Certificate in Applied Economic Research on Cooperative Enterprises

The certificate is credit-based, involving 15 credits of coursework and an approved 6-credit field-based research internship with, or related to, a cooperative enterprise.  Students gain experience in doing applied economic research in the context of collaboration with faculty, other students, and owner/managers of cooperative firms.

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.  Learn more about co-ops at the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) website:  ica.coop


The certificate is open to undergraduate students matriculated at UMass Amherst.


The 15-credit requirement for coursework can be met by a combination of 3- or 4-credit courses.  Students also need to complete an approved 6-credit field-based research internship.  Organizations that students have worked with include the following:

Green Fields Market:  franklincommunity.coop
Pedal People:  pedalpeople.coop
Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives:  valleyworker.org
Valley Green Feast:  valleygreenfeast.coop

Internships are completed during the summer and students meet twice per month with faculty supervisors and other students to discuss their research.  Students present their research results at a mini-conference in late August to which members of the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives and the general public are invited.

View a checklist of the certificate requirements (PDF)


Valerie Voorheis, Senior Lecturer
Department of Economics

UMass Cooperative Resources

UMass Cooperative Enterprise Collaborative:  umasscec.org
UMass Cooperative Enterprise Collaborative Facebook page:  facebook.com/UMACEC