International and Comparative Labor

In the International and Comparative Labor concentration students have the opportunity to increase their understanding of international and comparative industrial relations, human resources, organizations, and labor markets. In particular, it is expected that students will understand how different IR and HR policy and labor market institutions "work" in different national contexts.

Eleanor Emerson Fellowship

The ILR School at Cornell University is pleased to announce a new fellowship opportunity for students applying for a Masters of Industrial and Labor Relations (MILR) at the ILR School. The Eleanor Emerson Fellowship is intended to provide financial support for one full year, including tuition, stipend and health benefits, for one incoming MILR student in the Collective Representation (CR) or International & Comparative Labor (ICL) concentration.

The recipient of the award will have the opportunity to work closely with resident and extension faculty on research and other projects at the Worker Institute at Cornell. Potential areas of research will be based on the Institute's six initiative groups—International Collective Action, Equity at Work, Labor, Environment and Sustainable Development, Precarious Workers, Public Sector and Strategic Leadership.

All students applying for an MILR with a concentration in Collective Bargaining or International & Comparative Labor will be considered for the fellowship. The recipient must demonstrate a strong interest in labor, social movements and/or NGOs in his/her statement of purpose, previous employment and/or extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.  The recipient will also demonstrate strong academic ability as evidenced in undergraduate and graduate, transcripts, strong GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. The recipient will be chosen by the director of Graduate Studies and the co-directors of the Worker Institute and will work on Worker Institute projects under the guidance of the co-directors.

Core Courses

All MILR candidates must complete the following six core courses

  • ILRLR 5000 Labor Relations
  • ILRCB 5010 Labor and Employment Law
  • ILRST 5110 Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences
  • ILROB 5200 Organizational Behavior
  • ILRLE 5400 Labor Economics
  • ILRHR 5600 Human Resource Management

Concentration Courses

In additional to the six core MILR courses, students must complete six courses that consist of international or comparative courses related to international and comparative labor. Three of those courses must provide an understanding of the relevant institutional environment of another country or region in ways that prepare students for international careers and assignments in that country or region. The remaining three courses may be any international or comparative course, and may include language courses. Courses will be selected and agreed upon by the student and his/her special committee chairperson. The chair of the International and Comparative Labor department Department will also maintain a suggested list of courses.


Students in the International and Comparative Labor concentration will enroll in a minimum of 4 additional free electives.

ILR Faculty Members in International and Comparative Labor