Accelerated Residential Program

The UMass Amherst Labor Center is now accepting applications for our new, accelerated master’s degree in Labor Studies. Beginning in Fall 2017, students can complete the program with only one year of residency.

For over fifty years, we have 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 positions in the labor movement and other social justice organizations.

Fulltime students collaborating on an assignment

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 also 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 graduates who is at the forefront of many of these 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 fortunate to be able to offer a limited number of teaching assistantships and internships. These positions cover tuition costs and provide a stipend. Students with assistantships and internships are members of the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2322. Formed in 1987, GEO is one of only a few graduate student unions across the country.

How the New Accelerated Degree Works

Once accepted, students will take three (3) courses in their first 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. Finally, students complete their course requirements by taking two (2) classes in a ten-day intensive July session. The papers for July courses are due at the end of the Fall semester, with students receiving their degree the following February. After students complete their July session coursework, they could obtain an internship, work on research, or begin working. Students may be able to extend their studies beyond the accelerated time-frame.