The bachelor of arts is designed for students who want to concentrate on the roles of various relationships in the labor environment. Graduates will be equipped for positions in human resources, labor relations, training, employment law, and occupational analysis. Others may continue their education and work toward a master's or doctoral degree.

Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Employment Relations

  • 39 credits required for the major
    • 21 prescribed course credits 
    • 9 additional course credits 
    • 9 supporting and related area course credits
  • 24 bachelor of arts degree credits
  • 45 general education credits 
  • 23–24 elective credits 

The prescribed courses for the bachelor of arts degree focus on basic studies of labor and employment relations and economics including a historical background. Additional course work includes instruction in basic research methods. Other course options are available to fulfill the remainder of the degree requirements allowing you to customize the degree to meet your areas of interest or specific needs.

Use the Course List to view the course requirements in more detail. 

Course List - Bachelor of Arts in Labor and Employment Relations 

Requirements for the Major

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Prescribed Courses (21 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102* Methods of economic analysis and their use; price determination; theory of the firm; distribution. 3 credits
Labor Economics ECON 315* Economic analysis of employment, earnings, and the labor market; labor relations; related government policies.

Prerequisite: ECON 102
3 credits
Employment Relations LER 100 Introductory analysis of the employment relationship and of the interrelated interests of managements, workers, unions, and the public. 3 credits
Research Methods in Labor and Employment Relations LER 312 The objective of this course is to enhance students' abilities to use a range of methodologies to evaluate and conduct research in the field of employment relations and human resource management. 3 credits
History of Work in America LER 458Y A study of selected problems in the history of work in the United States, especially since 1877. 3 credits
Human Resource Ethics  LER 460 Ethics of human resources management.

Prerequisite: Take one of the following courses: ARMY 402, H P A460, HM 466, MGMT 341, MGMT 441, NAVSC402, NURS 432, PSYCH281, 3 credits in Labor and Employment Relations (LER), or Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER)
3 credits
Introduction to Industrial-Organizational Psychology PSYCH 281* Personnel selection, training, accident prevention, morale, and organizational behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYCH 100
3 credits

*Six credits of these courses may also be double-counted as general education courses.

Additional Courses (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits

Race, Gender, and Employment


Comparative Employment Relations Systems

LER 136


LER 400

Employment relations and legislative and policy responses to labor force issues of racial and gender inequality.


Analysis of structure and elements of employment relations systems in developed and developing areas.

Prerequisite: 3 credits in Labor and Employment Relations

3 credits

Employment Relationship: Law and Policy


The Law of Labor-Management Relations

LER 201


LER 401

An examination of basic legal principles underlying the employment relationship and their social, political, and economic bases.


Development of Anglo-American law regulating collective bargaining, with emphasis on American labor-management relations under Wagner, Taft-Hartley, and other acts.

Prerequisite: 3 credits in Labor and Employment Relations or Political Science

3 credits
Additional Credits Various Choose 3 additional credits in consultation with your adviser. 3 credits
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits



Select 9 credits of LER courses, at least 6 at the 400 level (only 3 credits of LER 495 and 3 credits of LER 496 may be used to satisfy this requirement)

9 credits
Bachelor of Arts Requirements (24 credits)
Title Credits
Foreign Language 12 credits
Other Cultures 3 credits
Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Quantification, and/or Foreign Language (beyond 12th credit or a different language) 9 credits
General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (23-24 credits)

Please note: Among the above degree requirements, students should incorporate at least 3 credits in US cultures, 3 credits in international (IL) cultures, and 3 credits in writing across the curriculum courses. The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.