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Labor-relevant, online Masters degrees

Masters of Professional Studies Degrees in Human Resources and Employment Relations (Labor Studies Concentration)

Get a Labor-Relevant Masters Degree from Penn State University

To be effective in today’s fast-moving world, labor leaders need to have in-depth knowledgeable about a range of issues.  And they need to possess the same analytical and leadership skills that employer representatives have.  Penn State’s MPS degree allows union leaders and staff to gain that knowledge and develop those skills.  The Labor Studies Concentration within the MPS in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) is a labor-relevant degree program that provides union leaders with the flexibility to fit coursework into their busy schedules.  The program is:

--fully online so that students are not required to physically come to the University or any other location for classes;

--provides maximum flexibility by not requiring students to be online at any particular point in time;

--rigorous and requires the completion of weekly readings, assignments, and activities, but students can work on these whenever they have time during the week; 

--designed for people working full-time who are interested in taking classes part time.

Course work for the MPS degree with the Labor Studies Concentration

The MPS in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER) is offered by the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State.  The School has worked with the labor movement on education and training programs since its founding in 1942.  The LABOR STUDIES CONCENTRATION, within the MPS program, allows labor students to focus their

coursework on issues of relevance and importance to them. Among the labor-related courses in the program are courses on Collective Bargaining; Labor and Employment Law; Union Structure, Government, and Administration; Union Strategies for the 21st Century; Organizations in the Workplace; Public Sector Labor Relations, and Labor and Globalization.

Most students do the degree on a part-time basis taking either one or two courses a semester.  Virtually all courses are offered every semester—fall, spring, and summer—so students can work toward the degree at their own pace.

Who should apply for the Masters Degree, Labor Studies Concentration?

Anyone interested in learning about the critical challenges facing unions in the U.S. and around the world and in developing advanced analytical and leadership skills.  The program is particularly relevant for elected union leaders and professional union staff.  Classes are offered year round and are fully online to meet the needs of busy people. Applicants must have a bachelors degree from an accredited university and are admitted to the program on the basis of undergraduate grades, work experience, and a personal statement.  GREs or other standardized tests are not required.  Applicants can begin coursework in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters and must apply 2-3 months before the beginning of a semester. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid, usually in the form of loans, is available to students who qualify.

For additional information on the Masters of Professional Studies degree, please contact Amy Dietz, HRER Academic Advisor at  or 800-252-3592 (toll free).

Related Programs

  • Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

Learn more at the Penn State World Campus website