Capstone Experience

All students in the MS in Human Resource Development program must complete a Capstone Experience in order to complete their degree requirements: an examination (either a qualifying HR certification exam or the departmental written comprehensive exam), or an experiential project.

Examination Options

Qualifying HR Certification Exams

There are several exams that will satisfy the comprehensive examination degree requirement through SHRM and HRCI, which are listed below. Click the exam to view its eligibility information.

  • PHR (Professional in Human Resources)
  • SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
  • GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources)
  • SHRM-CP (SHRM-Certified Professional)
  • SHRM-SCP (SHRM-Senior Certified Professional)

If you are unsure which exam is the right fit for you, please speak to your faculty advisor.

Certifications must be active at the time of graduation.

Preliminary score sheets or official certificates will be accepted for the HR certification exams. In the event that preliminary scores cannot be provided the day of the exam, please note that we will need to receive your official certificate by the appropriate date. Official certificates can take 4-8 weeks from the close of the testing window to process and be delivered to you. 

Students who choose to take a certification exam after completing their coursework should be sure to register for graduation during the semester they are sitting for the exam.  Additional information can be found here.

Certifications must be active at the time of graduation.

Submit a scanned copy of your preliminary score sheet OR official certificate and email to: gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu so your exam can be posted to your academic record. This will indicate that this degree requirement has been met.

*PLEASE NOTE: Villanova does NOT automatically receive copies of your certification exam results - you must submit them to the HRD department via the instructions above. 

VUHRD Departmental Written Comprehensive Exam

In order to satisfy the comprehensive exam requirement, students may choose to take the HRD departmental written comprehensive exam. Students who have completed 24 credits in the program and who have above a 3.0 GPA are eligible for the departmental written comprehensive exam.

The written comprehensive exam will be offered once per semester in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. 

See the FAQ for the Written Comprehensive Exam here.

Registering for Spring 2018 Comprehensive Exam

Registration Due Date: February 5, 2017
Exam Date: Saturday, March 17, 2017 from 11:30am-3:30pm EST

Eligible students (those who have earned 24+ credits in the HRD program and who have above a 3.0 GPA) may apply to take the departmental written comprehensive exam.

The exam will be held online on Saturday, March 17th from 11:30am to 3:30pm EST. The exam will be administered online through Villanova’s Blackboard program using its test security features. You will need access to a computer that has an internet connection. Additional details will be sent to those approved to take the exam.

Application for Departmental Written Comprehensive Exam

*PLEASE NOTE: Students are permitted to take the written comprehensive exam a maximum of two (2) times. If a student does not pass after the second attempt, they are not permitted to take the written comprehensive exam again. See Graduate Studies policy details here.

Experiential Project

The experiential project option will be available beginning Spring 2018.  This project can be fulfilled in conjunction with an HR internship or a work project proposal. If you are interested in this option for your Capstone Experience, please check back in January 2018 for more details. 

Please note because the nature of this option may require a work project that spans more than a single semester, students should plan ahead for this option.  For this reason, students planning to graduate in May 2018 should consider other options listed above to fulfill their capstone experience requirement.

Contact Information

Campus Programs
St. Mary's Hall, Suite 119

800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
(p) 610-519-4582
(f) 610-519-5826
gradhrdoffice@villanova.edu

Online Program
M.S. in HRD
c/o University Alliance
Call 1-866-220-0017 or visit
 www.villanovaU.com