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Welcome to the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University

Welcome to the School of Labour Studies. Our innovative interdisciplinary programs are the premier undergraduate and graduate Labour Studies programs in Canada and are widely recognized around the world. Working closely with labour organizations (particularly the Hamilton and District Labour Council), we offer an outstanding Certificate Program for adults in Hamilton and nearby communities. In partnership with the Unifor, we provide a unique Unifor-McMaster Certificate Program.

Our Program

We are a small program. Students get to know their professors. Teaching is very important to us. In the classroom we seek to inform, challenge and learn from our students. Our faculty are at the forefront of research and critical labour issues in Canada and around the world. Our staff is committed to providing excellent and friendly advice and service to our students.  

Our undergraduate and graduate students have high rates of success in securing careers in labour law, community development, policy analysis, teaching, occupational health and safety, labour research and labour organizing.  We also offer an outstanding Certificate Program for adults around the country. In addition, in partnership with the Canadian Auto Workers, we provide a unique UNIFOR-McMaster Certificate Program

Stephanie Ross, Director,
School of Labour Studies

Learn more about our areas of study

Labour Studies Programs

Undergraduate Programs

The School of Labour Studies features the internationally recognized and highly successful BA and Honours BA undergraduate degrees in Labour Studies. These are the most sought-after undergraduate labour studies programs in Canada, and are acknowledged strengths in the Social Sciences at McMaster University.

M.A. in Labour Studies

The M.A. in Labour Studies is an exciting component of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University. The prime objective of this unique program is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical approaches and practical policy debates related to work and workers, both globally, and in Canada. Courses focus on a broad range of topics such as: union organizing; globalization and migration; labour geography; worker health and safety; and gender, racialization and work. The M.A. in Labour Studies approaches work broadly, paying attention to informal work, unpaid work in the home, as well as formal waged work. Regardless of the particular focus, work is studied as one component of life experience, and as influenced by technological change, community relations, the effects of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism, politics, and state regulation.

Ph.D. in Labour Studies

The Ph.D. in Labour Studies is the newest component of McMaster University’s School of Labour Studies. The only such degree in North America, the Ph.D. program engages closely and critically with the issues of work and labour in contemporary and historical perspective. The program aims to develop a new generation of scholars prepared to contribute to research leadership in the academy, the community, policy arenas and organizations representing working people. As a small interdisciplinary program, students will enjoy strong mentorship from leading scholars in the field and benefit from the strong union and community connections of faculty.

Certificate Programs

The world of labour is constantly changing. That's why the School of Labour Studies has partnered with both the Hamilton District Labour Council and Unifor to offer two unique labour studies certificates designed to provide the most current labour education.

Hamilton District Labour Council logoUNIFOR logo

Certificate Programs