Something is happening in the labor movement. All across the United States, workers are striking and winning. Public approval of unions is at a 50-year high. Educators, hotel workers, screen writers, supermarket cashiers, and others have inspired each other to win a fair contract. Thousands of others are forming their very first unions, from Minor League Baseball to Starbucks workers.
Earning your master’s degree in Labor Studies puts you at the center of issues and debates around labor, work, and social justice. In this sense, the master’s program is not just a degree: it is a call to action, an invitation to rebuild the labor movement.
To answer the call, labor activists need expertise and know-how. Students learn hands-on skills like organizing, strategic research, and collective bargaining, while also learning the legal, economic, and historical context in which workers and their organizations operate.
An intersectional approach to labor solidarity is central to both our curriculum and recruitment priorities. We are committed to training and placing the next generation of labor leaders, especially those who have previously been underrepresented in leadership roles within the labor movement.
The Union Leadership & Activism (ULA) master’s degree in Labor Studies is the only program of its kind. A limited-residency program, it is designed specifically for labor activists who work full-time. ULA courses are offered in 10-day residencies in January and July at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Most of our students are rank-and-file union members, elected leaders, and union staff.
A defining feature of the ULA program is the powerful sense of community created during the periods of concentrated study that the residencies provide. Labor activists from around the United States and the world come together to share the lessons of their local struggles and leave with lifelong friends and a renewed sense of purpose. With a near 100 percent placement record, our alumni network extends throughout the United States and beyond, and our faculty have strong relationships throughout the labor movement.
Join other labor leaders, staff, and union members and explore the labor movement in a vibrant tight-knit community setting. Apply to the ULA program today! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through October 1 (for January start) and April 1 (for July start) as capacity allows.
For more information and to apply visit: https://www.umass.edu/lrrc/graduate/ula