HR Directors Certification: Take charge of your career.

Looking to make an impact on your organization and take your HR career to the next level? The Human Resources Directors Certification (HRDC) from Cornell University's ILR School and eCornell will position you to implement business-driven HR strategies across your organization.

This elite program from the #1 HR school in the US will enable you to master powerful skill sets such as leadership, coaching, negotiation, and change management in as little as four months. Once you earn your Cornell Certified HR Director (CCHRD) designation, you’ll join an exclusive group of credentialed professionals who are making an impact on their organizations – and on the HR field at large


The HR Directors Certification (HRDC1): A nine-credit online graduate program from Cornell University

Take charge of your career with this practical, business-driven approach to HR leadership.

The HR Directors Certification (HRDC) is an elite online program from Cornell University's ILR School and eCornell that takes an engaging, business-driven approach to human resources. In addition to mastering a range of powerful HR strategies, participants who complete the program earn the career-defining credential of Cornell Certified HR Director (CCHRD) – and enter a distinguished group of professionals who are making an impact on their organizations as well as the HR field at large.

What are the benefits of the HRDC?

HR professionals who complete this certification program earn nine graduate credits and are:

  • Credentialed and recognized as a CCHRD
  • Equipped to lead the HR departments within their respective organizations
  • Prepared to leverage their position in HR to drive business results
  • Familiar with practical HR leadership strategies
  • Able to identify and maximize employee talent
  • Positioned for higher salary potential (on average, HR directors earn 42% more than HR managers)

Enroll in the HRDC today to:

  • Position yourself to take advantage of greater career opportunities – both now and in the future
  • Improve your HR knowledge, critical leadership skills and job performance
  • Stand out from the crowd with a prestigious and recognized HR credential
  • Improve job security by increasing your contribution and overall value to your organization

Who should enroll in this program?

  • HR Directors seeking to increase their strategic and leadership agility and earn the CCHRD credential
  • HR Managers pursuing a promotion to HR Director
  • HR Generalists looking to acquire advanced skills in HR management
  • HR Specialists looking to broaden their understanding across a range of HR topics including employee relations, engaging talent and HR strategy

How It Works 

The HRDC is offered completely online. An accelerated schedule allows students to complete the four courses in the program in as little as four or five months. However, students may take as long as 18 months to complete the program.

The HRDC consists of four main components:

  • The Portfolio Project: Application into Practice
  • Emerging and Advanced HR MasterCourses
  • Leadership MasterCourses
  • ILR Faculty Webcasts

Program Credits

Upon completion of the program, you’ll receive a certificate from Cornell University’s ILR School. The nine graduate credits earned in the certificate program may be transferred to the Master of Industrial and Labor Relations (MILR) Program or the Master of Professional Studies-Ithaca (MPS-Ithaca) Program.*

* Admittance into ILR Graduate programs is not guaranteed; students must apply and be accepted into the specific program to which they are applying. If admitted to the MILR or MPS-Ithaca Program, credits may be applied as elective credit with the approval of the Graduate Committee. The credits are not transferable to the MPS-NYC Program.

Additional Benefits

All HRDC participants are encouraged to take advantage of eCornell’s career services, an integrated offering of workshops, webinars and other powerful resources designed to help you make the most of your certification. Learn how to prepare a high-impact resume and cover letter, promote your CCHRD credential to current or prospective employers, and access eCornell’s extensive alumni network for online social support and specialized employment opportunities.


  • A Bachelor Degree (or international equivalent) AND either 3 years of work experience in the HR field, OR, completion of at least 8 foundational HR courses from eCornell (or an equivalent from another institution)
  • A short statement about why the applicant wants to participate in the program
  • Applicants must agree to statements that they are proficient in English, and that they will abide by the Cornell University Academic Integrity Code,


The HR Directors Certificate is offered completely online, and you can finish in as little as 4-5 months in an accelerated schedule. You may complete in just nine months without taking more than one course at a time. However, students may take as long as 18 months to complete the program.

