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MS in Labor Relations and Human Resources

The M.S. Degree is earned in a 39 credit multi-disciplinary program that is composed of nine required courses plus a two course specialization in either labor relations or human resources and two professinal electives

Elective Courses

LRS/SOC 432 – Work, Employment & Society: The social structure of industrial organizations; institutional patterns of conflict and cooperation; the impact of  the political process; current issues in industry.

LRS/PSC 503 – Problems in Public Personnel Administration: Human resource issues addressed in context of changing product and labor markets, including relationship between human resource policies; the economic, social, and political environment; and firm’s strategic objectives.

LRS 520 – Developments in Worker Representation: Structure, functions, responsibilities and programs of unions and union leadership. Emphasis on policies and decision making. Evaluation of labor and management performance. Consideration of administrative problems associated with growth of white collar unions.* Offered in Spring semester.

LRS 532 –  Seminar in Employment Law: Advanced seminar to review and evaluate current issues and changing trends in selected aspects of employment law. May be repeated for credit with different topic, for maximum of six credits.

LRS 533 – Pension, Health Care, and Employee Benefit Programs: The course provides a joundation for understanding the nature of retirement along with the role pensions and health insurance play in providing a secure retirement. In order to understand how pensions work there will be a  focus on the two major types of pensions (defined contribution and defined benefits). Additionally the investment strategies used to finance and manage pension costs will be studied. Also the issue of privatizing social security will be studied.  The problem of financing and delivering health care to all will be emphasized, as the states and the federal government struggle with ways to provide universal health care. Among the issues to be studied relating to health care are prescription drug benefits, dental insurance, long term care options,  employee assistance programs, mental health issues, and the relationship of  medical savings accounts to high deductible plans, as well as flexible spending accounts, the costs of health insurance for children, active employees and retirees.   None of these health care problems can be looked at without understanding the current programs of medicare and medicaid. Underlying all of this it is crucial to understand today's investment theories of liability investing, hedge funds and 130/30 investment schemes, among others.. Offered during Summer Session.

LRS 543 – Public Sector Collective Bargaining: Public sector (state, municipal, federal, police, fire, K-12 education, and higher education) collective bargaining theory, practice, and legal foundations. Comprehensive case studies.

LRS 545 – Arbitration and Mediation of Labor Disputes: Students prepare, present, and analyze labor and employment arbitration/mediations. The course also covers interest arbitration, and innovative methods for resolving disputes.*

LRS 546 – Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution: Examination of the interpersonal dynamics of negotiations and conflict resolution processes, including interest-based or collaborative bargaining in a variety of contexts; e.g. labor relations, community, environmental, divorce, racial commercial. Offered during Summer Session.

LRS 579 – Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining in Education: Collective bargaining in public and private educational sectors, K-12, higher education; literature, theory, practice, and legal foundations in education. Comprehensive case studies. Offered during Summer Session as a WebCT course.

LRS 581 – Internship in Labor Relations and Human Resources:  Variable length internship with a trade union, a public or private sector human resource or labor relations department, or a governmental administrative or regulatory agency, under the supervision of both a URI Labor Research Center faculty member and a member of the affiliated organization. Offered Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

LRS 591 – Directed Readings in Labor Relations and Human Resources: Readings and research under the direction of SLRC-associated faculty to meet individual student requirements. Offered Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

MBA 502 – Organizational Behavior: Examination of the theory, research, and practice of organizational behavior in work settings, focusing on individual differences, communications, group dynamics, motivation, and leadership in the workplace.

MBA 577 – Compensation Administration: Compensation and performance appraisal systems. Theory and techniques used to determine job worth. Special issues in compensation management, such as relating pay to performance through appraisal techniques and pay compression.** Offered in Spring semester.

MBA 578 – Human Resource Development: Techniques used in procurement and development of human resources. Planning through recruitment, selection, and placement to training and development. Integration of HRD process with organizational strategic plans.** Offered in Fall semester.

Others: Graduate courses from Political Science, Nursing, Human Development & Family Studies, Business (MBA) may be used as elective courses with the prior approval of the SLRC Director.

*    Elective credits for the Human Resources specialization only.

**   Elective credits for the Labor Relations specialization only.

 


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