Do you care about Workers' Rights?

Learn about your own rights and the rights of other working people. Consider how rights have been expanded historically. Discuss how efforts to reduce rights today might be countered – or how to expand upon existing rights and make them available to more groups of employees.

The focus of this certificate is on workers' rights in the U.S.  However, coursework in this program allows for the opportunity to learn about rights in other countries because some international experience could inform proposals for change in the U.S.  And if you are an international student, the same insight applies – by learning about workers' rights in the U.S., you can examine potential ways to improve conditions for workers in your own country.

As with other SMLR graduate certificates, this certificate program requires successful completion, with a B or better, of four 3-credit graduate courses.  If you later decide to continue on to the full Master of Labor and Employment Relations program, all these courses would count toward that degree.

Part A:  Current legal rights and their enforcement

At least one course is required in this area. Students may choose to take up to two more.

  • Employment Law (38:533:566)  
  • Immigration Law (38:578:521)
  • Labor Law (38:578:550)
  • Enforcing Worker Rights (38:578:515)

Part B:  The context of rights; their institutional variety; how worker action and public policy can expand rights 

At least one course is required in this area. Students may choose to take up to two more.

  • Organizing for Social Change (38:578:559) 
  • Collective Bargaining (38:578:560)
  • Global Employment Relations Today (38:578:562)
  • Economics and Public Policy in a Global Context (38:578:527)
  • Globalization and the Future of Employment (38:578:555)
  • Public Sector Employment Issues (38:578:525)
  • Employment Relations in Sports (38:578:528)
  • Labor/Employment History (38:578:612)
  • Shaping the Future of Work (38:578:567)

How to Apply

For current Rutgers graduate students:

For application related questions and registration guidance, please contact Ann Marie Fiorella-Mullen, MLER Graduate Student Advisor.

For students not currently enrolled at Rutgers:

For more information on the certificate program and options for your academic future, contact Professor Francis Ryan, MLER Program Director.  

If you wish to complete a Certificate on a fully online basis, please contact Professor Ryan before applying because special application instructions are required.

To apply to complete a certificate, on a mixed in-person and online basis, as a non-degree student, apply to Rutgers Graduate Admissions. Click here to begin an application for admission.

All students:

Once you begin your application and have questions, please contact Ann Marie Fiorella-Mullen, MLER Graduate Student Advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a graduate certificate program cost?

Unless you are already enrolled in a graduate program at Rutgers, graduate certificate students are considered to be non-degree (NOD) studentsand therefore pay the "in state" or "out of state" tuition rate. The mode of instruction for these courses can be in-person, online, or hybrid and you can choose which type of course format works best for you. Please note that FAFSA loans are not permitted for study as a non-degree certificate student.

The in-state tuition rate for 2023-2024 is $983.00 per credit or $2,949 per 3-credit course.*

The out of state tuition rate for 2023-2024 is $1,656.00 per credit or $4,968 per 3-credit course.*

* These rates do not include the mandatory fees or the required health insurance rates for international students. Please see tuition chart here for clarification and the breakdown of fees.

Can international students enroll in a graduate certificate program?

If the student is already on a H1 or F1 U.S. visa, approval from the Rutgers Global office is required to continue or pursue the non-degree graduate certificate program and some elements of the in-person mode of instruction are required. Students must take a minimum of 9 credits per semester or follow requirements for a reduced load when applicable in their final semester of study. This is designed only if the student has an approved visa that is transferable to Rutgers University.