Certificate in Applied Economic Research on Cooperative Enterprises

The certificate is credit-based, involving 15 credits of coursework and an approved 6-credit (240 hour) 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 of any major.


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:

Broadfork Permaculture
Collective Copies
Common Share Food Co-op
Co-op 108
Franklin Community Co-op
Leverett Village Co-op
Neigboring Food Co-op Associaton
Pedal People
Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives

Internships are completed during the spring or summer and students meet monthly with faculty supervisors and other students to discuss their research.  Students present their research results at a mini-conference at the end of their semester to which members of the Local Cooperative Community and the general public are invited.

View a checklist of the certificate requirements (PDF)


Valerie Voorheis, Senior Lecturer
Co-op Certificate Coordinator
Department of Economics, 219 Crotty Hall