Labor Studies

College of Arts and Humanities

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies


Bachelor of Arts







Vivian Price, Program Coordinator

Program Office: SCC 130, (310) 243-3640

Interdepartmental Labor Studies Committee

David Bradfield (Music), Anne Choi (IDS), Tom Donahoe (Interdisciplinary Studies), Cynthia Johnson (Nursing), Thomas Norman (Management), Ericka Verba (History)


Program Description

In 1977, the Labor Studies program was developed at CSU Dominguez Hills to provide Southern California with the only state-supported bachelor of arts program in this field. Our program was designed with the assistance of state and local labor leaders and was coordinated with Labor Studies programs at nearby community colleges. Labor Studies focuses upon all aspects of working life from the point of view of workers. Emphasis is placed on understanding the labor movement as it relates to historical, economic, and social issues of the twenty-first century. The Labor Studies program offers a major, a minor, and a certificate program.


Besides being unique in Southern California, the CSU Dominguez Hills Labor Studies Program offers students a wide variety of courses taught by professors in a range of different disciplines. Labor Studies is an interdepartmental program, which means that along with specialized courses in labor studies, students also take related classes in fields such as history, sociology and economics. The student will acquire a good liberal arts education, as well as an education in the more practical aspects of labor studies. Such courses as LBR 412, Labor Law, are taught by labor lawyers and unionists who are currently involved in the workplace.

Evening Program

Every effort is made to schedule courses in the evening and on weekends.  There are also internet and hybrid classes.

Academic Advisement

The faculty members comprising the Labor Studies Committee are available for advising students. Students should first contact the coordinator of the Labor Studies Program for counsel or direction to someone with the expertise to assist them. Upon enrollment, a student should establish a relationship with an advisor who can help provide continuity during the student's college years.


Students coming from high school must meet the California State University requirements for admission to CSU Dominguez Hills. Otherwise, prospective Labor Studies majors do not need to have taken any specific courses. It is recommended that community college transfer students complete their General Education courses before entering the Labor Studies program.

Career Possibilities

Careers for Labor Studies majors can be found within the labor movement and in private and public sector organizations that deal with labor relations. Many labor studies students are union officers or staff members seeking wider background knowledge for their current or future positions. A number of these students plan careers in the personnel and industrial relations divisions of corporations. Others wish to become professional mediators or arbitrators. Besides the careers typically sought by Labor Studies majors, a student also might consider a B.A. in Labor Studies as a background for teaching, labor journalism, or labor law.

Student Organizations

Labor Studies Club. Students interested in the field can participate in the Labor Studies Club, which organizes discussions and forums on current topics, holds social events and advises faculty and students on aspects of the program.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation
with Honors in Labor Studies provided he or she meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. Recommendation by the faculty of the Labor Studies Department.


Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

See the "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.

General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the "General Education" requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

No minor required.

Major Requirements (30 units)

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Students are strongly encouraged to either pass the GWAR or take The Writing Adjunct (IDS 397 and 398) when starting this program.

A.  Core Courses (18 units)

1.  Required Course (3 units):

LBR 490. Seminar in Labor Studies (3)

2.  Electives: Select five courses from the following (15 units):

ECO 330. Labor Economics (3)

HIS 348. Labor in American Society (3)

LBR 411. Contracts and Negotiations (3)

LBR 412. Labor Law (3)

SOC 315. Sociology of Work (3)

NOTE: When appropriate to the focus, courses such as IDS 326, or MGT 310, 312, 314, or 316 may be substituted with advisor's approval.


