Main Navigation
Apply Now Request Info


PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation

Frequently Asked Questions

How will participants benefit from this program?

Participants in CSU's PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation program receive excellent preparation for the PHR or SPHR exams and an overview of the HR field. Our program consistently beats the national pass rates due to our experienced instructors, structured classroom environment, and peer discussions. In addition, students benefit from the opportunity to network with their peers and have access to frequent job announcements through our contacts in the HR industry.

What is required to successfully complete the class and receive the certificate of completion?

To receive our certificate of completion, participants must attend at least 80% of the class sessions, take all tests and exams, and have a final course grade of 70% or better. The grade is based on 30% of the quizzes given throughout the course and 70% on the cumulative final test. This grading method allows participants who have had difficulty with the individual tests to still complete the program by passing the final exam.

Will participants be certified after completing this course? Does the tuition for this course cover the cost of the Human Resource Certificate Institute (HRCI) certification examination?

No. Course content reflects the general body of knowledge tested by the HRCI. This course of study does not guarantee or assure success on the HR Certification Institute exam. Students must use the most recent edition of the HRCP educational products for this course and may not use outdated materials. The certification process is completely separate from this course, and participants should apply and pay for the certification exams through the HRCI. The exams are administered by computer at testing centers located throughout the world. The PHR and SPHR exams are three hours in length and consist of 175 multiple-choice questions. An excellent way to determine which exam is best for you is to take the HRCI online assessment exam. This exam helps you determine your strengths and weaknesses in each of the functional areas of the exam and allows you to become familiar with the format and difficulty of the exam questions. Contact HRCI at (866) 898-4724,, or for more information.

How widespread is PHR/SPHR certification?
  • Nationwide, approximately 200 colleges and universities provide training for the PHR/SPHR certification.
  • Over 111,000 people are certified nationally: 56% are PHR and 41% are SPHR.
How do I know if I am eligible to sit for the PHR or SPHR certification exams?

Several factors are considered when you apply to take the PHR or SPHR exams and vary depending on which exam you choose. Visit or call HRCI at (866) 898-4724 for more information on eligibility requirements.

Can I use this course to recertify if I already have my PHR or SPHR?

No. Only students who have their GPHR designation may use the this course to be eligible for recertification.

What happens if I register for the PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation program and find out I am not eligible to sit for the exam?

Students may withdraw from the PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation program and receive a refund less the cost of materials and a $25 processing fee if notice is given within 5 working days of the class start date. Materials that have been opened may not be returned. Students are responsible for the full tuition amount if notice to withdraw is received after 5 working days from the class start date.

How rigorous are the PHR and SPHR certification exams?

The multiple-choice questions in this course are in the same format as the exams. By reviewing the PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation program modules, participants should be well prepared to successfully pass the HRCI certification examinations; however, success is not guaranteed. Statistically, participants who attend this program at an educational institution and then take the exam have a higher pass rate on the exam than those who used some other study method.

Visit the HR Certification Institute website to view application deadlines and testing dates.

Does taking CSU's course really help me achieve higher pass rates?

Yes! During the last testing window, nationally only 59% passed the PHR and 48% passed the SPHR exam. However, our PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation program consistently achieves student pass rates between 80-100%.