- Master of Science in Industrial Relations
The Department of Management offers a master of science in industrial relations (M.S.I.R.). The AACSB-accredited program of study prepares students for professional positions in human resources (employee relations) and labor relations.
Entry-level professional opportunities for M.S.I.R. graduates include such positions as human resource generalist, human resource managers, labor relations specialist, training coordinator, recruiting specialist, compensation analyst, and benefits administrator. Other positions include staff representative with organized labor, apprentice arbitrator, labor-management consultant, National Labor Relations Board field examiner, government employee relations representative, and employment analyst. Many graduates are employed by Fortune 500 companies. Some find positions with organized labor, all levels of government, and advocacy organizations. The department, in conjunction with the College of Business and Economics Center for Career Development, makes a concerted effort to place graduates in positions that fulfill student job objectives.
Students are encouraged to participate in academic-related extracurricular activities. Many are cosponsored by the Industrial Relations Student Association including: the IRSA Newsletter, the mentorship program, company site visits, guest speakers, community service efforts, social events, and honors banquets. Outstanding academic achievement is recognized by membership in the Industrial Relations Honor Society. The faculty makes Outstanding IR Student awards annually to persons selected on the basis of scholarship, informal leadership, and extracurricular activities.
Academic Common Market
The WVU M.S.I.R. program is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market program. Residents of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia who are admitted to the M.S.I.R. program can pay tuition at West Virginia University’s in-state (resident) rates. See http://www.sreb.org for more information.
The M.S.I.R. degree is interdisciplinary in nature and no specific undergraduate major is required. Coursework in computer science, labor economics, statistics, and business disciplines is helpful. To gain admission into the M.S.I.R. program, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Overall grade point average is considered with additional attention given to the grade point average achieved in the last sixty hours of coursework. Either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required. No action is taken on an application for admission until a GRE or GMAT score is submitted. International students must also submit a satisfactory TOEFL score.
Applicants must also send additional supportive material: a personal statement of purpose addressing their desire and reasons for applying, a minimum of two reference letters, and a professional resume of their school and work experiences.
The MSIR program accepts applications for fall admission only. The application deadline is March 1. Later applications, while acceptable, may diminish the chances for admission due to the graduate class being filled. Because no admission decision can be made without the applicant’s GRE/GMAT score being submitted, applicants should keep in mind the GRE/GMAT test schedule.
Industrial Relations Master of Science Degree Program Requirements
|A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in all courses *|
|A grade of C or higher must be earned in all required courses|
|ILR 505||Employment Law||3|
|ILR 506||Performance Management||3|
|ILR 508||Organizational Change and Renewal||3|
|ILR 509||Talent Acquisition||3|
|ILR 511||Human Capital Management||3|
|ILR 515||Business Acumen-HR Managers||3|
|ILR 520||Human Resource Information Systems||3|
|ILR 522||International Industrial Relations||3|
|ILR 530||Compensation Issues||3|
|ILR 534||Work Group Dynamics and Leadership||3|
|ILR 544||Benefits Management||3|
|ILR 546||Training and Development||3|
|ILR 548||Strategic Management for Human Resources||3|
|ILR 562||Labor Relations||3|
|ILR 571||Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 1||1|
|ILR 572||Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 2||1|
|ILR 573||Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 3||1|
|ILR 574||Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 4||1|
|ILR 589||MS - Industrial and Labor Relations Internship||3|
|Select two electives from the following||6|
|Conflict Management Processes|
|Collective Bargaining Practice|
|Introduction to Decision Analysis|
The M.S.I.R. program requires that the student maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on all work taken as a graduate student while enrolled in the College of Business and Economics. In addition, the student must maintain a 3.0 average in all work counting toward the graduate degree. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.75 will be placed on probation. If the student’s average is not brought up to 2.75 by the end of the following semester, the student will be suspended from the program. A grade below C in more than one course taken while enrolled as a graduate student will result in suspension from the program.
Suggested Plan of Study
Two-Year Course of Study: (forty-eight credit hours including fourteen core courses and *two electives)
*Select one elective each semester or term.
|Ivy League Modules (Summer 1 - on-line- if no prior business education)|
|Total credit hours: 0|
|ILR 511||3||ILR 506||3||ILR 589||3|
|ILR 505||3||ILR 509||3|
|ILR 562||3||ILR 522||3|
|ILR 534||3||ILR 515||3|
|ILR 571||1||ILR 572||1|
|ILR 508||3||ILR 530||3|
|ILR 520||3||ILR 546||3|
|ILR 544||3||ILR 548||3|
|ILR 573||1||ILR 574||1|
|MANG 426 or ILR 507||3||ILR 581 (or ILR 593)||3|
|Total credit hours: 55|
1 Year Master of Science in Industrial Relations Dual Degree Option
Some graduates with a J.D., M.B.A., or other business-related master's degree from a US institution may apply to complete the M.S.I.R. degree program in one year. Not all applicants will be approved for the one-year option, but each application will be evaluated individually by the Admissions Committee. Combining study for the M.S.I.R. and the M.B.A. degrees is another option available to qualified candidates. Students need to apply separately for admission to each program. A plan of study will be created for any student admitted in the dual degree option.
