Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning

Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning - St. Cloud State University

Human Resources Certification: PHR-SPHR


Learn about the New SHRM Certification available in 2015 - click here

This is a letter from Henry Jackson, President & CEO at SHRM, explaining more about the new HR certifcation.


Gain a Professional Edge.  Prepare for HR Certification.

This intensive 12 week program offered by St. Cloud State University is designed primarily for individuals seeking the most sought-after HR certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)


The curriculum covers the HR Certification Institute® body of knowledge and includes application exercises that develop specific competencies and decision-making skills. We offer this program in partnership with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) utilizing the SHRM Learning System.  The SHRM Learning system is the #1 PHR/SPHR certification preparation program and combined with this 12-week program our participant pass rate consistently exceeds the national average pass rates for certification.  See what participants have to say - Course Testimonial.


By attending our course, you’ll benefit from:

  • An experienced, certified instructor
  • The SHRM Learning System, ranked the #1 certification prep tool
  • A structured learning experience that keeps you on track
  • Opportunities to network and learn from your peers
  • Tuition reimbursement and 36 hours of training (CEU's)SHRM LS CU webpage image

This course includes the SHRM Learning System, but does not cover registration for the PHR or SPHR examinations.

For information on eligibility for the PHR or SPHR certification, testing dates, and testing fees see the 2013 Certification Policies and Procedures Handbook.



Exam Application Process

Five Steps to Certification

  1. Take the online assessment exams to determine whether you are a PHR, SPHR or GPHR candidate.
  2. Log on to to register and pay for the chosen certification exam. Schedule your appointment after receiving notification that you are eligible to take the exam.   
  3. Decide on your study methods and chart out your course of study.
  4. Take the exam.  Locate a test site at
  5. Maintain your certification by earning 60 recertification credits over three years or retaking the exam.

2014 Exam Deadlines 

  Testing Dates  Applications Accepted Late Applications Accepted*

05-01-14 to 06-30-14

12-01-14 to 01-31-15


01-22-14 to 03-19-14

Check back in May 2014


03-20-14 to 04-23-14

Check back in May 2014


*A $75.00 late fee is applied to all applications submitted during this time. 


Ways to Pay:

  • Military Spouse Grant (PDF) - MyCAA Funding for Military Spouses
  • Tuition Reimbursement - Now is the best time to secure your future through training — and your employer can help. If your company offers tuition reimbursement, you can expand your HR knowledge, skills, and credentials and have your employer pay the bill!
  • Dislocated Worker funds
  • Check or credit card

Course Testimonial

Program Details:



CMSHRM Scholarship:  Thank you CMSHRM!  Note:  CMSHRM Scholarships have all been awarded for this testing period.

Printable Flyer (PDF)


Registration closed

New Certification in 2015

Due to the changes with the certifications SHRM is recognizing, SCSU will not be offering the PHR/SPHR prep course this Fall.   Beginning in early 2015 SCSU will begin offering the prep courses for the new SHRM sponsored certifications:



SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP)

SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

Beginning on January 1, 2015 the PHR/SPHR certifications will no longer be recognized by SHRM.   Folks holding those certifications can follow the process below to transition to the new SHRM Certified Professional certification.  

  • If you currently hold a generalist HR certification, you will not lose or have to give up your current credentials in order to obtain the new SHRM certification.  You earned the letters after your name and SHRM recognizes and is proud of your achievement.  We do believe that the SHRM certification is the next evolution in assessments and will become the new standard for HR professionals around the globe.  We also believe that the SHRM credential is the first HR certification that is focused on identifying and testing the practical, real-life experiences HR professionals need to excel in their careers today, including knowledge, behavioral and leadership skills.
  • If you are currently certified and are in good standing with your current certification - or if you become certified by January 31, 2015 - you will be eligible for the new SHRM certification at no additional cost by completing the following by December 31, 2015:

         a.  Document that your current certification is in good standing

         b.  Sign the SHRM Code of Ethics

         c.  Complete a brief online tutorial on HR competencies

    Once you go through this process you will be able to use the new SHRM designation and   begin a new three-year certification cycle under the SHRM certification program.  Our goal is to make this seamless for those who have already made the investment and gone through the process of becoming certified.



For more information please contact Tammy at

You may also be interested in our HR Essentials workshop being offered in Fall 2014.

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