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SHRM's HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates

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SHRM HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates

SHRM's focus on HR education is an important and critical component to securing the future success and recognition of the profession. The HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates are based on extensive research analysis.

The following links allow you to read more about the SHRM research studies and symposium that contributed to the formation of the HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.

About the HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates

Based on results derived from and identified using a multiple quantitative and qualitative research methodology, SHRM devised the SHRM HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates in 2005. The goal is to provide colleges and universities a resource for tracking HR curricula against a common, minimum skill set needed by employers who seek to fill HR professional positions. An important feature of the HR curriculum template is that it offers HR academics flexibility in devising HR courses while providing a minimum level of standardization for HR content being taught.

Undertaking this initiative will establish SHRM as a clear educational leader and help to set the agenda on what the educational requirements are for a career in HR; raise the bar for HR degree content and delivery of HR degree content; and underscore the point that HR is a profession, with specific educational requirements.

SHRM has already begun the roll-out of the curriculum template and it is gaining traction in the academic community. And to add credibility SHRM has established an important alliance with AACSB International, the accrediting body for Business Schools.

SHRM's alliance with the Association to Accredit Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB) International

SHRM has also gained the support of AACSB International in an effort to bring a similar level of commonality to HR degree programs that is required of AACSB accredited Schools of Business. In support of SHRM's efforts, AACSB's Chief Knowledge Officer, Daniel R. LeClair, Ph.D., has said "The guidebook and associated templates developed by SHRM are the result of a highly interactive, multiyear process involving practitioner and academic communities. It represents a significant effort to build a bridge between theory and practice. Like AACSB accreditation standards, it is flexible and focused on outcomes. AACSB encourages its member schools to utilize the templates as a guide to developing and reformulating HR degree programs." Learn more about the AACSB International accreditation process.

Assessing Your University's HR Degree Program: Does It Align with SHRM's Guides?

To increase flexibility, creativity and innovation to universities in designing HR curricula, the Guidebook identifies 13 minimum core HR topics that should be required curriculum in an HR degree program, as well as 11 elective HR topics to complement the required core. The sample course module templates identify a variety of options to aid universities when developing courses that combine HR content, personal competencies essential to HR, and the application of relevant business or policy skills. All sample modules allow faculty to organize topics in a variety of different ways.

SHRM staff work with university faculty and staff to perform a review to determine if your university's degree program aligns with the HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. This review includes:

  • Reviewing the HR Degree program requirements.
  • Reviewing the course descriptions and syllabi of required courses in HR.
  • Confirming the business context within which HR courses are taught.
  • Assessing how personal HR competencies are taught and what business or policy application results from learning the HR topic.
  • Reviewing the accrediting credentials of the university.
  • Confirming the program is housed within a business school, or if a stand-alone HR or IR program, that the program is taught within a formal business context.

Please review our current list of university HR programs that align with SHRM's guidebook. If you are interested in assessing a degree program, please contact Nancy Woolever, SPHR, telephone +1.703.535.6457, (800) 283-7476, extension 6457 or via email at


SHRM conducts research on a regular basis. The results of these research efforts are available to university faculty to use in university classrooms. A note accompanies each item that is a member-exclusive benefit. If you are not an SHRM member, you can join the Society or request permission to cite and use SHRM research in your classroom.

A large variety of resources exists. Follow the links below to gain access to

  • The SHRM/Rutgers Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE): available to all. The LINE employment expectations index is released approximately five weeks earlier than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Employment Situation Report covering the same period.
  • Research e-Zine. A quarterly e-zine highlights new products and content published by SHRM. It comes to all SHRM members via e-mail.
  • Research Quarterly. Summaries of each quarterly report are available to the public; HTML and PDF versions of each report may be viewed only by SHRM members.
  • Briefly Stated ROI Series and Measure of the Month Series. Throughout the year, SHRM's Research Department publishes "Briefly Stated" overviews on HR related topics of general interest to business professionals. The topics are presented in an abbreviated format for quick reference and ease of use.
  • Research Translations. Current and archived listings are available to SHRM members. Each translation covers current research from the academic community on different topics of interest in human resource management and to present "golden nuggets" that are thought- provoking and applicable to organizations both today and in the future.
  • Benchmarking Studies. SHRM members can receive high-quality Customized Human Capital Metrics that cost less than the price of a job-board ad. Sample metric reports available to view before proceeding.
  • Workplace Trends and Forecast Reports. A member-exclusive benefit that presents the latest information on trends in HR and related forecasts including Workplace Visions.
  • Salary Survey Directory. SHRM members now have the opportunity to request links to salary survey resources for over 20 industries and professions.

HR Knowledge Center 

Have you ever been asked an HR question by a student -- and you need an up-to-date answer before class meets next? Take advantage of one of your most valuable SHRM member benefits. Certified HR professionals are available to assist with your most challenging questions. Three convenient methods to contact the Information Center:

  • Phone: Call (800) 283-7476 and selection option 5. Please have your member number ready to give to the knowledge advisor.
  • Email: Use an online form.

Explore the variety of information available to you. Check out the HR Knowledge Center online.

SHRM Foundation

The SHRM Foundation was founded in 1966 as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The Foundation funds research, publications and education to advance the HR profession and enhance the effectiveness of HR professionals. With an annual budget of approximately $1.5 million, it funds major academic research projects that have a direct and practical impact in advancing the HR profession. The SHRM Foundation maximizes the impact of the HR profession on organizational decision-making and performance by promoting innovation, education, research, and the use of research-based knowledge.

The SHRM Foundation engages in a variety of projects and products that have benefit to faculty who teach HR. Effective Practice Guideline reports, three DVDs for use in instructional settings and other materials are available on a complementary basis.

Scholarships and Awards. Information on regional scholarships, student awards, and dissertation awards.

Research. The SHRM Foundation funds original rigorous empirical research projects that advance the HR profession. The Foundation is seeking grant funding proposals for up to $200,000 each from individuals and institutions. Proposals are reviewed three times each year. Apply for a grant, review a list of currently funded projects and see the latest research findings.

Products. The Foundation offers a wide range of resources and publications. Don't miss the new DVD, Creating Future Global Leaders, a case study on the World Economic Forum.

HR Program Directories online. Search the list of undergraduate HR programs and graduate HR programs included in the SHRM Foundation's online HR program directory.

Need to list your university's program or change information currently posted? Select the graduate directory or the undergraduate directory.

Click here for information about making a contribution to the SHRM Foundation.

SHRM Online

From the home page of SHRM Online, you can navigate to more than 10,000 documents, including news and magazine articles, research studies, surveys, webcasts, best practice essays and more. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds that allow you to add the latest HR news headlines to your home page or My Yahoo or My MSN page.

Human Resources Instructional eXchange (HRIX)

The Human Resources Instructional eXchange (HRIX) is devoted to the effective and innovative teaching of HR. This discipline specific, teaching web site offers a forum and clearinghouse for the open exchange of ideas, resources, and materials used in teaching HR. Click here for more information.

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