Labor and Global Workers’ Rights

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Students who do not have a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the quality of their overall application. Applicants who are still completing their baccalaureate/postsecondary requirements at the time of application may be admitted to the Graduate School provisionally based on the awarding of the baccalaureate degree. Students are also expected to have a minimum of three years of full-time work experience in some area related to labor unions or worker-oriented research/employment for admission. Exceptions may be made by the program chair.

Admissions decisions for the program are based on the quality of the applicant's credentials as determined by a review of the complete application portfolio. During the admission process, students who seem better suited for a different graduate program will be encouraged to apply to the appropriate program. Applicants to the M.P.S. in LGWR must submit the following materials:

  • Completed online Penn State Graduate School application and payment of the nonrefundable application fee;
  • A 2-3 page essay articulating career and educational goals that demonstrates the applicant's written communication skills. Documentation of a minimum of three years of full-time work and a resume should be attached as a supplement;
  • Three letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant's readiness for graduate study and document the requisite minimum of three years of work experience;
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

Total Required Credits for the MPS: 30 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level; at least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 credits at the 500 level. A culminating experience is required (3 credits of LGWR 894 are included in the 30 total required credits).

Required Courses
HRER 500Topics in Comparative Industrial Relations3
HRER 513Research Methods in Human Resources and Employment Relations II3
LER 4753
LGWR 510International Labor Law3
LGWR 520Global Workers' Rights3
Select one of the following:3
Internship (strongly recommended)
Individual Studies
Other 3 credit course approved in advance by the program chair
Select 9 credits of the following:9
American Social and Cultural History
Seminar in Employment Relations
Research Methods in Human Resources and Employment Relations I
Labor Market Analysis
Diversity in the Workplace
Labor Relations in the Public Sector
Workplace Dispute Resolution
History of Work in America
Culminating Experience
LGWR 894Capstone Experience3
Total Credits30

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Labor and Global Workers' Rights (LGWR) Course List

Learning Outcomes

  1. KNOW: Students will have and be able to demonstrate the necessary advanced knowledge and competence in the fields to excel in careers related to labor and workers’ rights.
  2. COMMUNICATE: Students will be able to effectively communicate knowledge of current topics in the fields both verbally and in writing to excel in careers related to labor and workers’ rights.
  3. THINK: Students will be able to recognize and analyze practical, legal, and ethical challenges related to labor and workers’ rights in the global workplace and society.
  4. PRACTICE: Students will be able to respond appropriately to practical, legal, and ethical challenges in domestic and global workplaces and society using both theoretical and practical approaches of the field.
  5. APPLY/CREATE: Students will be able to interact effectively with other organizational representatives in the private and public spheres in helping to develop and implement policies and strategies.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Mark Sebastian Anner
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Mark Sebastian Anner
Program Contact

Erin Hetzel
506 Keller Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 867-4167

Program Website View