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A Flexible Curriculum

One Major,

All ILR undergraduates have the same major: Industrial and Labor Relations

ILR's curriculum balances structure and flexibility. All students take required courses that introduce them to organizational psychology, economics, labor history, statistics, management and law. Each student tailors the curriculum to individual interests by selecting electives from ILR's five departments and Cornell's other colleges and schools.

No two students have identical academic programs. While ILR sets well-defined guidelines, you will have the freedom to make the program your own by drawing on the diversity of courses offered and pursuing a range of internship, independent research, and study abroad opportunities.

Degree Requirements

To earn the Cornell Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, you need to successfully complete 120 credits. This can include work from a credit internship, study abroad program, or while pursuing a minor. A typical four-year program, along with sample electives and minors, is outlined here.

A maximum of 12 credits of Advanced Placement work may be used for Cornell credit. Any additional AP coursework can only be used for course placement purposes. For additional AP, IB, Dual Enrollment and other credit information, please review ILR's Summary of Credit Policies.

Academic Departments

While all ILR undergraduates pursue the same major – Industrial and Labor Relations – you are not limited to a single area of focus. The five ILR academic departments offer a range of courses to build a curriculum related to your interests.

Economics studies both the employee and employer sides of the labor market so that we can better understand the roots of and solutions for issues including discrimination, unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

Global Labor and Work analyzes and compares workers, employers, and the governmental policies that affect them throughout the world. 

Human Resource Studies emphasizes the effective management of people in organizations to achieve outcomes of mutual value to both employers and employees.

Organizational Behavior examines human behavior within organizations to understand the impact of environmental, technological, and interpersonal relationships on work groups and organizational dynamics.

Statistics and Data Science teaches statistical thinking and quantitative reasoning related to culture, economy, law, government, and the sciences.

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vanessa bohns

Associate Professor Organizational Behavior

"I love that ILR students are interested in both academic ideas and their practical applications. As a social psychologist who has studied social influence for many years, I try to help them see that you don’t need some special something in order to have an impact because you already have more influence and
power than you realize.”

Professor Vanessa Bohns
Faculty and Research

The Catherwood Library

student studying in Catherwood Library
The resources and staff members of the Catherwood Library play an important role in helping students succeed in their classes. Catherwood's staff provide workshops throughout the year relevant to the interests and assignments of ILR students. This includes workshops and courses on:
- Conducting legal research
- Using Cornell Library databases to retrieve legislative history documents
- Researching company-specific statistical, economic, and best practices information
- Understanding new options and advancements available through Microsoft Office programs and databases such as Lexis Nexis
The Catherwood Library is part of the Cornell University Library System. Students have access to all 20 libraries across campus.