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

Neighboring Food Co-op Association

Pedal People:  pedalpeople.coop

Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives:  valleyworker.org

Internships are completed during the spring or 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, 219 Crotty Hall