Integrated B.S. in LER and M.S. in HRER

Updated: Summer 2019

The integrated LHR B.S. and HRER M.S. program is designed to allow academically talented Penn State students to obtain both the B.S. in Labor and Employment Relations and the M.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations degrees after five years of study rather than six.

Upon completion of the integrated degree, students will be well-positioned to assume positions of greater responsibility in Human Resource Management, Employment Relations, and related careers as a result of the advanced knowledge, skills, and confidence gained through the program. The IUG program is intended for students interested in pursuing a professional career in either Human Resource Management or Employment Relations, and in earning a graduate degree a year faster than is usually required.

HOW DOES THE IUG DEGREE WORK?

The first two to three years of undergraduate coursework follow the same undergraduate curriculum that other students follow in the Labor and Employment Relations B.S. program. The final two years of study typically include graduate program requirements. Students may double-count a maximum of 12 specified credits toward their graduate and undergraduate degrees, thus making faster progress toward each degree.

Student performance is monitored on an ongoing basis by the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Programs Office. Each student is expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on all courses used toward the M.S. degree in order to maintain good academic standing and meet graduation requirements. Students are allowed only one "C" on their graduate transcript, regardless of their grade point average. 

IUG students must complete a minimum of 39 graduate credits. Twelve credits can apply to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees; at least six of these credits must be at the 500 or 800 level. No more than six 400-level credits can be double-counted, and no more than twelve 400-level credits in total can count toward the graduate degree. The twelve credits for double-counting must be chosen from the following list of approved courses (all courses are 3 credits):

  • LER 400 Comparative Employment Relations OR HRER 500 Comparative Employment Relations
  • LER 403 International Human Resource Studies OR HRER 503 Seminar in International Human Resources Studies
  • LER 427 Organizational Context for Human Resource Management and Employment Relations Professionals OR HRER 825 Strategic Business Tools for HRER Professionals
  • LER 428 Total Rewards OR HRER 824 Total Rewards
  • LER 401 The Law of Labor-Management Relations
  • LER 460 Human Resource Ethics
  • HRER 501 Labor and Employment Law
  • HRER 502 Human Behavior at Work
  • HRER 504 Seminar in Employment Relations

To earn the Master of Science degree in HRER, students in the LHR IUG program must complete all the degree requirements for the Master of Science.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Students must apply to the IUG degree program by October 1 to begin in the spring semester and March 1 to begin in the fall semester, prior to completing 100 credits (typically spring semester of a student’s third year). Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores normally required of graduate school applicants are waived for applicants to the IUG program. For more detailed information about all of Penn State's IUG programs, please see The Graduate School's website.

Requirements for admission include:

  1. Applicant must be enrolled in Penn State's LHR B.S. program (students in the LHR B.A. program are eligible if they change their major to the B.S. option). 
  2. Applicant shall be admitted no earlier than the beginning of the third semester of undergraduate study at Penn State (regardless of transfer of AP credits accumulated prior to enrollment) and no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree, as specified in the proposed IUG plan of study;
  3. Applicant must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major.

The application for admission to the IUG program must include the following materials, all of which need to be uploaded within the Graduate School application:

  1. Three letters of recommendation (including one each from the chairs of the Department’s undergraduate and graduate committees)
  2. A writing sample of an individual paper (can be something you’ve already written but cannot be a résumé or group project/paper)
  3. A personal statement explaining your academic and professional career objectives and how our program will help you achieve them
  4. Interested students must meet with Katelyn Perry, the LHR Academic Adviser, prior to applying. Together with the adviser, students should prepare a plan of study appropriate to this integrated program. To make an appointment with Katelyn Perry, please log onto www.starfish.psu.edu, click on Services, use the search box in the upper right for “Perry”, then click on the Members tab from search results to find her and make an appointment.
  5. A completed graduate school application (for the M.S. in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations - HRER; please mention in the notes section that you are applying to the IUG program).

The GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION must be submitted electronically. This reduces your processing time and ensures receipt of your application. For students desiring to start classes in August, applications are due March 1 (ALL materials including the three recommendation letters must be submitted by this deadline).

If an eighth-semester undergraduate student does not require financial aid, the student does not have to graduate with BS until they have completed their MS requirements, if they so choose. If an eighth-semester undergraduate student requires financial aid of some sort to remain in the program, the student must contact Erin Hetzel, the Graduate Staff Assistant, to discuss their options and ensure that financial aid is not negatively affected by the student’s course sequence. To make an appointment with Erin Hetzel, please log onto www.starfish.psu.edu, click on Services, use the search box in the upper right for “Hetzel”, then click on the Members tab from search results to find her and make an appointment.

Please note that applicants to the IUG program are not required to submit GRE, GMAT, TOEFL or IELTS scores.

WHEN ARE ADMISSION DECISIONS MADE?

The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews IUG applications twice a year. Once after the October 1st deadline and notifies admitted students by the end of October. The second review happens after the March 1st deadline. The applicant will be notified by the end of March.

TUITION CHARGES

Undergraduate tuition rates apply as long as the student is an undergraduate. There is no guaranteed financial support in the IUG degree program.