Cornell University

ILR-CUNY Murphy Institute

16 E. 34th Street, NYC, 212-340-2847

About the Program:

The Cornell ILR – CUNY Murphy Institute Certificate in Labor Relations is a 16-credit undergraduate certificate that provides NYC area union members, officers and staff with practical knowledge, skills and resources needed to be an effective practitioner in the field of labor and industrial relations.

The certificate also provides participants with a comprehensive examination of the changing nature of work, the impact of government policies, and the role of the labor movement in the social, economic and political development of modern society.


Classes are open to any motivated student interested in learning more about the labor movement and unionism. High school transcripts/records or proof of GED are required for admissions.

Course of Study:

To earn the Certificate in Labor Relations students must complete four 4-credit courses (or 16 credits), at least one in each of three major areas. Students can then select an elective course that is a more advanced exploration of one of the three required areas of study. One class must be completed in each of the following area of study:

  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Uions and Labor Relations
  • Elective chosen from one of the following areas* (Arbitration, Public Sector Labor Law, Labor History, Union Leadership)
    *represents a selection of elective course offerings.

The Faculty:

Faculty members, representing both CUNY and Cornell University in the Certificate program, are nationally renowned labor educators. Many of the faculty members have backgrounds as organizers, legal practitioners, researchers and leaders in the labor movement.

Academic Support:

Every student will have the opportunity to meet with an academic counselor at least once every semester to discuss courses and other issues. Assistance in writing and study skills is also available. Students will also have access to the CUNY library system and on-site computers.

Tuition/Fees and Books:

Tuition is 195.00 per credit, or $780.00 per course. There is a one-time admission fee of $70.00 to be enrolled in the program (this fee is waived for continuing Cornell Labor Studies students), as well as a $15.00 student activity fee and a $50.00 technology fee each term. A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded to qualifying students each term. For more information call (212) 340-2847. Many unions/employers offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement to their members. Check with your local union or employer.

Evenings Schedule:

Classes are held weekday evenings from 6:00 – 9:20 p.m. Each course meets once a week for 15-week semester.

Degree Options:

Students who earn the certificate are eligible for admittance to the Labor Studies BA program at the CUNY Murphy Institute Center for Worker Education (on 43rd Street) or the BA in Labor Studies at the National Labor College program. Students who currently hold a BA may be interested in the Master’s Degree in Labor Studies at the CUNY Murphy Institute Center for Worker Education.


Classes meet at the Cornell Conference Center, 16 East 34th Street, 6th floor between 5th and Madison in Manhattan. The Conference Center is convenient to Penn Station, Grand Central and most subways (F, B, D, W, Q, N, R, 6) and expresses bus lines.

For more information, please call 212-340-2847 or email