Immigration Studies (certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Gain a voice and make a difference in the community. With the knowledge and skills you acquire through this certificate program, you'll be ready to be an effective counselor and advocate to decision-makers and policy thought leaders.

Program Description

Certificate Awarded: Immigration Studies (certificate)

The graduate certificate program in immigration studies provides students with a holistic understanding of the historical, current and long-term causes and consequences of international migration as well as relevant professional and research training opportunities.

The objective of the certificate program is to offer traditional academic training through coursework, research and the practical experience of working with local immigrant and refugee communities.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 15 credit hours

All students are required to take one core course, three approved elective courses on immigration, and three credit hours of a culminating experience (either an internship or a research project). Students are to contact the school for a list of approved courses.

Students may do an internship with Phoenix-based, nongovernmental organizations or government agencies that provide services to immigrants and refugees. Such internships give students professional training and actual experience working with immigrant and refugee communities. Students are required to write a report describing the organization and their experience as interns.

Students may enroll in three credit hours of research with a faculty member in order to do an independent research project. They must write a substantial research paper based on field research in a local immigrant community, on library and archival research or on readings on an immigration topic.

Certificate students may choose to specialize in humanities, Mexican and Latino immigrants in the U.S., or social sciences.

Given the nature of the immigration courses offered at ASU and the preponderance of Latino immigrant communities in the Phoenix area, the program emphasizes Latino immigration. However, students have the opportunity to take broader courses focusing on global migration and other immigrant groups as well as work with local Asian or Southeast Asian immigrants and refugee communities.

For students currently enrolled in an ASU graduate degree program, applicable certificate courses may count toward their degree program with the approval and consent of the degree granting program. For certificate students who are later admitted to an ASU graduate degree program, up to 12 credit hours from the certificate program may count toward their doctoral degree or up to 12 credit hours may count toward their master's degree, with the approval and consent of the degree-granting program.

All requirements for the certificate program should be completed within a three year time limit with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"). Students who require more time to finish the program, because of their part-time status or lack of desirable or available courses, must obtain approval from the executive committee.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement outlining educational and professional goals
  4. current curriculum vitae or resume
  5. one letter of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

Applicants may submit an optional scholarly writing sample with their application materials; the sample is not to exceed 30 double-spaced pages.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
December 1st

Career Opportunities

The demand in the job market is high for researchers and analysts with keen thinking skills who can manage, evaluate and interpret large amounts of data on human thought and human behavior.

Graduates are prepared for future study in graduate and professional schools or for careers as immigration practitioners and advocates in local and federal government agencies and private and public institutions serving immigrant and refugee communities.

Some career opportunities include:

  • acting as legal advocates in international cases
  • analyzing and proposing policies
  • conducting postgraduate academic research
  • consulting for private and public organizations
  • directing nonprofit organizations
  • directing programs in the private or public sector

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.