Master of Arts in Employment and Labor Relations (MAELR)

Among the leading graduate programs of industrial relations, the MAELR program provides a challenging and rich educational experience for students pursuing careers in human resource management and labor-management relations. Emphasizing the development of professional competencies, the MAELR curriculum is designed to ensure that students master the requisite analytical and practical skills for attaining leadership positions in business, labor organizations, government, and not-for-profit organizations.

From an extensive offering of courses, students receive classroom training in human resource management (strategy, compensation, staffing, selection, training, work team systems and interested-based problem solving), union-management relations (contract negotiations, administration and arbitration, union organizations and union-management's joint decision-making), dispute resolution, labor market analysis, international business and labor relations, and in employment and labor law.

Grounded in a long tradition of multidisciplinary study, the MAELR program exposes students to nationally and internationally recognized scholars and practitioners from labor relations, management, history, psychology, economics, political science, sociology, and law. Bringing a wealth of professional and consulting experience to the classroom, instructors integrate cutting-edge research and theory and real case examples and exercises so that students learn about the most current workplace innovations and emerging trends and issues.

MAELR program admission is based on the following:

  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average
  • Personal statement of purpose for seeking a graduate degree.
  • Letters of recommendation

Academic advising

For academic advising, please contact Gayle McCreedy,, 313-577-2592.

Directed study and plan of work

Download the MAELR Directed Study Application (PDF) or visit our course page for more information.


Semester and elective courses for the Master of Arts in Employment and Labor Relations program.

Download plan of work form (PDF)


If a student has an equivalency from another university with a passing grade, the prerequisite may be waived;

  • Economics 2010: Principles of Microeconomics – Supply, demand and price at the level of the firm and industry; business institutions and their operation; determinants of wage and salary levels, interest rates, rent, profits, income distribution; public policy in relation to the business and labor
  • Psychology 2100: Psychology and the Workplace – Psychology as applied to business and industry.  Major areas of industrial psychology; selection, placement, and training procedures; human factors research.  Industrial social psychology, motivational and organizational research and theory
  • Fundamentals of Statistics (ECO 5100/PS 5100/PSY 3010/EER 76309 or SOC 6280) – Review of mathematics essential for statistics, sampling, computer use. Basic patterns of statistical inference, confidence estimation and significance testing regarding measures of averages, dispersion, correlation, and selected non-parametric statistics.  One-way and two-way analysis of variance

View all required courses

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.