Program Choices

The MLER program is one that allows graduates to gain employment as professionals in a variety of related employment relations careers.  Since work constantly changes and evolves, the program focuses on developing a set of core competencies useful in multiple jobs.  It is a broad program that prepares students not just for one position, but for a broad range of positions in which having an advanced degree is an advantage in the labor market.

Core Competencies:

A set of required courses foster clear, professional writing; analytic skills; knowledge of research methods; and the acquisition of financial information.  Negotiation skills, leadership techniques, emotional intelligence, and group process/teamwork skills are developed in additional courses.

Specializations and Electives:

Since students come from different backgrounds and have different occupational goals, the MLER program allows students to specialize by combining required classes with carefully selected electives. All students have five electives out of thirteen required courses.  Students with an interest in combining employer-side labor relations with human resource management are encouraged to take up to three electives from the MHRM program.

By choosing electives wisely, students can create a program that meets their own individual needs. The following are examples of the specializations possible:

Diversity and Workplace Inclusion Specialization

In addition to the required course in Employment Law, potential classes include:

  • The Inclusive Workplace (online class)
  • Immigration, Public Policy, and Worker Rights
  • Women and Work
  • Seminar in Minorities and Work
  • Disability, Work, and Society (taken for graduate credit)
  • Latino Workers in the United States (taken for graduate credit)
  • Asian American Workers in Global Context (taken for graduate credit)

Organizational Leadership and Change Specialization

Potential classes include:

  • Organizational Leadership and Change Management
  • Organizational Design and Structure
  • Group Process and Team Dynamics
  • Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
  • Globalization, Corporate Restructuring, and Employment
  • Creating and Sustaining a Learning Organization

Labor Relations Specialization (Employer or Employee Representative)

In addition to the required course in Collective Bargaining, potential classes include:

  • Labor Law
  • Public Sector Employment Issues
  • Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
  • Strategic Corporate and Industry Research
  • Negotiation
  • Seminar in International/Comparative Labor and Employment Relations

Labor and Community Leadership Specialization

Potential classes include:

  • Enforcing Worker Rights
  • Organizing for Social Change
  • Immigration, Public Policy, and Worker Rights
  • Globalization, Corporate Restructuring, and Employment
  • Organizational Leadership and Change Management
  • Public Policy Advocacy (taken in Public Policy School)