The program includes:

1. The Portfolio Project - Application into Practice

The portfolio is the main body of work that you will present for your final grade. It is a comprehensive project, led by your Portfolio Advisor, which documents your goals. Your journal (a part of your portfolio) will track your progress towards those goals throughout the HR Directors certification experience.   

Your advisor will schedule a series of 3 one-on-one video meetings with you (via Skype) to guide you through the planning and execution of your portfolio. In addition to these one-on-one meetings, you'll have access to your advisor throughout the learning experience

1st meeting: Conduct a self-assessment, define goals, develop an action plan and determine how to monitor progress throughout the program (all documented in your journal).

2nd meeting: Conducted mid-program as a check-in to ensure your remain on track for successful completion, answer any questions, and address any concerns.

3rd meeting: Review with your portfolio advisor before submission for evaluation and feedback.

Your completed portfolio will be the basis for your grade in the HR Directors Certification and will serve as a valuable resource after you have completed the Certification.

2. Emerging and Advanced HR Master Courses

Complete 2 online MasterCourses authored by leading ILR faculty in essential HR topics to develop the critical knowledge demanded of HR Directors.

ILRHR830 - Strategic HR Practices (8-week online MasterCourse)

Master the critical HR skills necessary to transform HR and increase your influence on strategy and organizational leaders by aligning HR strategy, using diversity and inclusion to achieve bottom-line results, developing a talent-management culture, implementing strategies for employee engagement, and using metrics to measure impact on business outcomes.

ILRSM840 - Managing Global Employment Issues and Work Practices (5-week online MasterCourse)

Acquire vital knowledge in the advanced HR topics of high-performance work practices, employee relations, alternative dispute resolution, and managing organizational conflict to broaden your understanding of key HR practices and strategies.

3. Leadership Master Courses

Complete 2 online MasterCourses authored by Samuel Bacharach, McKelvey-Grant Professor at the ILR School, focused on the crucial leadership skills necessary to get initiatives implemented

ILRSM820 - Change Leadership (5-week online MasterCourse)

Develop the essential skills to identify opportunities for change and implement initiatives by learning how to craft a change agenda, understand the political motivations of others in the organization, negotiate support, and mobilizing others to achieve action.

ILRSM810 - Managing for Execution (8-week online MasterCourse)

Learn the high-performance leadership skills you need to execute your initiatives: managing for momentum, negotiating for results, and coaching for excellence. These skills are essential to ensure that your initiatives are fully implemented and managed to ensure they maintain their momentum and are successful.

4. ILR Faculty Webcasts

Connect with senior ILR faculty, participate in live discussions about critical HR topics, and access archived webcasts on your own schedule. Choose four online programs designed to supplement your course experiences with exposure to the latest ideas, research and best practices. Topics addressed include managing talent, employee relations, diversity, managing for execution, compensation, and HR strategy. HR Directors Certification candidates have access to the entire library of archived Webcasts.

Enroll Now!


Full Program HRDC1
ILRHR400 The Portfolio - Application Into Practice
Strategic HR Practices
Managing Global Employment Issues & Work Practices
  Managing for Execution
Change Leadership
ILR Faculty Webcasts

US$8100 ---> US$6,075 (for JHRS Premium Members Only!)

Course Number Course Name More
Info Course Schedule
HRDC1 HR Directors Certification (CCHRD)
More Info
 Course Schedule
Enroll Now

Cancellation Policy

Students who have prepaid the full amount for the Graduate Certificate in HR Management may cancel out of the program in the first 30 days and receive a 75% refund. All cancellation requests must be received in writing or by email to no later than 5pm Eastern Time (US) on the 30th calendar day.  No refund will be given for a cancellation out of the program after the first 30 days.   For ILR HR Graduate Certificate program students who are on an eCornell payment plan, no refund will be given for a cancellation at any time during the program.

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