New York Union Semester

Cartoon drawing of activists holding different signs

Live in New York City. Defend workers’ rights. Get paid and earn college credits.

New York Union Semester is one of a kind full-time semester-long program that combines rigorous academic study with first-hand experience within the labor movement. Students in the program are paired with unions and worker-rights organizations to gain practical skills and learn first-hand the strategies these organizations use to fight for workers’ rights. During class time, students analyze the experience they gain in the field by studying the history of and current debates within the U.S. labor movement.

As part of the program, students receive a $7,000 financial allowance, to cover tuition and living expenses while working four days a week at their field placement . During the evenings and all-day on Fridays, students take classes with the renowned Labor Studies faculty at the Murphy Institute. Upon completion of the program, undergraduate students earn 16 credits and are awarded a Certificate in Labor Studies, and graduate students earn 12 credits and are awarded an Advanced Certificate in Labor Studies. These credits can be applied towards the MA in Labor Studies.

Internship Timeline

Early Applications for Fall 2018 are due by May 1st, 2018 and all applications are due by June 1st, 2018. New York Union Semester accepts applicants for Fall and Spring semester ONLY. Each semester consists of 1-week orientation, fifteen weeks of internship and classes, and a finals week.


The program welcomes undergraduates, recent college graduates, and graduate students from anywhere in the world. New York Union Semester is a seventeen-week, full-time commitment.  Program participants will not have time for additional classes and/or work a second job.

In order to qualify for admission to New York Union Semester, undergraduate applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and must have successfully completed 45 college credits before the start of the New York Union Semester. Graduate applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or a GPA of a 3.0 or higher in a post-baccalaureate program.

Contact Us

For questions, please call (212) 857-1968 or email