Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy

The Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers and individuals involved in government or private industry.

Advance your career by strengthening your communication, analytical and leadership skills. The program can help you become more effective in your present position and prepare you for greater responsibilities, or new positions that involve labor, industrial relations, or human resources. Students can also incorporate an advanced certificate into their degree program and earn a second credential.

Emphasis Areas

Students in work and labor policy may create an emphasis in one of two areas:

  • work, workers and labor organizations
  • public-sector employment relations

Or may incorporate an advanced certificate into their degree program.

Program Design

Work and Labor Policy is a 36-credit hour master’s degree incorporating online courses with several (usually 2-3) weekend Residencies. The program emphasis is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the work force and the workplace. It also provides a background in American labor relations, labor history, labor law and collective bargaining.

Required Courses

  • Work and Labor Studies
  • Policy Process
  • History of Labor and Policy 
  • Research Methods 
  • Current Issues Facing Labor 
  • Labor Management Relations

Elective Courses and Final Project

You choose three or four elective courses (9 or 12 credits), depending on your emphasis area, to reflect your interests and to reinforce the individual focus of your degree. You are encouraged to use your electives to build a concentration around your final project topic. Many students choose to incorporate one of the advanced certificates into their master’s degree as their focus area.

The final project focuses on a topic of your interest that draws upon your prior course work and allows for a meaningful contribution to your field of study and/or practice. The student has the option of doing either a professional project or an academic thesis.

Advanced Certificate Options


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SUNY Empire’s admissions and financial aid staff is ready to work with you to make earning your degree possible and affordable.


Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.