Immigration Studies (Graduate Certificate)

The immigration studies graduate certificate program provides students with an understanding of the causes and consequences of international migration as well as relevant professional and research training opportunities.

The program prepares graduates for future study in graduate and professional schools or for careers as immigration practitioners and advocates in nongovernmental organizations, local and federal government agencies, as well as in other private and public institutions serving immigrant and refugee communities.

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

The certificate in immigration studies requires a total of 15 credit hours and can be taken in conjunction with a graduate degree in another ASU department, but it can also be taken on its own as an advanced course of study by those who work in immigration-related fields or intend to do so.

Pre-admission coursework may be counted toward the degree with the permission of the degree director in accordance with ASU Graduate College policy. Additionally, for students enrolled in an ASU graduate degree program, applicable certificate courses may count towards their degree program with the approval and consent of the degree-granting program.

You may choose to specialize in the social sciences, the humanities or Mexican and Latino immigrants in the U.S. Although the program emphasizes Latino immigration (given the nature of the immigration courses offered at ASU and the preponderance of Latino immigrant communities in the Phoenix area), you may take broader courses focusing on global migration and other immigrant groups, as well as work with local Asian/Southeast Asian immigrants and refugee communities.

A limited number of graduate-level courses in immigration studies are offered during any given academic year. Students can expect that it will take two to three years to complete certificate requirements. As a result, certificate students not concurrently enrolled in a degree program will likely enroll part time.

Required Core Course (3 credits) 
One of the three core courses. Additional core courses may be taken as elective credit.
ASB 591: Immigrant America, or
GCU 515: Human Migration, or
JUS 555: Immigration and Justice, or 
SOC 591: Sociology of Immigration

Elective Coursework (9 credits) 
At least three courses relevant to your research interests and educational needs. Electives include courses in many fields, most commonly anthropology, sociology, human geography, history and English. You are encouraged to propose to the executive committee additional courses from any ASU unit as possible electives but must obtain consent to apply those credits toward the certificate prior to enrolling.

Culminating Experience (3 credits) 
You will be required to complete a three-credit culminating experience, which can be an internship or a research paper. 
ASB 584: Internship (3 credits)
ASB 590: Reading & Conference (3 credits)

Students may complete an internship with Phoenix-based non-governmental organizations or government agencies that provide services to immigrants and refugees. Such internships will provide professional training and actual experience working with immigrant/refugee communities.

An internship can be arranged for academic credit through CLASWorks’ internship program (ABS 584). Students will be required to write a 10–15-page report describing the organization and its specific internship work, as well as assessing the effectiveness and impact of the organization and/or their own work on immigrants. Students can also use the internship experience in order to describe and analyze an issue facing immigrants and their communities.

Students may enroll in three credits of Research/Reading & Conference with a faculty member to complete an independent research project. The goal is to produce a substantial research paper based on field research in a local immigrant community, library/archival research or readings on an immigration topic.

Degree Offered

Immigration Studies (Graduate Certificate)
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

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