Human Resources and Labor Relations

Application Deadlines

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Human Resources and Labor Relations, M.H.R.L.R.

Rolling Admissions
Human Resources and Labor Relations, M.H.R.L.R. We recommend applicants apply at least two months prior to the beginning of the term.
School/College: College of Letters and Science and Lubar School of Business

Department Links: Degrees Conferred:
  • Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations
Related Certificates Overview
The Lubar School of Business and the College of Letters and Science offer and present jointly the Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations (MHRLR).

The MHRLR is an innovative master’s program offering students an interdisciplinary blend of courses and faculty in the areas of human resources and labor relations. The MHRLR program prepares students for careers as practitioners, and emphasizes a firm educational grounding in both the liberal arts and business administration. This grounding includes knowledge of human resources, staffing, labor relations, the legal system, and statistics.

Elective courses and options within the core requirements allow students to gain the specialized knowledge needed to work in the human resource management and labor relations areas of: compensation and benefits, collective bargaining, alternative dispute resolution, recruitment and selection, training and development, occupational health and safety, equal employment opportunity, strategic human resource management, and international human resource management.

The program is designed for full-time and part-time students who seek careers in the private or public sectors, and with unions or management.

Graduate Faculty

(Professors’ home departments appear in parentheses)

Distinguished Professors
Anderson, Margo, Ph.D., Rutgers University (History)
Heywood, John, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Economics)

Adams, Scott, Ph.D., Michigan State University (Economics)
Burrell, Nancy, Ph.D., Michigan State University (Communications)
Daley, Barbara, Ph.D., Cornell University (Administrative Leadership)
Mone, Mark, Ph.D., Washington State University (Business Administration)
Ragins, Belle Rose, Ph.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville (Business Administration)

Associate Professors
Alwan, Layth, Ph.D., University of Chicago (Business Administration)
Drewianka, Scott, Ph.D., University of Chicago (Economics)
Freeman, Sarah, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Business Administration)
Hewitt, Jeanne, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago (Nursing)
Ren, Hong, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University (Business Administration)
Singh, Romila, Ph.D., Drexel University (Business Administration)

Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following requirements to be considered for admission to the MHRLR program:
  1. Submission of GRE or GMAT scores and two letters of recommendation to the MHRLR program.
  2. Students admitted to the program will be expected to present at least three credits of prior work in microeconomics and introductory statistics.
  3. Students who are deficient in the areas of microeconomics or statistics at the time of admission (see above) will be expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. Deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.
  4. Applicants are reviewed by the MHRLR admissions committee to assess academic achievements and the ability to do intensive graduate-level work.
Major Professor as Advisor
A student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student’s studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. The assistant director of the MHRLR Program advises and supervises the newly admitted student.

The assistant director, in consultation with the student, reviews the student’s academic background and career goals and designs an appropriate program of study consistent with degree requirements.

Credits and Courses
The Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations degree will be awarded upon completion of 36 credits of prescribed graduate study and appropriate prerequisite coursework. The program offers a balance between liberal arts and business-based education, requiring that at least 15 credits be taken within the College of Letters and Science and at least 15 credits be taken within the Lubar School of Business. The degree requires completion of 21 credits in core courses that provide each student with a solid grounding in both labor relations and human resources while permitting some specialization according to student interests.

Required Courses
Core courses are as follows:
Bus Admin 735 Staffing Organizations
Ind Rel 701 Industrial and Labor Relations
Bus Mgmt 706 Managing in a Dynamic Environment
Bus Admin 738 Human Resource Management
Ind Rel 720 Economics of Personnel OR Econ 753 Collective Bargaining
Ind Rel 712 Employment Law OR Ind Rel 711 Labor Relations Law
Ind Rel 731 Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations OR Bus Mgmt 731 Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations

If Ind Rel 720 and Econ 753 are both taken, one of these may be used to help fulfill elective requirements. If Ind Rel 711 and Ind Rel 712 are both taken, one of these may be used to help fulfill elective requirements. The required course Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations can be taken as either Bus Mgmt 731 or Ind Rel 731 (but not both).

To ensure a well-rounded education, students are required to fulfill the remainder of the 15-credit requirement within the College of Letters and Science and within the Lubar School of Business by selecting from a list of approved elective courses from within each organization. A student may, with advisor approval, fulfill the 36-credit requirement by taking up to 6 credits from the approved list of alternative electives in other schools such as the College of Nursing, the School of Education, and the School of Social Welfare. No student will be permitted to apply more than nine credits taken at the U/G level toward meeting MHRLR degree requirements.

