Certificate in Policy Issues on Work and Pay

Work and pay

The Policy Issues on Work and Pay Certificate provides professionals in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with insight and ability to better understand and evaluate federal, state, and local policies that affect the employment relationship.

What You Will Learn

  • How to review and evaluate various statutes
  • How employers, unions, and governments interpret those policies
  • How policy affects the working conditions of employees

Certificates Toward Degree Programs

You can complete both a degree and certificate program with the Humphrey School as well as the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the Carlson School of Management. You must apply prior to completing all the classes in the Policy Issues on Work and Pay Certificate.


The Policy Issues on Work and Pay Certificate requires 15 semester credits, including 6 credits in core courses, and a minimum of 9 credits in electives.

Required Core Courses (6 credits)

Public Policies on Work and Pay
  • PA 5431 Public Policies on Work and Pay (3 cr.)
    OR HRIR 5655 Public Policies on Work and Pay (3 cr.)
Social Safety Nets / Social Insurance Programs
  • PA 5022 Applications of Economics for Policy Analysis: Economics of Social Insurance Programs (3 cr.)

Note: All core courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Elective Courses (9 credits)

Take at least 9 credits (3–5 courses) from the following list, or select other elective coursework with the approval of the director of graduate studies:

  • HRIR 5222 Creating and Managing Diversity and Inclusion (2 cr.)
  • HRIR 5252 Employment and Labor Law for the HRIR Professional (2 cr.)
  • HRIR 5662 Personnel Economics (2 cr.)
  • HRIR 6503 Employer-Sponsored Employee Benefit Programs (2 cr.)
  • HRIR 6701 Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (4 cr.)
  • PA 5401 Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy (3 cr.)
  • PA 8386 Research Methods in Public Policy (2 cr.)
  • APEC 5511 Labor Economics (3 cr.)
  • LAW 6203 Labor Law (2 cr.)
  • LAW 6631 Employee Discrimination (3 cr.) 
  • LAW 6632 Employment Law (3 cr.)
  • LAW 6833 Alternative Dispute Resolution (2 cr.)