Jul 12, 2024  
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog 
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog

Labor Studies Minor

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Minimum number of credits required to earn minor: 18

GPA requirements to earn minor: None.

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward minor: C or better in all Labor Studies core courses (LST 101  and LST 201 ).

Contact Information: Marc T. Cryer, Director, Bureau of Labor Education, Room 202 Chadbourne Hall, (207) 581-4124, marc.cryer@maine.edu

As the 21st century progresses the rapid pace of changes in technology, productivity, globalization of markets and culture, and the environment are profoundly affecting the jobs, workplaces, and lives of working people. The minor in Labor Studies allows students to pursue an integrated structure of coursework that critically examines changes in the workplace, the U.S. labor movement, and labor issues from a variety of academic disciplines, including labor studies. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, areas of study will include: work and labor in the global economy; the history of labor and the labor movement; the role of conflict, power and inequality; employment and labor law; the organization, roles, and functions of unions; collective bargaining, contract maintenance, and labor-management relations; the implications of climate change, ecology and resource depletion for workers and the labor movement; women and work; and the impacts of technology on work; as well as labor and contemporary social issues.

The Minor in Labor Studies will provide important educational and professional development opportunities for students wishing to focus on labor studies; unorganized and organized employees in the public and private sectors; the staff and elected officers of labor organizations; educators, government officials, and public policy makers. Non-degree students interested in Labor Studies are encouraged to speak with the Director of the Bureau of Labor Education about the Certificate in Labor Studies.

Goals and Learning Outcomes: The goal of this Minor in Labor Studies centers on enabling students to develop greater knowledge and understanding of unions and the labor movement, the social, historical, economic and political contexts of work and the labor movement, future trends and prospects for work and the labor movement, and issues relating to work in a global context. As a result of completing the Minor in Labor Studies, students will:

• develop a greater understanding of the U.S. labor movement and workplace through historical, political, legal, economic, social, and organizational perspectives;

• be able to analyze the changing nature of work and the workplace in the U.S. and global economy;

• gain a greater understanding of the role of gender, race, and class in the workplace and labor movement;

• explore the implications of post-carbon issues and climate change for workers, the economy, and for the labor movement;

• acquire a practical understanding of the roles, structure, and functions of unions, as well as the dynamics of labor relations established through collective bargaining and contract maintenance;

• be able to identify the major trends and leaders in the history of U.S. organized labor;

• have the knowledge of economic concepts, vocabulary, and current events sufficient to read and “understand the financial section of a major U.S. newspaper;

• become familiar with the state and federal laws most commonly cited in employment and labor relations disputes and be able to find these laws on-line or in a library;

• be familiar with the concepts, vocabulary, and processes of alternative dispute resolution as applied in employment and labor relations.

NOTE: All LST courses will be available as distance and/or hybrid courses, combining a distance section with a live class section.


The Minor in Labor Studies requires a minimum of eighteen credit hours of course study in the labor-related courses listed below. The two Required Core Courses constitute six credit hours; another six credit hours must be taken from Core Electives, and the remaining six credits are to be selected from the list of elective courses. In addition, elective courses must be taken from (at least) two different disciplines.

Required Core Courses

 Required Core Courses will consist of the following two 3-credit courses, for 6 credits:


Electives will consist of at least four courses (in at least two different disciplines) from the following list of course, for a minimum of 12 credits.

Core Electives

Each student must take at least two of these courses:

Transfer of Elective Courses

 A maximum of 9 credits may be accepted as transfer credits, at the discretion of the director.

Additional Notes for Elective Courses

1) Students are responsible for taking any necessary prerequisite courses for these electives, OR for requesting a waiver directly from the respective course instructors.

2) Anyone wanting to take or count any other elective labor-related courses towards the Labor Studies Minor Program which are not on this list, or courses from other campuses or institutions, must obtain prior approval in writing from the Director of the Bureau of Labor Education. The Bureau of Labor Education reserves the right to make any decisions regarding course applicability

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