Elective Courses
Please refer to for a comprehensive listing of elective courses.

Students without prior experience in the field are encouraged to take advantage of the program’s extensive contacts in the business and labor communities by undertaking one or more internships as either Bus Adm 899 or Ind Rel 921. Students may also utilize the wide range of faculty expertise available within the program for a major research paper on a human resources or labor relations topic. These papers, under the direction of a faculty advisor, are taken as either Ind Rel 801 or Bus Adm 899. A student may graduate with honors from the MHRLR program by maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average within the program, and by writing a 3-credit major research paper (under Bus Adm 899 or Ind Rel 801).

Any new course development, programmatic changes, or program name change must be approved by the appropriate curricular committees and faculty in the respective units.

The program, including admissions and course staffing, is subject to the AACSB accreditation requirements.

Schedule of Classes

The Schedule of Classes is a list of classes offered by term.


Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.

Industrial and Labor Relations
701 Industrial and Labor Relations. 3 cr. G.
Industrial relations systems, unions and management as institutions, work place as a socio-economic unit, labor market analysis, human resource management and collective bargaining. Prereq: grad st or cons instr.

711 Labor Relations Law. 3 cr. G.
Legal aspects of labor relations; operations of National Labor Relations Board, representation issues, use of economic weapons, good faith bargaining, enforcement, Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. Prereq: grad st or cons instr.

712 Employment Law. 3 cr. G.
Introduction to federal laws and regulations covering such topics as wage standards, unemployment compensation, osha, alien employment, social security, employee safety and prohibited discrimination. Prereq: grad st or cons instr.

715 Workplace Dispute Resolution. 3 cr. G.
Examination of the processes for dispute resolution; their usefulness and application in both union and non-union settings. Prereq: grad st & Econ 753(P), or cons instr.

716 Compensation: Theory and Practice. 3 cr. G.
Examination of pay policies and practices, their impact on employees, internal and external determinants, and problems of administration. Prereq: grad st; Bus Adm 731(P) & 738(P) or cons instr.

717 Employee Benefits. 3 cr. G.
Examination of role and scope of employee benefits, their determinants, and problems of administration. Prereq: grad st; Econ 753(R); Ind Rel 712(R).

720 Economics of Personnel. 3 cr. G.
Use of various economic models to examine personnel practices. Prereq: grad st; Econ 103(P) or equiv.

731 Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations. 3 cr. G.
Planning and carrying out simple surveys; evaluating policies, programs, and procedures in organizations; interpreting, evaluating and using research conducted by others. Ind Rel 731 and BusMgmt 731 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st; Econ 210(P) or Bus Adm 210(P) or cons instr.

754 Worker Participation. 3 cr. G.
Analyzes worker participation programs using history, economic and industrial relations theories, and empirical research and case studies. Jointly-offered w/& counts as repeat of Econ 754. Prereq: grad st; Econ 447(451)(P) or cons instr.

800 Current Issues in Industrial Relations: (Subtitled). 1-3 cr. G.
Topics course covering subjects such as quality work, innovations, employee testing, dispute resolution. Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max. Prereq: grad st; Ind Rel 701(P) or cons instr.

801 Research Project in Industrial and Labor Relations. 3 cr. G.
Work with a faculty advisor on the development and preparation of a research project on a current industrial relations issue. Prereq: completion of 24 cr in MHRLR Prog; cons instr.

888 Candidate for Degree. 0 cr. G.
Available for graduate students who must meet minimum credit load requirement. Fee for 1 cr assessed. Prereq: grad st.

921 Internship in Industrial Relations. 1-6 cr. G.
An internship with a company, union or a governmental agency in the field of human resources and labor relations. Project paper required. Retakeable to a total of 6 crs. Prereq: grad st; 8 cr in MHRLR Prog completed.

999 Independent Study. 1-3 cr. G.
Supervised investigation of a particular topic area either not covered by other industrial relations courses or a level of sophistication beyond that in other courses. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.

Below are links to other programs offering courses approved for the MHRLR. Note: Of these courses, only those listed above or approved by the student's advisor can count toward the MHRLR degree.