Immigration Studies

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 Education 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 570: Immigration to the United States, or
JUS 555: Immigration and Justice, or
SOC 591: Sociology of Immigration

Elective Course Work (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)


You 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. They can be arranged for academic credit through CLASWorks’ internship program (ABS 584). You 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. You can also use the internship experience in order to describe and analyze an issue facing immigrants and their communities.


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