Academic Catalog

Employment and Labor Relations (M.A.)

The Master of Arts in Employment and Labor Relations (MAELR) is an inter-college as well as an interdisciplinary graduate degree program jointly sponsored by the Departments of Economics and Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Management and Information Systems in the School of Business Administration. Policy direction is provided by the Academic Policy Committee composed of one representative of each sponsoring department

MAELR is designed to provide professional preparation for a career in human resource management and labor-management relations. Students will be prepared in this discipline for positions in government, business and union organizations, and the program staff will assist in the appropriate job placement of its graduates. This program will also provide knowledge and skills for persons who contemplate entering or who are already engaged in self-employment involving labor relations, such as labor arbitration.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Admission is limited to holders of baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions and is granted only to those applicants who evidence promise of success in industrial relations study.

Admission to the program requires three letters of recommendation and completion of the program application form, in addition to the transcripts and the application form required by Graduate Enrollment Services. The letters of recommendation must be written by college or university professors under which the applicant has studied, and/ or current or former employers. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required of all applicants. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the following:

  1. the overall or upper-division grade point average;
  2. GRE and GMAT scores;
  3. applicant’s performance in previous graduate courses, if any;
  4. quality of the applicant’s employment experience at increasing levels of responsibility; and,
  5. other appropriate indicators of successful performance as a graduate student, including the content of reference appraisals.

Students applying to the program who have completed a graduate degree, may be exempt from submitting GRE and GMAT scores.


Students who have been admitted but who do not possess all of the following prerequisites must remedy any deficiency, without graduate credit, before graduate courses are taken in the degree program: statistics (equivalent to ECO 5100, BA 2300, or EER 7630); introductory microeconomics (such as ECO 2010) and an equivalent of PSY 2100, Psychology in the Work Place. A grade of ‘C’ or better is required of all prerequisite courses.


All academic advising will be done by the Academic Services Officer. Students should call the MAELR Office (313-577-0175) for information on advising hours.

Program Requirements

MAELR is offered only as a Plan C master’s program requiring the satisfactory completion of at least thirty-six credits in graduate course work, including a core curriculum of twenty-four credits and twelve electives:

ECO 6480Advanced Economics of Work3
ELR 7000Introduction to Labor and Employment Relations3
ELR 7450Employment Relations Law in North America3
ELR 8500Strategic Analysis of North American Labor and Human Resources Issues (Capstone course: prerequisites include all other Core Courses) 13
MGT 7640Management of Human Resources3
MGT 7750Managing Employee Relations3
MGT 7780/DR 7210Workplace Negotiations3
ELR 7550Selected Topics in Employment and Labor Relations 23
Electives 312
Total Credits36

ELR 8500 should be taken in the last nine credits of the program and only after the completion of the six other Core Courses.


The topic and methodology of a Directed Study must have the prior approval of the Director, who must also approve the appointment of the faculty member who will supervise the project. For courses specifically associated with this program see Employment and Labor Relations Courses (ELR).


Selection of electives will be guided by the student’s prior preparation and career objectives and will require the approval of the Program Director. Electives are not limited to courses offered by the sponsoring departments.

A Core Course may be waived only if the student demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Academic Policy Committee, that he/she has completed an equivalent graduate-level course with a grade of ‘B’ or better and elects an additional approved elective course in its place.

Academic Scholarship: Graduate students in the MAELR program will be required to earn a ‘B’ (3.0) average to satisfy degree requirements. If a grade below ‘B’ is received in a core course, that course must be repeated promptly and a grade of ‘B’ or better obtained. A grade of ‘C’ in two graduate courses will constitute a sufficient basis for dismissal from the program. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Candidacy: Students are expected to file a Plan of Work when nine graduate credits in the MAELR curriculum have been earned. Upon approval of the Plan of Work the student’s rank will be changed from ‘applicant’ to ‘candidate’ provided the applicant’s grade point average is at least 3.0.

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