Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Jul 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Academic Options

 In the College of Industrial and Labor Relations .

Special Study Options

To meet the academic objectives of our students, the school’s faculty has established several special study options. For additional information, students should contact an advisor in the Office of Student Services. Advisors will explore the program with students to help them decide if it suits their interests and fits into their degree plan.

Five-Year Master of Science Degree Program

With early planning it is possible to earn the M.S. degree in a fifth year of study. This program is designed specifically for those who wish to study in an area of specialization in the school for a master of science degree. Students considering this program should consult an advisor in the Office of Student Services after their freshman year.

Credit Internship Program

The ILR Credit Internship Program affords qualified ILR juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to gain significant professional experience while also receiving a full semester’s credit. Approved students are eligible to undertake internships in a wide-range of organizations from trade unions and large corporations, to government agencies, labor & employment law firms, and non-profits. In operation for nearly forty years, the ILR Credit Internship Program is widely recognized in the United States as the most successful of its type. The program was created by the faculty of the ILR School to afford our advanced undergraduates, juniors and seniors, opportunities to enhance their understanding of the field of industrial and labor relations by working for a semester (approximately 14 weeks), in one of the professional careers it encompasses. Students intern across the U.S. and around the world.  For more information, please visit our website.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates in ILR can pursue options to do directed research at any point during their study, although this option is most common in the junior or senior year. 

Graduation with Honors

Undergraduates who have earned a minimum 3.700 GPA at the end of the junior year may propose a two-semester research project, for review by the Committee on Academic Standards and Scholarships, culminating in the preparation of a senior honors thesis. When approved, the candidate for graduation with honors works for two semesters (for 4 credits each semester) to research, write, and then defend the thesis.

International Study Options

Study Abroad

ILR students who plan to study in another country most often do so in the junior year, occasionally in the senior year. They may study in one of the programs that is sponsored by Cornell, in one sponsored by another institution and endorsed by Cornell, or in an approved externally sponsored program. Information about study abroad is available in the ILR International Programs Office, or the Office of Global Learning, or the Office of Student Services.

Students are expected to register for a full course load, the equivalent of 15 credit hours in a semester or 30 hours in a year, when they study abroad. Some courses will be the equivalent of general elective credit or distribution credit, but others may be accepted as ILR elective credit if evaluated and approved by the relevant ILR department chairs. A student may satisfy up to 9 hours of the ILR elective credit in a single semester abroad and up to 15 hours in a year of foreign study.

Application for foreign study requires that the student meet the Cornell deadlines as well as those specified by the program(s) of interest. Applications include tentative class schedules, recommendations from faculty members, essays, and transcripts. After being approved in ILR, the application is sent to the Cornell Abroad office and then to the program for which the student is applying.

ILR Exchange Program

An ILR Exchange is a study abroad opportunity with a specific ILR international partner university and is ONLY open to ILR students. ILR Exchange Programs provide a unique opportunity for ILR students to study abroad at a partner institution.  Students can study for a semester, full-year, or during the summer in China.  Our partner institutions offer courses that are similar to ILR’s, which makes it possible for students to earn ILR elective credits while abroad.  Exchange programs are reciprocal with ILR students going abroad and international exchange students coming to ILR, Cornell University. Currently the ILR School has student exchange programs in Australia, China, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program

The ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program is the educational centerpiece of a comprehensive collaboration between the ILR School at Cornell University and the Lochlann Quinn School of Business at University College Dublin. The program’s purpose is to afford eligible ILR undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) opportunities to enhance their understanding of various international dimensions of the field of industrial and labor relations through courses taught by leading scholars at one of Europe’s most vibrant and dynamic universities. The curriculum consists of three required courses: European Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, Multinationals in the Global Economy, and Irish History and Culture. In addition, students will select one elective course related to the ILR field. Students will receive 12 ILR elective credits for the three ILR-related courses and three transfer credits for the Irish History and Culture course, for a total of 15 credits.

ILR Global Service Learning Programs

Students can take part in a summer global service learning program at a host institution in India, Nicaragua, Vietnam, or Zambia.  The program requirements and details can be found on the ILR School’s website.

ILR Global Scholars Program

The ILR Global Scholars program (GSP) encourages students to incorporate a global component into their education at ILR and recognizes those who do this successfully. To enter the GSP the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.60. The four components of the GSP consist of: significant international experience while at ILR; foreign language study; completing four international and comparative courses on different regions of the world; and writing a reflective learning paper under the guidance of a faculty adviser.


Students may pursue minors in any department in any college that offers them, subject to limitations placed by the department offering the minor or by the student’s major. Completed minors will appear on the student’s transcript. Not all departments offer minors. Consult the appropriate section in this catalog or contact the appropriate department for information on minors offered and how to pursue a minor.