Why MPS?

The part-time MPS program in New York City allows motivated professionals to earn a master’s degree from the leading school for labor-management relations, human resource studies, and the working world, taught by full-time Cornell faculty. Geared toward experienced professionals from a broad range of careers, the MPS curriculum is specially designed for individuals with real-world experience to advance their mastery of the complexities of organizations and the employment relationship.

To understand the workplace, one must understand how it affects and is affected by individual motivation and group dynamics, internal policies and practices, and the historical, political, economic, and cultural environment. Cornell’s ILR School integrates management and labor perspectives, giving students a broad-based foundation for understanding the human side of organizations. The multidisciplinary MPS curriculum and specialized final project give students the opportunity to broaden their expertise on such areas as workplace processes, labor-management relations, organizational development, labor markets, human resource practices, dispute resolution, and relevant law and public policy.

In the small seminar-style discussions that make up the core of the MPS experience, everyone brings something to the table. Faculty offer expertise grounded in research and the academic disciplines to provide a framework for understanding the readings, cases, and discussions, while students bring insights earned through hands-on experience from across the field, illuminating topics under discussion and adding perspective and illustration unattainable from lectures and textbooks alone. It is this exchange of ideas that is the keystone of the MPS program; it is what allows everyone in the classroom—students and faculty alike—to gain a richer understanding of the multifaceted and always-evolving working world.

The success of the MPS program is in providing an opening for mid-career professionals to build on their critical and analytical competencies and strengthen their fluency with today’s complex workplace issues. Our graduates are well-rounded and effective leaders, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.


The ILR School at Cornell University is the premier institution for research and education centering on work, employment, and labor policy issues and practices. Founded in 1945 as the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the school has broadened its focus to keep pace with the evolving global workplace and in keeping with its mission to prepare leaders, inform national and international labor and employment policy, and improve working lives.