Cornell University

Undergraduate Admissions

Advancing the world of work


One major, a flexible curriculum

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All ILR undergraduates have the same major: Industrial and Labor Relations

ILR's curriculum balances structure and flexibility. Foundation courses provide a comprehensive view of the historical, legal, management and economic issues that define and influence workers and the workplace. For electives, you can draw on thousands of courses available throughout the university.

The ILR major focuses on the study of people and policies in the workplace. Students learn how individuals, groups and organizations address workplace issues affecting businesses, society, the economy and international affairs.

The ILR Curriculum

For a summary of our course requirements and examples of how ILR students can pursue their interests in law, business, government, international relations and other areas, please review our Curriculum and Sample Electives.

During the freshman and sophomore years, ILR students take required introductory courses that introduce them to organizational psychology, economics, labor history, statistics, management and law. There is also the opportunity to complete the three ILR distribution requirements and to take electives within ILR and the other undergraduate schools at Cornell.

During the junior and senior years, each student tailors the curriculum according to individual interests by selecting appropriate advanced ILR electives and electives throughout Cornell. Students also pursue internships, independent research, and study abroad opportunities during this time.

No two ILR students have identical academic programs. While ILR sets well-defined guidelines, you will have the freedom to make the program your own by drawing on the diversity of courses offered. General electives and courses to satisfy the distribution requirements can be taken at any time during the four years.

Requirements for the degree

To earn the Cornell Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, you need to successfully complete 120 credits. This requires eight semesters of full-time study for an average of 15 credits per semester. This includes work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program. A typical four-year program is outlined on the curriculum page. Those who enter the school as transfer students will be required to complete four to six semesters of full-time study depending on the number of transferable credits hours completed at other institutions.

A maximum of 12 credits of Advanced Placement work may be used for Cornell credit. Any additional AP course work can only be used for course placement purposes. Advanced Placement credit may not be used to accelerate graduation.

For more detailed information