Labor and Human Resources, B.A.

Program Code: LHRBA_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

World Campus

Direct Admission to the Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. Admission restrictions may apply for change-of-major and/or change-of-campus students.

For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the college, campus, or program contact (listed in the Contact tab).

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Labor and Human Resources, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 18-21
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 39

3-6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 3-6 credits of GS courses.

3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

 
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
LER 100Introduction to Labor and Human Resources Keystone/General Education Course3
LER 201Employment Relationship: Law and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
LER 304Labor and Employment Relations Fundamentals3
LER 305Human Resources Fundamentals Keystone/General Education Course3
LER 312Employment Relations to Research Methods in Labor and Employment Relations3
LER 460Ethics in the Workplace3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ECON 14Principles of Economics Keystone/General Education Course3
or ECON 102 Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
or ECON 104 Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
LER 202Understanding Employee Behavior Keystone/General Education Course3
or PSYCH 281 Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
LER/WMNST 136WRace, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course3
or LER 458Y History of Work in America
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 6 credits from any 400-level LER courses (only 3 credits of LA 495 or LA 496 may be used to satisfy this requirement)6
Select 6 credits from the following list in consultation with an adviser:6
Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making
AFAM 100
AFAM 110
Social, Legal, and Ethical Environment of Business
Management and Organization
Legal Environment of Business
Interpersonal Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Organizational Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Industrial Organization Keystone/General Education Course
American Business History Keystone/General Education Course
Survey of Management
Basic Management Concepts
Leadership and Motivation
Introduction to Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
Leadership Development: A Life-Long Learning Perspective
Communication Skills for Leaders in Groups and Organizations
Collective Decision Making
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Sociology of Gender Keystone/General Education Course
SOC 119
Any 400-level AFAM, CAS, ECON, HIST, LTNST, MGMT, PHIL, PSYCH, SPAN, SOC, WMNST course

Program Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of their studies, LER undergraduates will be able to:

  1. Summarize and explain the interrelationships among fundamental theories, concepts, facts, and issues involving labor, ER, and HR topics related to workplaces, workers, and their communities.
  2. Analyze alternative approaches, solutions, and conclusions related to practical and legal challenges involving labor, ER, and HR by:
    1. Comparing and contrasting options.
    2. Identifying relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
    3. Recognizing the interests and perspectives of different stakeholders including employees, employers, the public, and the organizations that represent them.
    4. Summarizing different disciplinary perspectives, such as those of sociology, psychology, political science, and economics.
    5. Evaluating and synthesizing relevant research and theories.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication skills in two-way interactions with individuals and groups involving labor, ER, and HR facts, concepts, and principles in order to interact effectively with other stakeholders (referred to below as “communications skills”).
  4. Solve multi-faceted problems in labor, ER, and HR by selecting, adapting (when necessary), and applying relevant knowledge and skills to help develop, implement, and enforce organizational policies and strategies in domestic and global workplaces.
  5. Respond to practical, legal, and ethical challenges in domestic and global workplaces in accordance with societal norms, values, mores, as well as professional and ethical standards.  Be able to address ethical issues with appropriate recognition of human rights, social responsibility and sustainability principles.
  6. Summarize the interactive impact of numerous cultural and international factors on work, workers, employers, and industries by synthesizing information about:
    1. National and transnational cultures and institutions.
    2. International businesses, global trade, foreign investments, and global business strategies.
    3. Global workers’ rights.
    4. Workplace diversity.
    5. Work-family and work-life dilemmas.
    6. Immigration.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
http://starfish.psu.edu
http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/education/majors-and-minors

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, or ENGL 137H3CAS 100, 138T, or ENGL 138T3
ECON 14, 102, or 104 (GS)*†3LER 100*3
World Language Level 14World Language Level 24
General Education Course (GN)3General Education Course (GS) (PSYCH 100 Suggested)3
First Year Seminar (GH)3General Education Quantification Course (GQ)3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Quantification Course (GQ)3General Education Course (GN)3
General Education Course (GA)3General Education Course (GH)3
World Language Level 34General Education Course (GA)3
LER 201*3LER 312*3
PSYCH 281 or LER 202*†3Supporting Course*3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BA Fields Course 3BA Fields Course3
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3BA Fields Course3
LER 304*3LER 4XX*3
LER 305*3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AFAM 136, LER 136, WMNST 136, HIST 458Y, or LER 458Y*3LER 4XX*3
LER 460*3Supporting Course*3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 13.5
Total Credits 123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Course (GN - Inter-Domain)3General Education Course (GQ)3
Elective (PSYCH 100 is suggested)3General Education Course (GH - Inter-Domain)3
General Education Course (GA)3ECON 102 (GS)*†3
FYS (GH)3World Language Level 14
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ENGL 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 15 (GWS)3CAS 100, 100A, 100B, 100C, 138T, or ENGL 138T (GWS)3
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education Course (GN)3BA Fields Course13
World Language Level 24World Language Level 34
General Education Course (GQ)*‡3Elective (IL)3
PSYCH 281*†3ECON 315 or appropriate sub*3
General Education Course (GA)3Elective3
 16 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
LER 100*3LER 201*3
LER 136 (US)*3LER 312*3
LER 488*1.5General Education Course (GN)3
BA Fields Course13ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D (GWS)3
Other Cultures Course23BA Fields Course13
 13.5 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
LER 489*1.5LER 458Y*3
LER 400-level or any level*33General Education Course (GHW)3
LER 400-level*33Elective3
Elective3LER 400-level*33
Elective3LER 460*3
Elective3 
 16.5 15
Total Credits 123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Career Paths

Statistics. Others have gone on to work as labor union organizers, labor arbitrators, and professionals in non-profit careers. Virtually every employer--multinational corporations, small companies, hospitals, non-profit agencies, universities, and federal, state, and local governments--employ HRER professionals. Labor and Human Resources majors have gone on to graduate school earning advanced degrees in Human Resource Management, Law, Business, and Sociology.

Careers

Labor and Human Resources majors do exceedingly well in the job market, and have been hired by a long list of companies (link below). For students interested in social and economic justice at work, a career with a union provides an opportunity to put your beliefs into actions. Our alums have gone on to work for national and international labor organizations and unions such as the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the American Federation of Teachers to name a few. Government agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. and state Departments of Labor regularly hire Penn State LER School grads.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Along with three top Masters programs (M.S. and M.P.S. degrees in Human Resources and Employment Relations and an M.P.S. in Labor and Global Workers Rights, we offer a five-year Integrated Undergraduate Graduate (IUG) program through which you can earn your Bachelors and Masters degrees in a total of five years, instead of six years as can otherwise be needed. Students with a Masters degree land better paying jobs in coveted positions. Many of our top performing IUG students receive assistantships that helps to pay their tuition.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

SCHOOL OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
506 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-5425
lerpsu@psu.edu

http://lser.la.psu.edu/

World Campus

SCHOOL OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS
506 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-5425
pxm205@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/labor-and-employment-relations-bachelors/overview