Labor Studies and Employment Relations

Labor Studies and Employment Relations

(12-credit certificate program) - Convenient seven-week classes.

Enrich your human resources skill set or prepare for a new career in labor relations, a dynamic field expected to grow significantly in the next ten to twenty years.

  • Accelerated courses meet once a week for seven weeks and include online learning components.
  • Courses can be taken individually; the required courses LER 100 and LER 201 can be taken in any order. 
  • Complete the certificate program in as little as nine months or pace it out to meet your needs. 
  • Credits may be applied to a bachelor's degree at Penn State.



Penn State's labor studies and employment relations certificate program is composed of a series of credit classes that can help you gain an understanding of workplace and employment issues from both the employee's and the employer's perspectives.

The courses address many topics critical to this dynamic field, such as:

  • employment law 
  • the changing role of unions 
  • collective bargaining 
  • growing workplace diversity 
  • new methods of conflict resolution

Required Courses:

LER 100 Employment Relations (3 credits)

Introductory analysis of the employment relationship and the interrelated interests of management, workers, unions, and the public.

LER 201 Employment Relationship: Law and Policy (3 credits)

Examination of basic legal principles underlying the employment relationship, and their social, political, and economic bases.

Choose from two of these courses:

LER 136 Race, Gender, and Employment (3 credits)

Employment relations and legislative and policy responses to labor force issues of racial and gender inequality.

LER 434 Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration (3 credits)

Theory, practice, and economic impact of collective bargaining, including administration of the collective bargaining agreement.
Prerequisite: LER 100

LER 435 Labor Relations in the Public Sector (3 credits)

Analysis of labor relations problems in different areas of public employment.
Prerequisite: 3 credits in Labor and Employment Relations