Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Industrial and Labor Relations
The part-time MPS program in NYC offers a unique opportunity for professionals to earn a master's degree from the leading school of industrial and labor relations in the country, taught by full-time faculty from the main Cornell campus. The success of the MPS program is that it provides an environment in which academically motivated working adults can engage in serious study of, and spirited discussions about, the complex and ever-changing world of work. Through the interdisciplinary curriculum and an individual research project, students gain a framework through which they can analyze their work environments, examine new concepts and ideas for pushing their colleagues and organizations to higher levels, and discover new directions in which their careers can evolve.
To understand the workplace, one must understand how it affects and is affected by individual and collective behavior, internal policies and practices, and the historical, political, and economic environment. Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) integrates management and labor perspectives, giving students a broad-based foundation in the field. The MPS program draws on the strength of the ILR School as a center for applicable social science in introducing students to, and expanding their knowledge of, subjects such as labor-management relations, organizational structures, workplace processes, labor markets, dispute resolution, and relevant law and public policy.
In the small, seminar-style discussions that make up the core of the MPS course of study, everyone brings something to the table. The faculty offer expertise from a wide range of academic disciplines and provide a theoretical framework for understanding the readings, cases, and discussions. The students bring insights from their hands-on experience throughout the field, illuminating topics under discussion and adding perspective and insight unattainable from lectures and textbooks. It is this exchange of ideas that is the keystone of the MPS program; it is what allows everyone in the classroom—students and faculty alike—to gain a richer understanding of the multifaceted and ever-evolving world of work.
The goal of the program is to broaden students’ intellectual understanding of the larger issues that impact the workplace and provide the analytical and methodological tools necessary to grasp the complexities of the work environment. To this end, the focus is not on specific practical issues, but rather on the wider concerns that are continuously debated in our field and that impact the evolving dialogue within and between organizations in American society and throughout the world. Our ambition is not simply to produce middle-level managers, but to help revitalize an intellectual cadre, which can—in the world of everyday practice—carry out the debates that are often relegated to the academic realm and apply their knowledge toward the advancement of the day-to-day world of the workplace.
Cornell University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1921.