Credit Certificate in Labor Studies and Employment Relations

Take the first step to obtain the skills and knowledge you need — and move your career into the field of human resources. Gain an understanding of workplace and employment issues from both the employee's and the employer's perspectives.

With just four courses, you can complete the 12-credit certificate program in labor studies and employment relations — and put a career-enhancing credential on your résumé.  

Through Penn State Continuing Education evening classes, combined with online study through Penn State World Campus, you can complete the program at your own pace, scheduled around your work and family commitments.

Add Value to Your Degree
You can also use the credit certificate in labor studies and employment relations as a value-added option with your undergraduate degree, or apply the credits you've earned toward completion of a bachelor's degree, such as Penn State's bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership. 

Excellent Career Opportunities
Human resources and training and labor relations managers and specialists work in virtually every industry, in government, and as self-employed consultants. They handle such vital issues as:

job classification
salary administration
employee relations

Educational requirements vary widely in the field, and employers often look for someone with a degree in a related field. If you already have a degree, you can use this certificate as a bridge to obtain the credentials you need to move into the field of human resources. Completion of the certificate program can also help you improve your opportunities for promotion in management. 

Choose Electives to Specialize in Your Interest Area
Course areas in this program include industrial relations, employment relations, law and policy, and leadership. Once you’ve completed the required courses, you can choose electives of special interest to you — in such areas as criminal justice administration, diversity, and more.

Educational Step-Up Opportunities Help You Advance in Your Career
By customizing your choice of electives in your certificate or undergraduate degree, you may be able to use some of your earned credits in the graduate certificate and master's program in human resources and employment relations offered online through Penn State World Campus. Talk to your adviser to make sure you are choosing the right courses — and that you understand the application process for graduate school.

Courses for the Certificate in Labor Studies and Employment Relations
The following two courses, required for completion of the certificate program in labor studies and employment relations, are routinely offered through Continuing Education:

Required Courses (6 credits)
LER 100
Employment Relations
LER 201 Employment Relationship: Law and Policy

Elective Courses (choose 6 credits from the following)
CRIM (CLJ) 482
Seminar, Criminal Justice Agency Administration (3 credits); prerequisite: ADM J (CLJ) 111
LER (WMST) 136 Race, Gender, and Employment (3 credits)
LER 434 Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration (3 credits); prerequisite: LER 100
LER 435 Labor Relations in the Public Sector (3 credits); prerequisite: 3 credits in Labor and Employment Relations
PSYCH 485 Leadership in Work Settings (3 credits); prerequisite: PSY 281

NOTE: Prerequisites listed may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency.


Penn State welcomes students with disabilities to participate in its educational programs. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) or call 814-863-1807 (V/TTY).