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Credit Hour Requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science degree in ILR must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours, with a minimum of 105 credits taken for a letter grade.


Cornell Requirements

Cornell University requires that undergraduates register for and complete two courses in physical education, one in each semester of the first year, unless illness or injury warrants postponement. Physical Education credit does not count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.

Core Requirements

The following introductory courses are taken during the first four semesters of enrollment in the ILR school. Although students (especially transfer students) are not necessarily required to take these courses in the order shown here, it is strongly recommended. With the exception of Colloquium, students are required to fulfill the following core requirements for a letter grade:

First Year

  • Colloquium (ILRID 1500 for first-years or ILRID 2500 for transfers)
    • All new students will be enrolled in either ILRID 1500 or ILRID 2500 during their first semester in ILR.
    • ILRID 1500 is required for all students who enter ILR as freshmen. ILRID 2500 is not required for transfer students, but strongly encouraged in order for students to make the best transition possible to the ILR School.
  • Introduction to Organizational Behavior (ILROB 1220)
  • Introduction to U.S. Labor History (ILRLR 1100)
  • Introductory Microeconomics (ECON 1110)
  • Introductory Macroeconomics (ECON 1120)

Second Year

  • Introductory Statistics (ILRST 2100)
  • Labor and Employment Law (ILRLR 2010)
  • Human Resource Management (ILRHR 2600)
  • Labor Relations (ILRLR 2050)
  • Economics of Wages and Employment (ILRLE 2400)


Writing Requirements

Students are required to fulfill the following writing requirements for a letter grade:


Distribution Requirements

Students are required to complete one course from each of the following lists to fulfill the distribution requirements. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.


Elective Requirements

Students are required to take 40 ILR elective credits for graduation. Within these 40 ILR elective credits, students must take:

Special Study Options to fulfill ILR Elective Credits

Part of the 40-hour ILR elective requirement may be fulfilled with internshipsstudent research, approved study abroad work, and approved engaged learning opportunities.

Approved study abroad work through an Office of Global Learning program may be used to fulfill:

  • Up to 9 approved out of college ILR elective credits for a single semester
  • Up to 15 approved out of college ILR elective credits for a full year

Approved study abroad work through an ILR Exchange program may be used to fulfill:

  • Up to 15 in-college ILR elective credits for a single semester

Approved study abroad work through the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin program may be used to fulfill:

  • A minimum of 12 in-college ILR elective credits for a single semester

ILR approved internships and student research may also be used to satisfy elective requirements:

  • Maximum of 12 in-college ILR elective credits for a semester internship
  • Maximum of 8 credits independent or directed study (research)
  • Student research in the form of independent or directed study (ILR 4999) may be used to fulfill up to 8 credits

Note: Students are not required to take any out-of-college ILR advanced electives; ILR elective requirements may be completed with ILR courses only, if desired.

General Electives

Any course at Cornell can be used to fulfill general elective requirements for graduation.

ILR Learning Goals

Upon graduation, students in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations should have the ability to

  1. Engage in critical, reasoned analyses of issues and ideas
  2. Explain ideas and analyses through written and oral communication
  3. Evaluate and apply theories and assumptions of the social science disciplines to workplace issues
  4. Analyze workplace issues from a variety of perspectives, including the historical, cultural, institutional and ethical perspectives
  5. Access, evaluate and analyze qualitative and quantitative data, so as to enhance understanding and inform decision-making
  6. Work independently and in cooperation with others

Eight Semester Residency Requirement

To earn the Cornell Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, a student must successfully complete 120 credits, and complete eight (8) semesters of full-time study (30 credits a year on average), including work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program. 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 credit hours completed at other institutions. Exceptions may be made by petitioning the ILR Academic Standards and Scholarships Committee. Those enrolled in the employee degree program, who typically study on a part-time basis, will be exempt from this requirement.

Test and Transfer Credit

AP/IB Credit

A maximum of 12 credits can be accepted either for approved required courses in the ILR curriculum or as general elective credit. Only one AP course may be used to fulfill required courses in Cultural Perspectives, Western Intellectual Tradition or Science & Technology. AP Language courses are considered general elective credit.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 60 credit hours of course work completed at another accredited university.  Courses must be taken for a letter grade and a grade of C or better is necessary for credit to transfer.  In addition, credit will transfer if the course syllabus indicates the equivalency of a Cornell course, as judged by:

  • course content (at least 80% of material covered in similar Cornell course)
  • the use of a textbook similar to that used in the parallel Cornell course
  • the use of examinations, writing assignments, projects or other submitted work that is substantially similar to those required in a similar Cornell course
  • substantial similarity in meeting hours of the Cornell and non-Cornell course