Major Learning Goals
Student Learning Goals
GOAL 1: The HR Functional Environment
Graduates acquire knowledge and skills in basic HR functional areas that prepare them for their future careers in human resources management and industrial relations and related fields
1.1 Selection, Performance Management and Training. Graduates are able to participate and lead in the selection processes in their organizations as well as in the measurement of performance of the human asset and the identification of training and development activities to either correct performance deficiencies or enhance performance attributes.
1.2 Compensation and Benefits. Graduates are able to help establish and maintain equitable compensation programs and associated benefits and insurance in their organizations
GOAL 2: The Current Global Environment
Graduates have capabilities and knowledge relating to current HR/IR trends, both domestically and internationally, that prepare them for their future careers in human resources management and related fields.
2.1 International HR/IR and Understanding Cultural Differences. Graduates are able to apply human resource and industrial relations functional tools in an international context based on a detailed comprehension of the economic, social and moral ramifications of globalization and cultural differences.
2.2 Management of Change, Current Trends, and Technologies. Graduates are able to participate in managing change processes within their organizations and to apply knowledge of current events, trends and developments in the human resources profession and in the overall business environment, including contemporary information systems and associated technologies, in order to solve problems and perform functions commonly encountered in human resource management.
GOAL 3: The Employee and Labor Relations Environment
Graduates acquire knowledge and skills in employee and labor relations that prepare them for their future careers in human resources management and industrial relations and related fields.
3.1 Management of Conflict. Graduates are able to use a foundational knowledge of individual behavior and interpersonal relations in order to successfully manage and resolve conflict through processes such as mediation and facilitation.
3.2 Negotiation and Arbitration. Graduates are able to demonstrate effective negotiating capacities and competencies in win-win and position bargaining in general and specifically in labor relations. Students are effective advocates in labor relations arbitration and in adversarial administrative hearings.
GOAL 4: The Legal and Ethical Environment
Graduates develop comprehensive knowledge and skill in the areas of employment law and ethical decision making.
4.1 Legal and Ethical Decision Making. Graduates are able to successfully implement the procedural and substantive aspects of labor and employment law in making ethical decisions and taking ethical actions that reflect a standard of professional behavior and values within their organizations.
GOAL 5: The Strategic Environment
Graduates develop knowledge and skills in strategic decision making, leadership, teamwork and communications
5.1 Strategic Decision Making. Graduates are able to participate in and support strategic decision-making in human resources and industrial relations and across the larger organization.
5.2 Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Graduates possess leadership and teamwork skills and abilities and are able to effectively communicate recommendations to management and other constituencies, orally and in writing.
ILR 505. Employment Law. 3 Hours.
Survey of the legal principles guiding the employer-employee relationship. Examines laws regulating hiring, job opportunity, discrimination, affirmative action, sexual harassment, wages, benefits, privacy right, health, safety, employment at will, layoffs and termination.
ILR 506. Performance Management. 3 Hours.
Development of individual employees in an organization; performance evaluation, discipline of problem employees, identifying training needs, and design and delivery of training programs.
ILR 507. Conflict Management Processes. 3 Hours.
Sources of conflict in the workplace and processes utilized to deal with that conflict. Theories of conflict management, industry practices, and specific techniques for productive channeling of conflict. Significant experiential component.
ILR 508. Organizational Change and Renewal. 3 Hours.
Organizational evolution as a result of multiple change process, including employee involvement, empowerment, high performance organizations, process consulting, and goal setting. Emphasis on organizational and union relationships.
ILR 509. Talent Acquisition. 3 Hours.
Theoretical, practical, and legal issues involved in talent acquisitions in organizations: human resource planning, recruiting, staffing models, employment testing, statistical analysis, legal issues, and selection methods.
ILR 511. Human Capital Management. 3 Hours.
Overview of many issues related to managing human capital in organizations, examined from both a strategic and tactical level relevant to all practicing managers and future leaders.
ILR 520. Human Resource Information Systems. 3 Hours.
Use of computers for human resource management; HRIS planning, development and implementation, evaluating existing software; development of a database unique to human resource management.
ILR 522. International Industrial Relations. 3 Hours.
Analyzes the human resource and labor relations practices of firms and economies as they relate to the global market; basis of international business, legal/governmental environmental, labor movements, and industrial relations practices.
ILR 530. Compensation Issues. 3 Hours.
Seminar in compensation designed to develop further understanding of compensation theory and practice. Topic areas will include labor supply, wage theory, legal constraints, motivation, equity theory, organizational development as well as compensation structure and administration.
ILR 534. Work Group Dynamics and Leadership. 3 Hours.
Small group or individual research on topics related to leadership and group dynamics in the work environment including training and other human relations programs.
ILR 537. Practicum in Industrial Interviewing. 3 Hours.
