Related Certificates

Whether you are currently in the field, a recent college graduate or wish to change careers, the Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations (MHRLR) provides the knowledge necessary to thrive. Classes emphasize practical applications, case studies and engagement. Students apply their new knowledge to current workplace challenges.

The MHRLR program provides a thorough understanding of the core functions, contemporary practices and underlying theories of human resources and employment relations.

The MHRLR program values diversity, bringing together students from varying backgrounds and experiences to create a dynamic learning environment in the classroom and beyond.

What you learn in class can be utilized the next morning at work.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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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 College of Business. The MHRLR Program believes in a common body of knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective Human Resource or Labor Relations professional.

The program has a required core of seven courses (21 credits) and five elective courses (15 credits) for a total of 36 credits.

Required Core
IND REL 701Industrial and Labor Relations3
BUSMGMT 706Managing in a Dynamic Environment3
BUS ADM 738Human Resource Management3
BUS ADM 735Staffing Organizations3
ECON 448GEconomics of Human Resources 13
or ECON 753 Collective Bargaining
IND REL 712Employment Law3
IND REL 731Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations 23
or BUSMGMT 731 Research Tools for Practitioners in Human Resources and Labor Relations
Electives (see list of approved electives below)15
Total Credits36

If ECON 448G and ECON 753 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 IND REL 731 or BUSMGMT 731 (but not both) to help meet the required 15 credit minimum in each the College of Letters and Science and the Lubar College of Business.

Elective Courses

The choice of electives to complete a MHRLR degree should reflect student interest. Students are not required to choose a specialization and are encouraged to select those electives that best suit their backgrounds and interests. A student may take up to 6 credits from the approved list of alternative electives in other schools such as the School of Nursing, the School of Education, and the School of Social Welfare.

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 799 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 799. 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 799 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.

Approved Electives
College of Letters & Science
IND REL 715Workplace Dispute Resolution3
IND REL 725Total Rewards Compensation3
IND REL 800Current Issues in Industrial Relations:1-3
ECON 415GEconomics of Employment and Labor Relations3
ECON 448GEconomics of Human Resources3
ECON 753Collective Bargaining3
ECON 755Comparative Labor Markets and Employment Relations3
COMMUN 665GIntroduction to Mediation3
POL SCI 452GAdministrative Law3
POL SCI 769Analyzing and Evaluating Public Policies and Programs3
SOCIOL 443GOrganizations, Occupations, and Professions3
Lubar College of Business
BUS ADM 442GIndustrial Psychology3
BUS ADM 445GTraining & Development in Organizations3
BUS ADM 731Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion3
BUS ADM 733Organizational Development3
BUS ADM 737Managerial Decisions and Negotiations3
BUSMGMT 715Leadership, Team Building, and Effective Management3
BUSMGMT 723Managing and Negotiating Across Borders3
BUSMGMT 728Training and Development in Organizations3
Administrative Leadership (College of Community Engagement and Professions)
AD LDSP 710Organizational Change and Team Leadership3
AD LDSP 757Principles and Foundations of Adult Education3
AD LDSP 777Leadership in Multicultural Organizations3

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadline

Students may begin their studies in the Fall, Spring or Summer semesters. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. The program does not have a specific deadline to apply.


An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following requirements to be considered for admission to the MHRLR program:

  1. Submission of two letters of recommendation to the MHRLR program.
  2. Statement of reasons for graduate study. 
  3. Students admitted to the program will be expected to present at least three credits of prior work in both principles of microeconomics and introductory statistics.
  4. Students who are deficient in the areas of principles 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 for the degree.
  5. Submission of GRE or GMAT scores is recommended, but not required.
  6. Applicants are reviewed by the MHRLR admissions committee to assess academic achievements and the ability to do intensive graduate-level work.

Admissions Process


Complete the UWM Graduate School Application for the MHRLR program.

Your application will be complete once you have provided the following items:


Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application.  International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English.  Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts. There is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the Graduate School will request official copies of your transcripts.

Statement of Reasons for Graduate Study

An essential part of your application, this is used to determine the appropriateness of your educational and professional goals and serves as an example of your ability to express yourself in writing. In the statement:

  • explain your reasons for pursing graduate study;
  • describe specific interests and your background in the field;
  • list any relevant skills or training your have acquired;
  • list relevant academic awards or honors you have received; and
  • list the names of individuals who will send recommendations on your behalf.

Application Fee

A $75 base application fee is required of all applicants.

Test Scores

The GRE or GMAT is recommended but not required for admission. If you have taken either test in the past five years, we encourage you to provide us with your scores. Your results will be considered as supplemental academic information and may help strengthen your application.

  • GRE – Institution Code 1473, Dept. Code 4204
  • GMAT – Institution Code 1896

Letters of Recommendation

We require two professional or academic references from people who know your ability to perform graduate level work and/or your commitment to and interest in human resource management and labor relations.

Please use the online system for letters of recommendation through the University’s application.

International Students – Language Requirements

If you did not receive your undergraduate degree from an institution where English is the primary method of instruction, we require TOEFL scores. The minimum score requirement for admission is a score equivalent to the internet based TOEFL test score of 80 or above with section scores of at least 20 on all four sections (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing).

Prerequisite Courses

The MHRLR Program has two prerequisite courses: Principles of Microeconomics and Introductory Statistics. All students in the program are required to have passed both courses with a grade of B- (B minus) or better, either prior to admission or within three semesters of active enrollment.


Questions about the MRHRL program should be directed to The application process goes through the Graduate School. Questions about the online application form or problems submitting the application should be directed to them at

Questions about the MRHRL program should be directed to The application process goes through the Graduate School. Questions about the online application form or problems submitting the application should be directed to them at