The Integral Role of Human Resources and Labor Relations to Business Success

Critical to one's professional success is learning to effectively lead and manage the most valuable and most complex resource of any organization, its human resources.

Paramount to achieving and sustaining competitive advantage, is the alignment of Human Resources and Labor Relations (HR and LR) strategies with business and operational strategies.

Working closely with our distinguished external Advisory Board, our curriculum is designed to provide students with the comprehensive knowledge and essential analytic business skills and acumen to become business leaders with expertise in HR and LR.

Emphasized within our curriculum, therefore, is a rich understanding of the integral role HR and LR plays in achieving business and organizational goals in an international environment.

A Flexible and Comprehensive Curriculum

The MSU Master of Human Resources & Labor Relations program is based on a 12-course, 36 credit-hour curriculum. To ensure graduates receive a comprehensive professional education, students take one or more courses across each of 7 core ‘knowledge areas.’ In addition to completing 5 required courses, students have the flexibility to develop expertise in selected subjects by choosing 7 elective courses. Described next are the 7 core knowledge areas comprising our master's degree, along with the courses included under each area. (Courses marked by an * are required courses.)

For example, students can focus on International HR and LR by completing all three courses listed under our International HR & LR core knowledge area and "International Employment & Labor Law" under our Workplace Law core knowledge area. Similarly, students can focus on strategic change and leadership in HR by completing both courses under our Strategy and Firm Performance core knowledge area, plus our "Leadership" and "Organizational Development & Change Management" courses listed under our Organizational Change Leadership core knowledge area.

Listed under each core knowledge area below are both required courses (marked by an asterisk) and elective courses.

  1. Human Resource Management (take two courses)
    • Human Resource Practices and Decisions*
    • Talent Acquisition & Deployment
    • Training & Development
    • Compensation
    • HR Information Systems
    • Foundation of Employee Benefits
  2. Strategy and Firm Performance
    • Human Resources & Firm Performance
    • Human Resource Strategy
  3. International HR & LR
    • International Human Resources*
    • Comparative Employment Relations*
    • Study Abroad in HR & LR
  4. Organizational Change Leadership
    • Organizational Behavior for HR & LR*
    • Organizational Development & Change Management
    • High Performance Work Systems
    • Negotiations & Conflict Resolution
    • Leadership
  5. Workplace Law
    • Employment Law
    • Labor Law
    • International Employment & Labor Law
  6. Labor Relations
    • Collective Bargaining*
    • Grievance Administration & Arbitration
  7. Analytical Skills for HR & LR (take both courses)
    • Economics of Human Resources*
    • Quantitative Methods for HR Analyses*