Pursue Your Passion as a Human Resources Professional

Get the practice you need to prepare for the PHR and SPHR exams in City University of Seattle’s PHR/SPHR Exam Preparation program. Our 10-week SPHR and PHR prep classes program includes six modules that cover the body of knowledge covered in the PHR and SPHR exams while providing a broad overview of the HR field.

Whether you elect to enroll in the PHR and SPHR prep course online or on-site, you can benefit from an experienced instructor, interaction with peers, and a guided assignment schedule to keep you on track.

CityU will help you show potential employers that you’re serious about your HR career by preparing you pass the exam portion of your credentialing process.

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) nationally certifies human resource professionals through their Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) credentials. The Professional and Senior Professional in Human Resources credentials are regarded as industry standard. The HRCI is known for its rigor in testing and its comprehensive re-certification process.

Note that PHR and SPHR candidates must demonstrate a combination of aptitude, education and HR experience to complete their certification. Learn more at HRCI’s website.

Course Schedule and Dates

City University of Seattle's PHR/SPHR Test preparation is offered in an online format with synchronous webinars facilitated by the course instructor. Not able to attend a live webinar due to scheduling conflicts? All webinars are recorded and available for view/review.

Two course starts available:

Winter Quarter Online: February 3 - April 12, 2020
Spring Quarter Online: May 4 - July 12, 2020

Registration and Payment Deadline

All registrations and tuition are due seven days prior to the course start date. Late registrations will be taken into consideration and handled on a space-available basis.
To register for the August or October class, submit an online registration or email managementinstitute@cityu.edu to request a registration form.

Program Requirements

There are no admission requirements to enroll in this program; however, certain criteria must be met for participants taking the PHR or SPHR exam. See the HRCI website for exam requirements.

PHR and SPHR Exam Requirements

To apply for either the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), candidates must have a combination of education and professional HR experience. For more information, see the certification information handbook or visit www.HRCI.org.

The key to the success of the PHR/SPHR certification is the relevance of the content to the needs of today’s HR professionals. The course will cover the six functional areas covering the HR Certification Institute body of knowledge tested in PHR/SPHR exams.

Functional Area 1: Business Management and Strategy

  • Developing, contributing to, and supporting the organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategic goals and objectives
  • Formulating policies
  • Guiding and leading the change process
  • Evaluating organizational objectives as organizational leaders

Functional Area 2: Workforce Planning and Employment

  • Employee rights, privacy, and consumer protection legislation
  • Organizational staffing requirements
  • Recruitment, selection, and retention

Functional Area 3: Human Resource Development

  • Organizational development
  • Training and development
  • Talent management
  • Performance management

Functional Area 4: Compensation and Benefits

  • Compensation structure and systems
  • Benefit programs
  • Compensation and benefits legislation
  • Administering and evaluating compensation and benefits programs

Functional Area 5: Employee and Labor Relations

  • Labor relations legislation
  • Union organizing and collective bargaining
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Employee involvement and engagement

Functional Area 6: Risk Management

  • Organizational risk
  • Workplace safety, health, security, and privacy
  • Risk management legislation

Human resources specialists and managers are required in almost every industry out there. All organizations rely on skilled and knowledgeable HR personnel to ensure companies remain compliant with changing employment laws and to oversee and implement company policies and programs.

Upon completion of this PHR/SPHR certification program and the passing of your certification, you will be well positioned to pursue a role as a:

  • HR specialist
  • Recruitment manager
  • HR manager
  • Assistant director
  • HR coordinator
  • Director of human resources


Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.


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Founded in 1973, City University of Seattle offers over 60 on-site and online programs designed for busy working adults like you. When you enroll at CityU, you’ll have the support of a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who are dedicated to helping you finish your degree and reach your goals.


CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide.1 In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the national rate.2


Develop marketable, real-world skills in courses taught by faculty who are practitioners working in your field.


Expand your expertise and your global perspectives in on-site and online courses with students from around the world.


Network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies, including Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.

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