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Doctoral Program

The ILR School’s MS/PhD program educates the next generation of scholars in the multidisciplinary field of industrial and labor relations. It is designed for students who wish to pursue academic careers that involve research on organizations, and work and employment relationships from a variety of perspectives.

Our MS/PhD program is a full-time program based on our Ithaca campus. We've designed it to train future professors who will do academic research and teach at research universities.

There is not an online or part-time option and the program typically takes 4-5 years to complete. The first two years are devoted to graduate-level coursework on campus and completion of a research-based master's thesis. The remaining time is typically devoted to dissertation research, but students can also take courses throughout their program.

They also minor in any of the above areas, as well as in:

Rebecca Paluch


“The ILR PhD program is a place where you can choose your own intellectual path. The opportunity to develop as an independent scholar is a valuable feature of the ILR MS/PhD program. Because I was never boxed into any particular program of study, I was able to explore various topics through my classes and now feel excited and passionate about my research interests."

Becky Paluch ILR PhD ’19

Assistant Professor University of British Columbia, Saunder School of Business

Program and Application Information

Application and supplemental material deadline is December 15.

Recent ILR MS/PhD graduates have obtained tenure-track faculty positions at top-tier schools of business and labor relations, including: Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois, McGill University and University College London, among others.

General Application Requirements

Statement of Purpose
Two Letters of Recommendation

Transcripts
Resume or CV

Writing Sample
GRE/GMAT Scores
TOEFL/IELTS Scores

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What You Should Know Before You Apply

The MS/PhD program is designed to create close collaborations among students and faculty. The size of the program (25 students) fosters joint research projects and publications. Students are encouraged to develop a curriculum that suits their interests. They're also encouraged to take classes and work with faculty in other fields at Cornell, including psychology, sociology, economics, political science, communications and management.

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Find out more and apply

Faculty

ILR has more full-time faculty involved in teaching and research that spans the broad range of work and employment disciplines than any other educational institution of its kind. Research is a core component of ILR’s mission, and our faculty are social scientists whose research covers a broad range of employment and workplace topics. Faculty members are drawn from a variety of social science disciplines including psychology, economics, sociology, history, law and human resource management. They are organized into four departments:

  • Human Resource Studies
  • International and Comparative Labor
  • Labor Relations, Law and History
  • Organizational Behavior

ILR’s faculty also includes labor economists and statisticians—jointly appointed with the Department of Economics and the Department of Social Statistics—offering a rich intellectual environment for the study of workplace issues.

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MS/PhD Students

Current Students

You can browse our directory of current MS/PhD students.

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PhD Job Market Candidates

We host a directory of PhD candidates on the job market.

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Contact Us

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ILR Graduate Programs Office
Cornell University
218 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

ph: (607) 255-1522
fax: (607) 254-5225
email: ilrgradapplicant@cornell.edu