Online Labor Studies Program

The Cornell ILR Online Labor Studies Program provides busy union activists with an opportunity to take college credit courses without regard to their location or work schedules. While there is no physical classroom there is considerable student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction, making for lively discussions and group learning.

Courses advance students' knowledge about the issues that matter most to their day-to-day roles and include Collective Bargaining, Labor History, Labor/Employment Law, Contemporary Labor Issues and Contract Administration.

Participants can earn a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies.

Adjunct faculty are proud members of the Cornell Adjunct Faculty Alliance, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO. Courses and credits earned in Extension Division programs are not automatically accepted as transfer credits or as a basis of admission to the resident Cornell-ILR programs in Ithaca. Student applications and course transfers are evaluated by universities and colleges on an individual basis.


A Certificate of Labor Studies can be earned by successfully completing 18 credit course in the following areas

  • Law (Labor Law, Employment Law, or Labor Relations in the Public Sector)- one course
  • History (Labor History or Labor & Film)- one course
  • Bargaining (Collective Bargaining, Contract Administration)
  • Electives (Labor, Government and Politics, , Unions and Diversity, and others)- courses

Additionally, an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies will be awarded to those who complete an additional 9.0 credits offered in the program in any subject area. Each course carries 3.0 undergraduate college credits.

Our on-line credit classes are structured so that you can log-on at any particular time or day throughout the week.  The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Each online 3.0 credit course is $625.00. 

To register on-line, click on the course name below or contact Arthur Wheaton at 716.777.0303, for call or TEXT. You can also download the 2020 Course Schedule and Registration Form (PDF, 1 MB) and fax it to (212) 340-2890.

Upcoming Online Courses

Effective Communications At Work

This course, part of the Online Labor Studies Program, will focus on how to develop these skills to improve the effectiveness of your communication relationships and enhance the quality of your life. The class will be highly participatory and include the most crucial readings on effective communications for working people.

ONLINE Credit Course

Labor and Film

Part of the Online Labor Studies Program this course examines the history of unions in the US through the use of film. Students will explore the various social issues raised by each film. Each week we will watch a film, analyze it and its historical context, and discuss our reactions. 

ONLINE Credit Course

Contract Administration

The contract lies at the center of day-to-day union practice. How can union leaders, stewards, and rank and file members ensure that the contract is honored and not circumvented? Students in this online for-credit course will learn how to resolve problems that are contract-based by effectively utilizing grievance procedures.

ONLINE Credit Course

The U.S. Worker and Global Industrial Relations

This class is designed to provide union members, officers, and staff with a working knowledge of the operations and impact of corporate globalization  both in specific local situations (for example, the threatened relocation of a plant), global capital flows, and the shaping of the increasingly unequal US economy. 

ONLINE Credit Course