Courses of Study 2016-2017 
    Jun 12, 2024  
Courses of Study 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

In the School of Industrial and Labor Relations .

Requirements for Graduation

To earn the Cornell bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations, a student must successfully complete 120 credits, and complete eight semesters of full-time study (30 credits a year on average), including work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program. Those who enter the school as transfer students will be required to complete four to six semesters in full-time residence, depending on the number or transferrable credits hours completed at other institutions. Exceptions may be made by petitioning the ILR Academic Standards and Scholarships Committee. Those enrolled in the employee degree program, who typically study on a part-time basis, will be exempt from this requirement.


Test Credit

Students admitted to the ILR School beginning Fall 2012 may have up to 12 credits of Advanced College Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or General Certificate of Education Advanced Level Examination (GCE) test credit applied toward completion of their bachelor of science degree.  Any additional AP course work can only be used for course placement purposes. Advanced Placement credit may not be used to accelerate graduation.  Students admitted prior to Fall 2012 may have up to 30 credits of AP, IB, or GCE test credit applied toward completion of their bachelor of science degree.

  • AP, IB, or GCE English can be used to fulfill one First-Year Writing Seminar
  • AP or IB credit may be used to fulfill one of the distribution requirements (Western Intellectual Tradition, Cultural Perspectives or Science and Technology)
  • AP foreign language test credit will be counted as general elective credit and cannot be used for advanced ILR elective credit
  • AP, IB, or GCE credit may be used to fulfill the required economics and statistics core requirements
  • Students cannot receive test credit and credit for the equivalent course taken at the collegiate level

For further information on score requirements please see the complete list of test credit  accepted by Cornell University.

Sample ILR Curriculum

First Year

Junior and Senior Years:

ILR Electives / Distributions / General Electives (58 credits)

Minimum total credits required for graduation: 120


 ILR Elective Courses – 40 Credits minimum

 Must include at least one course from an approved list in each of the following three areas:

  • International & Comparative Labor
  • Labor History
  • Economic Policy

Minimum of 24 credits of ILR course work – including 4950 (Honors), 4990 (Independent Study) – with a maximum of 16 credits of non-ILR courses at Cornell as approved by ILR departments

Maximum of 12 credits from foreign language or advanced math

May include up to 9 credits for one semester abroad or 15 credits for a full year abroad

Maximum of 16 credits in a credit internship program

Minimum for full-time student status is 12 credits per semester

A minimum of 120 credit hours are needed for graduation, with a minimum of 105 credits taken for a letter grade

Physical Education credit DOES NOT count toward the 120 credits needed for graduation or toward the 12 credits minimum each semester for fulltime student status

Distribution Requirements

The ILR School requires students to complete one course in each of the following areas:

  • Western Intellectual Tradition- A course that introduces students to the foundation of “Western” political, economic, and legal thought which covers a.) a period of time broad enough to affect contemporary thought; and b.) at least two thinkers, authors, or contributors to the Western intellectual traditions.
  • Cultural Perspectives- Undergraduate education should provide students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of the similarities and differences among cultures around the world.  This requirement should engage students in the study of ideas, histories and cultures of countries beyond the United States and Western Europe.  Upper-level language courses about culture (including film and literature) will only fulfill this requirement if they focus on non-Western European languages and/or nations.
  • Science and Technology- Course in the biological or physical sciences or sciences and technology offered at Cornell (or completed as AP courses in high school with approval by the appropriate department at Cornell) will satisfy this requirement.  The intent of the requirement is to enable ILR undergraduates to understand and appreciate the perspectives, models, values, and issues associated with science and technology.

Distribution courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Advanced ILR Elective Requirements

Students are required to take 40 credit hours in advanced ILR electives for graduation. These credits are subject to the following rules:

  • A minimum of 24 credits must be taken within the ILR school
  • Up to 16 credits may be taken outside ILR in the following areas:
    • Foreign language
    • Advanced mathematics
    • Approved courses from other colleges
  • At least one course must be taken, for a letter grade, from the approved list in each of the following three areas:
    • International and Comparative Labor
    • Labor History
    • Economic Policy
  • Approved study abroad work may be used to fulfill:
    • Up to 9 credits for a single semester
    • Up to 15 credits for a full year
  • Internships and student research may also be used to satisfy the elective requirement:
    • Maximum of 16 credits for a semester internship
    • Maximum of 8 credits independent or directed study (research)