FAX: (312) 362-8764

Who Should Attend

  • HR professionals planning to take the PHR® or SPHR® certification exams
  • PHR® professionals seeking to "upgrade" their certification to SPHR®
  • HR practitioners seeking professional development to advance their careers


  • Develop the knowledge and skills to improve your on-the-job effectiveness
  • Receive an updated copy of the SHRM Learning System®, which is a valuable HR reference and includes the SPHR® Preparation Book
  • Study from an expanded bank of test questions—formatted to mimic the current HRCI® exam experience
  • Gain access to the SHRM Learning System® Resource Center, featuring:
    • HR updates highlighting up-to-date legislative changes and new HR developments
    • Free audio and webcasts for each module
    • Flashcards and resources for handheld devices, including:
      • iPhone
      • Blackberry
      • Palm Pre
      • Windows Mobile
      • Google Android


Society for Human Resource Management
The program is offered in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as study material for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification examinations administered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).


The program provides an in-depth study of key areas in human resource management. Course materials include six extensive modules that correspond to the six functional areas, responsibilities and associated knowledge defined by the HRCI:
Strategic Business Management
  • Role of HR in organizations
  • HR strategy
  • Evaluating the internal/external environment
  • HR and the legislative and regulatory environment
Workforce Planning and Employment
  • Employee rights, privacy and consumer protection legislation
  • Organizational staffing requirements
  • Recruitment, selection and retention
Human Resource Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Training and development
  • Talent management
  • Performance management
Total Rewards
  • Compensation structure and systems
  • Benefit programs
  • Compensation and benefits legislation
  • Administering and evaluating compensation and benefits programs
Employee and Labor Relations
  • Labor relations legislation
  • Union organizing and collective bargaining
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Employee involvement and engagement
Risk Management
  • Organizational risk
  • Workplace safety, health, security and privacy
  • Risk management legislation

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education departmental student policies.
What qualifications do I need to take this program?
It is recommended that participants have experience in the field of human resources to get the most from the program.
When will I receive my course materials? Is there an additional fee?
Course materials are included in your registration fee. There is no discount given if you have materials that are not from the current year or if the materials were borrowed from a past participant. One to two weeks prior to your course start date, you will receive an email with course material directions.
Please note that once you have received your course materials, they are yours to keep and cannot be returned for a refund.
Will I be certified when I finish the program?
No, you will need to take the Human Resource Certification Institute’s PHR®/SPHR® examination. For more information, visit the HRCI web site at
Is the application fee for the PHR®/SPHR® examination covered in the course fee?
No. The application fee for the PHR®/SPHR® examination is not covered in the course fee. You may obtain information on applying and qualifications for the PHR®/SPHR® examination from the Human Resource Certification Institute at (703) 535-6000 or from their web site at
When is the PHR®/SPHR® examination?
There are two exams windows: May - June and December– January. For more information on deadlines, visit
What qualifications are required to take the PHR®/SPHR® exams offered by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)?
PHR Eligibility
  • One year of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
  • Two years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
  • Four years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree
SPHR Eligibility
  • Four year of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
  • Five years of demonstrated professional HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
  • Seven years of demonstrated professional HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree
For more specific information, contact the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) at (703) 535-6000 or visit its web site at
What is the difference between the PHR® and SPHR® exams?
There is a difference in exam fees as well as exam design. The PHR® certification exam is designed for HR professionals with more of a tactical or logistical orientation. The SPHR® certification exam is designed for HR professionals who design and plan, rather than implement, HR policies.
Generally, pass rates across the country tend to be higher on the PHR® exam.
Do I need to take the PHR® exam before the SPHR® exam?
No. You decide which certification level best matches your depth of knowledge and experience and register for that exam category.
Is there a different class for PHR® candidates and SPHR® candidates?
No. The body of knowledge as defined by the HRCI is the same for both exams. The percentage of topic categories differs by exam as does the structure of the questions, but the content to be learned is the same for both.
Do I have to take the certification exam at the end of the course?
No. Many course participants take the course solely for personal or professional development. It is a broad overview of the entire field of HR. Some participants are specialists and seek more knowledge about areas they don’t work in on a daily basis; others want an update on legislative issues.
Do I receive college credit for this class?
The Professional in Human Resources Certificate Program is a non-credit program. While college credit is not available, participants can receive continuing education units.
My company requires a grade for tuition reimbursement purposes. Will I get a grade?
Yes. Multiple-choice tests are given upon completion of each module covered in class. These tests are for you to assess your own level of learning and to provide opportunities to "practice" test-taking skills before the certification exam. This is a non-credit class, so no university credit is given, but you will receive a grade and CEUs from DePaul CPE and a transcript will be available via the DePaul CPE web site 2-3 weeks after the end of class.
Does this program qualify for financial assistance through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)?
In order to find out if you qualify for financial assistance, you must first contact Workforce Development. As a certified program under the ILLINOIS workNet initiative, this program has been approved for workforce training grants for those who are eligible. Funding may be available for those receiving unemployment benefits. Please contact us or Workforce Development for more information.


Online registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Add the course you are interested in to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. Registration is also available via phone, fax or mail. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the registration form is provided for your convenience.

Course Availability

Required Fees Price
Registration - The fees associated with component classes are the only fees charged with this program.$0.00