Cornell University

Graduate Degree Programs

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MILR/MBA Dual Degree Program

The dual degree MILR/MBA program from ILR and Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management offers a unique opportunity. Alumni and current students agree that obtaining a joint MILR/MBA from these two highly respected programs at Cornell offers an incredible edge in today's fast changing workplace. The MILR/MBA program will

  • increase your career options
  • develop management and technical skills
  • increase your earning power

A joint MILR/MBA degree from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and Johnson places you in the center of the 21st century workplace.

Students must apply to and be accepted in both the MILR and MBA programs. The dual degree requires a total of 75 credit hours in two and a half years: 2 semesters in ILR and 3 semesters at Johnson.


What People are Saying about the ILR School's MILR Program

“In my opinion, if you are certain that you want a career in HRM, a MS in HRM from a top school such as Cornell is the best way to go. This top tier school has excellent placement rates and good salaries for graduates.” (taken from the SHRM Web site)

— Steve Thomas, Southwest Missouri State University

“I think you will find it easier to get an HR job with an M.S. [or MILR] -- particularly if you get a degree from one of the top five programs (Cornell, Univ. of Wisconsin, Univ. of Illinois, Univ. of Minn. and Michigan State Univ.)…” (taken from the SHRM Web site)

— Mark J. Keppler, California State University- Fresno

“As a graduate of Cornell's Masters in Industrial and Labor Relations (MILR), I have some insight that might be helpful. The main difference between MBA with a HR concentration and a Masters of Science in HR Mgmt. or a Masters in Labor Relations (which in today's world can be almost totally HR-based and not traditional mgmt.-union focused) is this: an MBA has a ton of general business courses and only a few HR ones. The MILR has a ton of HR courses and a few general business ones. Employers go to both schools, but I think the national recruited MILR schools are limited (Cornell, Minnesota, Michigan State, Illinois are the ones I ran across).” (taken from the SHRM Web site)

— Gary Garber, Vice President, Human Resources, Avaya Government Solutions


MILR Requirements

Students must complete the 6 MILR Core courses (18 Credit hours) at the ILR School including Collective Bargaining, Labor and Employment Law, Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, Organizational Behavior, Labor Economics, and Human Resource Management.

  • ILRLR 5000 Collective Bargaining - A comprehensive introduction to the industrial relations system of the United States. Includes the negotiation, scope, and day-to-day administration of contracts, union and employer bargaining structures, implications of industrial relations issues for U.S. competitiveness and public policy, industrial conflict, and U.S. - industrial relations in an international and comparative perspective.
  • ILRLR 5010 Labor and Employment Law - A survey and analysis of the law governing labor relations and employee rights in the workplace. The first half of the course examines the legal framework in which collective bargaining takes place, including union organizational campaigns, negotiations for and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements, and the use of economic pressure. The second half of the course surveys additional issues of rights in employment, including such topics as employment discrimination, the developing law of "unjust dismissal," and union democracy. Also serves as an introduction to judicial and administrative systems.
  • ILRST 5110 Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences - A second course in statistics that emphasizes applications to the social sciences. Topics include: simple linear regression; multiple linear regression (theory, model building, and model diagnostics); and the analysis of variance. Computer packages are used extensively.
  • ILROB 5200 Organizational Behavior - Survey of concepts, theories, and research from the fields of organizational and social psychology as these relate to the behavior of individuals and groups in organizations. Job attitudes, motivation, performance, leadership and power, group formation, perception, and organizational climate. A preliminary course for advanced work in organizational behavior.
  • ILRLE 5400 Labor Economics - A course in labor market economics for prospective managers in the corporate, union, and governmental sectors. The course begins with demand and supply in labor markets, presenting the tools of decision analysis for workers and firms. It then goes on to consider various topics for managers including deciding on the optimal mix of capital and labor to employ, attracting and retaining talent, pay and productivity, hiring and training investments, and pensions and retirement. The final section of the course covers other important labor market issues including unemployment, discrimination, poverty and inequality, and analysis of public policies.
  • ILRHR 5600 Human Resource Management - A survey course covering the major areas of the management of human behavior in work organizations. Consideration is given to aspects of strategic human resource management such as staffing, training and development, performance management, compensation, and employee relations. Emphasis is on exploring these issues from both strategic and tactical levels to increase organizational effectiveness.

MILR Elective Requirement

12 elective credit hours that may be taken in any course approved by the candidate's advisor at the ILR school.

MBA Requirements

Johnson core courses are taken from seven key areas: Financial Accounting, Statistics for Management, Microeconomics for Management, Marketing Management, Managing and Leading in Organizations, Strategy, Managerial Finance and Managing Operations.

  • 20 credit hours of core MBA courses
  • 25 credit hours of elective MBA courses

Visit Johnson's website for more information regarding the MBA application process and degree requirements.



In summary, a candidate for the MILR/MBA Dual Degrees must successfully complete:

  • 18 credit hours of MILR Core Courses (6 courses)
  • 20 credit hours of core MBA courses
  • 25 credit hours of elective MBA courses
  • 12 credit hours of elective MILR courses

for a total of 75 credit hours.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Apply Now

If you still have questions, make sure you read our Frequently Asked Questions or get in touch with one of our advisors. When you're ready, take the next step and start your application procedure.