Global Labour University

Penn State University, United States

Master's Programme: Labour and Global Workers’ Rights

The Penn State GLU master’s programme focuses on global workers’ rights, work and gender in the global economy, race and migration, social movements, labour relations systems around the world, and strategic corporate research and organizing campaigns.

Classes for this 12-month program begin every year in mid-August and go until the end of April the following year. During the summer months, May-August, students participate in an internship with a US trade union or worker-oriented organization and write a capstone project.

Below you can find the basic information about this Master's programme.

The current application deadline is currently closed (January 31, 2024)


About the program:

The program is part of the School of Labour and Employment Relations at the main campus of Penn State University, located in central Pennsylvania in State College. It is a large campus in a beautiful, small college town.

Teaching methods/objectives and staff:

Faculty teaching in the programme has rich experience in the global labour movement and labour-related research. Courses are offered in the format of seminars, marked by strong interaction and in-depth discussion among students and faculty members.  Small class size facilitates participatory learning and ties between students and professors. Students are encouraged and supported to research subjects pertinent to global workers’ rights and global labour movements in their term papers and capstone projects. Through internships, students have the opportunities to learn new practical skills that will help them advance the cause of workers’ rights. Staff are on hand to assist students with all administrative needs associated with the program.

Institutional arrangements:

The GLU program at Penn State has strong ties with all other GLU campuses. Among many other forms of exchange, we have held joint classes and discussions with GLU programs in South Africa and Brazil.

Admission & Scholarships

Call for applications:

The application deadline is currently closed (it lasted until January 31, 2024).


Applicants must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.  This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

The following supporting documentation should also be electronically uploaded through the application portal:

  • A personal statement: a 2-3 page essay explaining your background in the area of workers’ rights and articulating why you are interested in earning a master’s degree in labour and global workers’ rights.
  • Documentation of a minimum of three years of full-time work related to workers’ rights and a resume should be attached as a supplement.
  • Three letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s readiness for graduate study and document the requisite minimum of three years of work experience.
  • Transcripts: Applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction).
  • International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT). The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.


Assistantships and scholarships are available and awarded based on need and the quality of the application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to acquire some complementary support from their trade union, labour federation, or related organization.

Contact us

For more information please contact:

» Erin Hetzel (Education Program Assistant)
Telephone: +1 (814) 867-4167

To know more about study experiences, please do not hesitate to contact our alumni:

» Bashiratu Kamal
» Sherif Olanrewaju

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