Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy

The Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers, individuals involved in government or private industry, and anyone in the world of work and labor in the 21st century.

Advance your career by strengthening your communication, analytical, and leadership skills. The program can help you become more effective in your present position and prepare you for greater responsibilities, or new positions that involve labor, industrial relations, or human resources. Graduates of this program work in diverse fields, including public administration, public advocacy, and worker's organizations. Students can also incorporate an advanced certificate into their degree program and earn a second credential.

Program Design

The Work and Labor Policy program is a 30-credit hour master’s degree. Students can choose between a concentration in Workforce Development or a General individualized track.  The program's emphasis is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the workforce, and the workplace. It also provides a background in American labor relations, labor history, labor law, and collective bargaining.

Required Courses

The courses below are required for both concentrations. An additional 15 credit hours in a focus area are also required.

  • LABR 6010 - Work and Labor Studies
  • PPOL 6007 - Policy Process
  • LABR 6015 - Labor Policy in America
  • PPOL 6021 - Methods for Policy Research (preferred course) OR PPOL 6020 - Research Methods (if you intend to pursue doctoral studies)
  • LABR 7010 - Final Project: Work and Labor Policy

Elective Courses and Final Project

Depending on the concentration area, students may choose 1 or 5 electives to reflect their interests and to reinforce the individual focus of their degree. For the general concentration, students are encouraged to use the electives to build a concentration around their final project topic. Many students choose to incorporate one of the advanced certificates into their master’s degree as their focus area. We recommend students look at the Labor Studies or Workforce Development certificates.

The final project focuses on a topic of your interest that draws upon your prior coursework and allows for a meaningful contribution to your field of study and/or practice. This is done through a professional project in the form of a policy memorandum.

For more information about this program and its course sequencing and descriptions, visit the Empire State University's Academic Catalog.