4+1 Program

The UMass Amherst Labor Center is now accepting applications for our new 4+1 track to earn your Master’s degree in Labor Studies. This program allows undergraduate students to begin their graduate studies in their 3rd or 4th year and complete their degree with only one additional year of residency.

For over fifty years, the Labor Center has built one of the premiere graduate programs in Labor Studies in the United States. With a near 100% placement record, our graduates join over 1,000 alumni in key position in the labor movement and other social justice organizations.

Earning your master’s degree in Labor Studies at the UMass Labor Center puts you right at the center of the issues and debates around labor, work, and social justice. Labor is changing. As the attacks on labor have intensified, unions have been taking bold new directions. They have combined efforts with a wide variety of alt-labor organizations, building strong connections with new social movements in broad-based coalitions for justice. Become one of our graduate who are at the forefront of many of these new and exciting developments to build justice and dignity in the workplace and the community, here and abroad.

We provide skills that activists need — hands-on skills in organizing, strategic corporate research, and bargaining — as well as the theory and analytical frameworks to think critically about issues facing working people and their movements today. Our curriculum provides an important grounding in the economic, political, and legal thinking as we interrogate issues around race, immigration, gender and the working class in a global economy.

We are anticipating that there will be some financial aid available for students in the year of full-time graduate study. This could include scholarships, teaching assistantship or internships.

How the New 4+1 Degree Works

Once accepted, students will take two graduate courses during their final year of their undergraduate studies. After graduation, students will do a summer internship with a labor or community organization. Students will enter their year of full-time graduate studies in September taking three (3) courses in the Fall semester. During the winter break, they will attend two (2) graduate courses in our ten-day intensive January session, along with students in our limited residency (ULA) program. They will then complete the paper for these courses during the Spring semester. They will also enroll for two (2) classes in the Spring semester and will receive their degree in May.