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 8 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 8 core knowledge areas comprising our master's degree, along with the courses included under each area.

For example, students can focus on Strategic Change and Leadership in HR by completing both courses under our Strategy and Firm Performance core knowledge area (HRLR 871 and HRLR 872), plus Leadership (HRLR 818) and Organizational Development & Planned Change (HRLR 816) courses listed under our Organizational Change Leadership core knowledge area.

Listed under each core knowledge area below are both required courses (marked in BOLD and UNDERLINED) and elective courses.

  1. Human Resource Management

    • Human Resource Practices and Decisions (HRLR 820)
    • Talent Acquisition & Deployment (HRLR 821)
    • Training & Development (HRLR 822)
    • Compensation (HRLR 825)

  2. Strategy and Firm Performance

    • Human Resources & Firm Performance (HRLR 871)
    • Human Resource Strategy (HRLR 872) - prerequisite: HRLR 820

  3. International HR & LR

    • International & Comparative HR & LR (HRLR 854) - prerequisite: HRLR 858 or 863
    • International HR (HRLR 855) - prerequisite: HRLR 820
    • Study Abroad (HRLR 859) - possible prerequisite required

  4. Organizational Change Leadership

    • Organizational Behavior for Management of HR (HRLR 813)
    • Organizational Development & Planned Management (HRLR 816) - prerequisite: HRLR 813
    • Leadership (HRLR 818)
    • Negotiations & Conflict Resolution (HRLR 819) - prerequisite: HRLR 813

  5. Workplace Law & Policies

    • Labor Law (HRLR 863)
    • Employment Law (HRLR 868)

  6. Labor Relations

    • Collective Bargaining (HRLR 858)

  7. Analytical Skills for HR & LR

    • Economics of Human Resources (HRLR 809)
    • Quantitative Methods for HR Analyses (HRLR 832)
    • HR Analytics (HRLR 891) -prerequisite: HRLR 832

  8. Independent Study in HR/LR or Approved non-HRLR Courses from offering department

    • Independent Study in HR/LR (HRLR 899)
    • Career Counseling (CEP 864)*
    • Adult Learning (EAD 861)*
    • Adult Career Development (EAD 864)*
    • International Management (MGT 804)*
    • Managerial Comm Strategy & Tactics (MBA 816)* (1.5 credits)
    • Designing and Delivering Impactful Business Presentations (MBA 817)* (1.5 credits)
    • Project Management (ACC 822)*