B.  Related Courses in Field of Emphasis: Four courses (12 units):

With advisement students will select 4 courses related to Labor Studies organized around a theme or a focus such as "labor and political economy," "women workers," "race and ethnicity in the labor force," "labor and culture," and "legal and negotiating skills for the workplace." Students may construct a field from the following courses, from other courses not used in the core section, and from other appropriate courses with advisor's approval. For example, a student interested in "legal and negotiating skills for the workplace" might use courses from political science that deal with the law. The following courses may also be used to construct a field of emphasis:

LBR 495. Special Topics in Labor Studies (3)

LBR 496. Practicum in Labor Studies (3)

PUB 315. Labor-Management Relations in Government (3)

ACC 230. Financial Accounting (3)

PSY 372. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3)


Minor in Labor Studies (15 units)

A.  Core Courses: Select three courses from the following (9 units):

LBR 411. Contracts and Negotiations (3)

LBR 412. Labor Law (3)

HIS 348. Labor and American Society (3)

SOC 315. Sociology of Work (3)

LBR 490. Seminar in Labor Studies (3)


B.  Related Courses: Select two courses from the following (6 units):

ANT 346. Anthropology of Work (3)

ECO 330. Labor Economics (3)

PUB 315. Labor Management Relations in Government (3)

NOTE: When they deal with issues of work, unions, the economy and labor-relations skills, other courses such as IDS 326 may be substituted with advisor's approval . Courses listed in (A) that are not used to fulfill the nine core units may also be used here.


Certificate in Labor Studies (24 units)

This certificate requires completion of eight three-unit courses. Students may receive the certificate while completing a major or minor in Labor Studies or in other fields or without attaining a B.A.

A.  Core Requirements: Select four courses from the following (12 units):

HIS 348. Labor in American Society (3)

SOC 315. Sociology of Work (3)

LBR 411. Contracts and Negotiations (3)

LBR 412. Labor Law (3)

LBR 490. Seminar in Labor Studies (3)

LBR 495. Special Topics in Labor Studies (3)

LBR 496. Practicum in Labor Studies (3)


B.  Related Courses: Select four additional courses from the following or from courses listed in "A", but not used to satisfy the Core Requirements (12 units):

ECO 330. Labor Economics (3)

PUB 315. Labor Managements Relations in Government (3)

PSY 372. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3)

NOTE: Other courses such as IDS 326 may be substituted with advisor's approval when they deal with issues of work, unions, the economy, and labor-relations skills.


Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

Lower Division

LBR 200         Labor and the Environment (3).

The course will pursue an understanding of the consequences of climate policies for different categories of workers, identified by economic sector, geographic location, gender, migration and immigration, and national status.

Upper Division

LBR 411          Contracts and Negotiations (3).

The process of negotiating, writing and enforcing a labor contract. An overview of the historical events that have affected contemporary negotiation practices. A survey and analysis of labor contracts in various sectors of industry, including a workshop in contract writing and negotiation.

LBR 412          Labor Law (3).

Legal history of the American labor movement. Survey of federal and state laws regulating employment, collective bargaining, contract clauses, arbitration, collective actions, lockouts, unfair labor practices and fair employment practices.

LBR 490          Seminar in Labor Studies (3).

Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of instructor.

An integrative course to study selected topics, to develop an overview of the field and to relate theory and practical application. Students will develop seminar papers as they complete an internship in a labor organization or research an area of labor studies. Three hours of seminar per week.

LBR 495          Special Topics in Labor Studies (1-4).

An intensive study of an issue or a concept in Labor Studies that is of special interest to faculty and students. Topics vary (e.g., Special Topics: Labor in the 60's; Public Employees). Repeatable course. Three hours of lecture per week.

LBR 496          Practicum in Labor Studies (3).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor is required.

Directed field research or supervised internship. Training and research in the practice and policies of a labor organization or labor-related governmental agency. Repeatable course.


LBR 590       Graduate Seminar (3).

Graduate level analysis and discussion under direction of supervising faculty member in Labor Studies or related field.

LBR 598       Directed Research (1-3).

Independent research under direction of supervising faculty member in Labor Studies or related field.

LBR 599        Graduate Capstone (1-3).

Supervised thesis, or special project in Labor Studies.