UMass Boston

Labor Studies BA

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Prepare for a career in labor and community organization.

As a student in the Labor Studies BA program at UMass Boston, you will acquire the skills you need to analyze historical controversies and to think strategically about social, political, and economic change. You will build a strong foundation for a variety of occupations and prepare to be active in your own labor and community organizations.

In this program, you will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the history, theory, and practice of the labor movement, including its influence on social and economic policies
  • Develop critical thinking, research, and communication skills, as well as the ability to analyze complex issues related to labor relations
  • Apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations, including workplace issues, labor disputes, and public policy debates

Career Possibilities

Work with labor unions to recruit and organize members, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, and advocate for workers' rights. Pursue a career in advocacy to research employment issues and make recommendations for change. Or, oversee recruitment, training, and employee relations for organizations, ensuring compliance with labor laws and creating fair and equitable workplace policies. Whatever your goals, UMass Boston is here to support you.

Become a(n):

Union Organizer
Labor Lawyer
Policy Analyst
Human Resources Manager
Labor Journalist

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student 

Apply as a Transfer Student

Financing Your Education

Become a Beacon and pursue your passion in UMass Boston’s diverse, supportive environment. Many students across our 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs receive financial aid—providing access to an education that’s exceptional and affordable. Click below to learn more about financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process 

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

Deadlines & Cost

For fall semester admission, applications submitted by the "priority deadline" of March 1 are given priority and will be notified of a decision by the end of April. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through July 1.

For spring semester admission, the application deadline is December 1. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through December.

Cost & Aid
For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to Bursar@umb.edu.

Curriculum

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the university catalog for the Labor Studies BA.

Introductory Courses (6 Credits)

  • LABOR 210L - Labor and Working Class History in the United States 3Credit(s)
  • AMST 101 - Popular Culture in America 3Credit(s)
  • or

  • ECON 101 - Introduction to Microeconomics 3Credit(s)
  • or

  • ECON 102 - Introduction to Macroeconomics 3Credit(s)
  • or

  • HIST 266 - American History since 1877 3Credit(s)

Research Methods Course (3 Credits)

Complete one from below.

  • ANTH 348 - Ethnographic Inquiry: Introduction to Qualitative Field Research 3Credit(s)
  • ANTH 352 - Applied Social Anthropology 3Credit(s)
  • HIST 481 - Research & Methods: Senior Research Methods in History 3Credit(s)
  • POLSCI 350 - Political Research Methods 3Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 202 - Methods of Sociological Research 3Credit(s)

Electives (21 Credits)

Take seven electives from the list below.

  • LABOR 120L - Sports and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and the Labor of Sweat 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 240L - Work, Environment, and Revolution in Latin America 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 275L - Learning to Labor: Work and Education in US History 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 315 - Labor, Community, and Social Justice Organizing 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 325 - Workers’ Rights and Human Rights 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 330 - Race, Class, and Gender at Work: Divisions in Labor 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 335 - Globalization and Labor 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 340 - Field Placements in Workers’ Organizations 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 390L - Working-Class Boston 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 450 - Labor and the U.S. Economy 3Credit(s)
  • LABOR 480 - Independent Study 1-3Credit(s)
  • AFRSTY 350L - Race, Class, and Gender: Issues in US Diversity 3Credit(s)
  • AMST 360 - Work, Society, and Culture in Modern America 3Credit(s)
  • AMST 405 - The Immigrant Experience 3Credit(s)
  • AMST 440L - United States in a Global Context 3Credit(s)
  • ECON 339 - Political Economy of International Migration 3Credit(s)
  • ECON 391 - Unions and Collective Bargaining 3Credit(s)
  • ECON 420 - Gender and Economics 3Credit(s)
  • ENGL 373 - Working-Class Literature 3Credit(s)
  • POLSCI 335 - Law and Public Policy (A) 3Credit(s)
  • WGS 355L - Gender, Development, & Globalization 3Credit(s)
  • WGS 360 - Gender, Culture, and Power 3Credit(s)
  • WGS 394L - Radical Voices of Resistance: Gender, Race and US Social Movements 3Credit(s)

Capstone (3 Credits)

  • LABOR 340 - Field Placements in Workers’ Organizations 3Credit(s)

Graduate Criteria

Degree Requirements

If this is the student’s only or primary major, the degree requirements below must be completed for graduation. See graduation requirements for more information.

University Requirements
College of Liberal Arts Requirements for Bachelor of Arts

Major Requirements

Complete 33 credits from eleven courses including two introductory courses, one research methods course, seven electives, and one capstone.

Grade: No courses with a grade below C- may be applied toward the major.
GPA: A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all major courses.
Pass/fail: No courses taken pass/fail may be applied toward the major.
Residency: At least five courses used for the major must be completed at UMass Boston. At least six courses used for the major must be LABOR courses. At least three of the six required LABOR courses must be completed at UMass Boston.

Related Programs

Labor Studies Minor

Supplement any major with the minor in labor studies. Students minoring in labor studies (or simply taking courses in the program) will find that it provides a useful foundation for employment in a variety of occupations – from legal to nonprofit work.

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Labor Studies Certificate

The Professional Certificate in Labor Leadership is a valuable credential for emerging leaders in the labor movement. The certificate program fosters group learning across different unions, communities, and economic sectors. Students may enroll in the certificate program as either a pre-baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate option.

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