About Labor Studies

Labor studies students are largely union members, staff or officers, as well as human-resource professionals, managers and those with an interest in labor/management relations in both the public and the private sectors. The emerging subfield of working-class studies has drawn an increasing number of students interested in the working-class experience, broadly defined, and in the popular arts.


Students can pursue degrees in five areas: labor studies, cultural studies, social science, historical studies and interdisciplinary studies.

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies
  • Master of Arts
  • advanced certificate in work and public policy

The Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. School of Labor Studies also provides degree-completion opportunities for wage earners and union members in their chosen field, such as electrical construction, para-education and more.

Onsite and Online Options

You can plan undergraduate degrees in labor studies through the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. School of Labor Studies (325 Hudson Street, sixth floor, New York, NY), which includes one-to-one work with a faculty mentor and group study, or take advantage of flexible online learning through SUNY Empire Online.

The Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers and those involved in government for private industry. The primary concentration for this program is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the workforce and the workplace. This degree requires a combination of online study, weekend residencies and one-to-one work with a faculty mentor.