Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    
    May 18, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024

Graduation Requirements


In the School of Industrial and Labor Relations .


Requirements for Graduation - Undergraduate Students Matriculating Prior to Fall 2022


To earn the Cornell bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations, a student must successfully complete 120 credits (30 credits a year on average), including work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program. Program is in person in Ithaca unless otherwise noted.


Minimum GPA Requirement

  • Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) or better to graduate

Required Courses

All core required courses must be taken for a letter grade, except ILRID 1500 which is satisfactory/unsatisfactory exclusively.

First Year 

Second Year

Writing Requirements


Students are required to fulfill the following writing requirements for a letter grade from approved lists:

  • First-Year Writing Seminar (2 courses)
  • Advanced Writing (1 course minimum 3 credits)

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 tradition.
  • 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- Courses 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 from approved lists.

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 (Maximum of 12 credits)
    • 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

University Level Requirements


The University has two requirements for graduation that must be fulfilled by all undergraduate students:

  • Physical Education (2 courses)
  • Swim Test

Minimum Required Credits


Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits, 105 of which must be taken for a letter grade.

Physical Education credits and 10XX course DO NOT count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.

Test Credit


Students admitted to the ILR School 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.

  • 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 review Advanced Placement & Advanced Standing  to see credits accepted by Cornell University.


Requirements for Graduation - Undergraduate Students Matriculating Fall 2022 and Beyond


To earn the Cornell bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations, a student must successfully complete 120 credits (30 credits a year on average), including work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program. Program is in person in Ithaca unless otherwise noted.


Minimum GPA Requirement

  • Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) or better to graduate

Required Courses

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade.

First Year

Second Year


Writing Requirements


Students  fulfill the following writing requirements by taking one course from and approved list for a letter grade:

  • First-Year Writing Seminar (1 course, cannot be fulfilled by test credit)
  • Sophomore Writing (1 course, minimum of 3 credits from an approved list)
  • Advanced Writing Intensive Elective (1 course, minimum of 3 credits from an approved list)

Science and Technology Requirement


Courses 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.

Students must complete one course, minimum of 3 credits for a letter grade from an approved list.


Advanced ILR Elective Requirements


Students are required to complete 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 (Maximum of 12 credits)
    • Advanced mathematics 
    • Approved courses from other colleges
  • At least one, 3-4 credit course must be taken, for a letter grade, from the approved list in each of the following three areas:
    • International and Comparative Labor
    • Advanced Labor History
    • Quantitative 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 

General Elective Credits

ILR Students typically take 30-33 general elective credits.


University Level Requirements


The University has two requirements for graduation that must be fulfilled by all undergraduate students:

  • Physical Education (2 courses)
  • Swim Test

Minimum Required Credits


Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits, 105 of which must be taken for a letter grade. Approved transfer credit and test credit will count as part of the letter graded credits total.

Physical Education credits and 10XX course DO NOT count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.


Test Credit


Students admitted to the ILR School 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. 

  • AP or IB credit may be used to fulfill the Science and Technology distribution, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Introductory Statistics requirements.
  • 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.

Transfer Credit

Students who matriculate as transfer students may transfer a maximum of 60 credits from an accredited institution.

To earn transfer credit, students must take the course for a letter grade and earn a grade of C or higher. Transfer credits will only be accepted from an accredited institution. Transfer credits must be equivalent to Cornell courses. Equivalence will be assessed by these criteria:

  • Course content (at least 80% of material covered in a similar Cornell course)
  • The use of a textbook similar to that used in the parallel Cornell course
  • The use of examinations, writing assignments, projects or other submitted work that is substantially similar to those required in a similar Cornell course
  • Substantial similarity in meeting hours of the Cornell and non-Cornell course

Students who matriculate as first-years may apply a maximum of 15 non-Cornell credits earned toward the 120 credits required for graduation. These credits include test credit and college credits earned elsewhere.

Once matriculated, all students are limited to a total of 15 extramural credits throughout the course of their degree. Extramural credits include credits taken during the summer or winter session at Cornell or at another institution. These limitations do not apply to approved study-abroad programs. Total transfer credit cannot exceed 60 credits, including test credit and credit from approved study abroad programs.