PHR/SPHR Preparation Course

Main Campus
Classroom, Online Fixed-Date

Course Description

Prepare Yourself for Success When Seeking PHR/SPHR Certification

The PHR/SPHR Exam Preparation Course is ideal for current and aspiring human resources professionals seeking to earn either the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) or the SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certifications developed and administered by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).

The PHR and SPHR certifications are sought after by HR professionals for reasons that include:

  • Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the HR profession
  • Increasing their value to their company
  • Gaining a competitive edge when applying for jobs

This PHR/SPHR test prep course will cover everything you need to know to position yourself for success on the exam, including the technical and operational aspects of HR practices, applicable laws and regulations, as well as strategic and policy-making aspects. Each class is highly interactive and provides ample time for your questions.

The PHR/SPHR exams cover multiple areas including: Business Management & Strategy, Workforce Planning & Employment, Human Resource Development, Compensation & Benefits, Employee & Labor Relations and Risk Management. The PHR places specific emphasis on Workforce Planning & Employment and Employee & Labor Relations. The SPHR addresses all of the areas included in the PHR exam, but places greater emphasis on Business Management & Strategy. It is the individual student’s responsibility to verify their eligibility to sit for either the PHR or SPHR exam.

Why USD?

The University of San Diego has been teaching PHR/SPHR human resources exam prep courses for many years and is the only university in San Diego offering PHR/SPHR classroom preparation. In addition:

  • USD’s instructor is a leader in the human resources field, with more than 20 years of experience and multiple industry credentials.
  • The comprehensive PHR/SPHR exam prep course features a generous retake policy.
  • Coming soon: Currently offered in an onsite, classroom format, USD plans to make the PHR/SPHR exam prep course available online in the near future.

Course Details

Who Should Attend?

HR professionals seeking to prepare for the PHR or SPHR exams.

Course Format

Lectures and interactive seminar-style classroom instruction.


Marina Galatro, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-CP, is a Senior Human Resources Consultant with more than 20 years of HR experience. She provides effective guidance and support to companies on a variety of topics such as: total rewards, compliance, training and development, and strategic HR management. Ms. Galatro is a speaker at many regional and national conferences. She has a BA from San Diego State University and currently holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources, the California Human Resources and the SHRM Certified Professional certificates.

Course Materials

The course is structured around the 2021 Complete HRCP Program for PHR/SPHR (either the print edition, online edition or combo edition will be acceptable for the course). Students may purchase the required materials from the HRCP website. The materials are discounted to those who identify themselves as University of San Diego students.


How do I register for the PHR/SPHR exam prep course?

You can register right here on the PHR/SPHR Preparation Course web page. Simply click “Add to Cart” and follow the steps to complete your registration and payment.

Can I retake the PHR/SPHR course?

Yes, we offer students the ability to retake the course without any additional tuition payments for a one-year period.

How do I register to retake the course?

Contact our Enrollment & Student Services office at 619-260-4585 or [email protected] Please be aware that a $25 student processing fee is required for all course retakes and if editions have changed, new course materials may need to be purchased.

How do I know whether I am eligible to sit for the PHR or SPHR exam?

The requirements for eligibility for the PHR and SPHR examinations are detailed on the HR Certification Institute website.

Course Options

Course Date Units Price

What You Will Learn

  • Develop test taking efficient and successful strategies
  • Master PHR/SPHR Exam time management methods
  • Review PHR/SPHR Exam specific topics
  • Review PHR/SPHR Exam-type questions


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

PCE nurtures key partnerships on the local, national and international level to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers, as well as with their employers to help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

Informative Stats and Facts


Number of high-quality, career-building courses to choose from


Number of in-depth, innovative, and relevant topics


Career advancing certificates

Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.


These on-campus courses are offered in a traditional classroom where you can connect with your instructor and classmates in a live setting. This learning environment facilitates communication in real time, enables immediate feedback and fosters face-to-face interaction with the instructor and classmates. Classroom courses have a scheduled start and finish date, and students are expected to attend all course sessions.

Online Fixed-Date

Online Fixed-Date: Online fixed-date courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that enables you to collaborate with your instructor and other students in a shared, online learning environment. These courses have fixed start and finish dates, but as an online student you will have 24/7 online access to your classroom assignments, syllabus and course resources. Our online fixed-date courses allow you to work on your assignments anytime, although you are required to complete the assignments by specific dates.

How is the learning structured? In an online fixed-date course, you and your classmates will proceed through the curriculum together, collaborating in a shared learning experience. Each online fixed-date course is asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime, although required to complete the assignments by specific dates. The course is designed with learning modules where all of the content is grouped into weekly assignments. Each module covers one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments with due dates (which may include: written assignments, journal entries, research, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Discussion forum where you answer prompts from the instructor and interact with your classmates.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.