The Labor Studies Major and Minor
The Labor Resource Center is home to two undergraduate programs, the (a) academic major (BA) and minor in Labor Studies, and (b) the Labor Studies Certificate. These interdisciplinary programs examine the diversity of work and working-class experience, the changing nature of the workplace, and the past, present, and future of labor organizations, movements, and conflicts. Drawing on the fields of anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, and other disciplines, Labor Studies addresses such questions as:
- What roles do unions and labor organizing play in shaping the culture, politics, and economics of communities, cities, regions, and countries?
- How and why has the capacity of labor organizations to influence political power and public policy changed across time and place?
- How do changes in the global economy affect work, the lives of working people, and the capacity of workers to effectively organize?
- How and why have workers’ rights changed across time and place?
- What opportunities and challenges do workers face as the composition of the labor force changes in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and nationality?
- What are effective methods of worker organizing and of collective bargaining by unions and labor organizations?
The UMass Boston Labor Studies Program prepares students to research and critically analyze the major social issues of our time, and to think strategically about social, political, and economic change.
Labor Studies Major and Labor Studies Minor
We offer a major (BA) as well as a minor for students majoring in another program at UMass Boston. Students may elect to major in labor studies and also in a second recognized academic area at the same time (e.g., anthropology, economics, sociology, etc.). Election of such an option is called a double major. The major and the minor require students to take a set of labor studies courses, but they also allow students to fill out their requirements with related courses in various College of Liberal Arts departments.
Details of the requirements for the major and minor are at:
Students who are neither majoring nor minoring in labor studies are of course welcome to take individual courses in the program. Also, the program offers a First Year Seminar and an Intermediate Seminar.
Labor Leadership 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.
For more information on the Labor Studies Program, contact the Labor Resource Center: