The Bachelor's Degree Program

The National Labor College of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, Inc. has developed a unique program to satisfy the educational needs of trade union officers and staff members who cannot be served by traditional educational institutions and conventional educational mechanisms. The program is a flexible, largely external program that enables students to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree while continuing their trade union work. It recognizes the educational value of the union experience that active officers and staff gain over the years, and credit is awarded for the learning which this experience has generated. 

The curriculum revolves around seven fields of study which enable students to relate their day-to-day activities in the trade union movement to general developments in the American economic, social, and political arenas. The program also requires a large component of liberal arts courses, providing students with a broader perspective that reaches beyond the areas of labor concentration into the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. Demonstrated competency in some essential skill areas is also required for graduation. This combination of core curriculum, general education, and basic skills enables graduates to function as educated members of an increasingly complex society, as well as to serve more effectively as leaders in the American labor movement.

The seven programs are: 

  • Labor Studies 
  • Labor Education 
  • Labor Safety and Health 
  • Labor History 
  • Labor Organizational Dynamics and Growth 
  • Political Economics of Labor 
  • Union Leadership and Administration
The program is structured to provide contact with faculty and fellow students through a week-long "in-residence" session held at the College every four months -- January, April, July, and October. At these sessions, students begin courses (usually two) with intensive classroom experience. Students are expected to attend all classroom meetings. After the conclusion of the in-residence session, students work independently on their courses -- completing assignments, conferring by mail and phone with instructors. Students are also encouraged to take non-major courses at home-based institutions when possible. 


Admission to the National Labor College of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies is granted to any applicant with a high school diploma or equivalency who has earned at least 84 semester hours of college credit and can benefit from the programs and services of the College. Others who have earned less than 84 semester hours of college credit may be granted provisional admission.