Welcome to MiraCosta’s HR Certificate Program. We are HRCI certified which means our course content meets the criteria established by the nationally recognized certifying body for the HR profession and counts toward required re-certification hours.

For those with at least two years experience in a salaried level HR position, this program will give you a wonderful overview of the information you need to know to pass the PHR exam. Our focus is on serving students who are not already considered HR professionals but the program is also a great opportunity for veterans to update and upgrade their skills.

Our program consists of six classes, all designed to address core competencies in the Human Resources field. Our instructors have attained MBA’s and SPHR status and, more importantly, have many years of HR experience. 

The classes listed below meet on 3 Fridays from 8:30AM to 5:30PM for three consecutive weeks. So you can complete this program and get your certificate in three weeks.

Module I – The Role of Human Resources in Today’s Workplace

This class will focus primarily on the basic Human Resources function, helping students to understand how HR fits into the context of the operation and leadership of the industry. Special emphasis will be given to an exploration of the core competencies the HR professional needs to be successful. Topics covered include:

Module II – Employment Law and Employee Relations

In this class, students will discover how employment law and employee relations can contribute to the success or failure of a business. Attention will be given to how the HR professional can minimize the liability of an organization by understanding and communicating policies and procedures that are grounded in a currently accepted legal framework. Additionally, students will learn how to get beyond the legal issues to create a positive organizational culture. Topics covered include:

Module III – Staffing and Retention Strategies

This class will address the obvious necessity for organizations to have effective staffing and recruiting strategies if they expect to be successful. HR’s role in both recruiting and retaining top talent is crucial to the organization’s success. Even small reductions in a company’s turnover rate can translate to a dramatic reduction in costs and a boost to the organizational culture. Topics covered in this class include:

Module IV – Compensation Design and Management

Needless to say, one of the biggest factors affecting an organization’s ability to attract the best employees is offering a good compensation package. The big question is how to balance the high cost of such a package with the necessity to produce profit. The HR professional must be skilled at striking the best balance for the organization. So, not only does HR have to understand the rules and regulations governing compensation, it must also know how to make it work within the context of their particular company. Topics covered in this class include:

Module V – Benefits and Retirement Programs

It could be argued that benefits and retirement packages are more important to employees than monetary compensation. So, it’s not surprising that we’ve devoted one entire module to the subject. This class will explore how HR can successfully design and manage a benefits and retirement system that will best serve the employee and the organization. Topics covered in this class include:

Module VI – Trends in Human Resources

This final class in the HR Certificate series will focus on new directions for HR and explore how current trends may change the way HR professionals do business. While none of us can predict the future with any certainty, we can begin to prepare ourselves to have the highest chance for success in the 21st century workplace. Topics covered in this class include:

For additional information please contact us at (760)795-6820 or

HR Program Frequently Asked Questions

Who should enroll in this certificate program?

Anyone with an interest in HR is welcome! We typically have four types of people who enroll in this program:

What is the difference between the MiraCosta HR Certificate program and the programs at CSUSM, UCSD, and SDSU?

This program is a non-credit program. Your certificate documents that you have completed 24 hours of instruction in HR. For-credit programs like the ones at the universities mentioned take much longer to complete (typically 2-4 years), are more expensive, and have credit requirements like required reading, homework, and exams. 

Some people who have completed the program at MiraCosta and would like to continue their formal HR education go on to complete credit certificates as well. Please refer to those organizations for any specific questions about their programs.

If I complete this certificate program, will I be able to take the PHR exam?

The PHR certification exam is offered through the Human Resources Certification Institute, which is not affiliated with MiraCosta. You may find out more about eligibility, test dates, and how to sign up for the exam here.

This certificate program is designed as an overview of the human resources body of knowledge set out by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). While completing the certificate will help you in your understanding of the material covered on the exam, this is not a test preparation course. The PHR exam is quite difficult and requires significant study time. There are self-study materials, test preparation courses, and study groups that can help you to study for and pass the exam.

For additional information please contact us at (760)795-6820 or