Experiential learning of industrial interviewing techniques covering legal and technical aspects of employment interviewing and other types of interviewing.
ILR 540. Arbitration Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.
PR: Consent. Study of the purpose of arbitration, trends, principles of contract construction, hearing procedure evidence, remedies, training and education of arbitrators, training of advocates, and decision writing. Students will arbitrate mock cases.
ILR 543. Negotiation Strategy. 3 Hours.
Theory and practice of both principled negotiations and position bargaining; extensive role play and technique building exercises for individual and team negotiations; detailed preparation methods for all types of personal and professional negotiations.
ILR 544. Benefits Management. 3 Hours.
Considers employee benefits from the perspective of the industrial relations specialist who is responsible for articulating and administering a corporate program. Includes study of all benefits covered by major federal legislation.
ILR 545. Equal Employment Opportunity. 3 Hours.
A series of lectures by specialists in equal employment opportunity affairs. Lectures will include attorneys, directors of state and national EEO agencies, and representatives of business and industry and the labor movement.
ILR 546. Training and Development. 3 Hours.
Survey of the domain and issues of the field of training and development and practical approach to designing and conducting training and development programs. Topics includ both scientific issues and applied issues.
ILR 548. Strategic Management for Human Resources. 3 Hours.
Stages and types of strategies; Formulation and implementation of strategies; human resource aspects of planning and strategic assessment; extensive case analysis and team projects.
ILR 549. Advanced Strategic Management. 3 Hours.
This is a case-based course. Case analyses and discussion will focus on the concepts of strategy creation, organization alignment strategy implementation and strategy leverage.
ILR 562. Labor Relations. 3 Hours.
Examination of the theory and practice of labor relations and collective bargaining. Topics include economic and historical environment, labor law, unionization, contract negotiation, patterns in contract content, conflict resolution, grievance handling, and an introduction to arbitration.
ILR 571. Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 1. 1 Hour.
PR: Enrollment in the MS Industrial Relations program or consent. The first course in a series of four required one-credit hour courses that offers practicum experiences, delivers professional development opportunities, and provides exposure to contemporary topics in the field of HR/IR, (e.g., teambuilding, diversity issues).
ILR 572. Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 2. 1 Hour.
PR: Enrollment in the MS Industrial Relations program or consent. The second course in a series of four required one credit hour courses that offers practicum experiences, delivers professional development opportunities, and provides exposure to contemporary topics in the field of HR/IR (e.g., HR investigations, performance management systems).
ILR 573. Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 3. 1 Hour.
PR: Enrollment in the MS Industrial Relations program or consent. The third course in a series of four required one credit hour courses that offers practicum experiences, delivers professional development opportunities and provides exposure to contemporary topics in the field of HR/IR (e.g., outsourcing the HR function, HR impact on mergers and acquisitions).
ILR 574. Human Resource/Industrial Relations Practicum 4. 1 Hour.
PR: Enrollment in the MS Industrial Relations program or consent. The fourth course in a series of four required one credit hour courses that offers practicum experiences, delivers professional development opportunities, and provides exposure to contemporary topics in the field of HR/IR (e.g., anatomy of negotiation, personal finances).
ILR 580. Human Resources Practicum. 3 Hours.
This course offers professional development opportunities through a series of applied seminars taught by practicing professionals.
ILR 581. Collective Bargaining Practice. 3 Hours.
Examination of the development of the Collective Bargaining process from its legal and historical foundation through and including a simulated full contract negotiation similar to what students experience in Labor Relations when actually employed.
ILR 589. MS - Industrial and Labor Relations Internship. 3 Hours.
PR: Consent. Supervised professional experience in human resources and/or industrial relations. Internships are organized, administered, and evaluated jointly by faculty, student, and sponsoring organization. Minimum 12 contact hours per week.
ILR 590. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.
PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of industrial labor relations. Note: This course in intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It will also present a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience. (Grading may be P/F.).
ILR 591A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.
ILR 592A. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.
Directed study, reading, and/or research.
ILR 594. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.
Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.
ILR 595. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.
Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.
ILR 691A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.
ILR 693. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.
A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.
ILR 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.
Faculty-supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.
ILR 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.
PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.
ILR 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.
PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).
ILR 698. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.
ILR 699. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.
PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use of the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.
Chair, Department of Management
- Abhishek Srivastava - Ph.D. (University of Maryland, College Park)
Leadership, Team effectiveness, and Knowledge sharing
- Jeffery D. Houghton - Ph.D. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)
International HRM, Organizational Behavior, Self Leadership, Team Processes
Teaching Assistant Professor
- Suzanne Gosden Kitchen - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
Courses: Human Capital Management, EEO, Training and Development
Executive in Residence
- Bill Hutchinson - M.S.I.R. (West Virginia University)
Collective Bargaining, Performance Management, Compensation and Benefits
- Neil Bucklew - Ph.D.
- Randyl Elkins - Ph.D.
- Dieter Schaupp - Ph.D.
- Tina Parton - M.S.I.R.
Benefits, HR Strategy
- Jon Reed - J.D.