The Academic Experience of a Lifetime. Offering the only interdisciplinary curriculum in labor and urban studies in the nation, SLU’s academic programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of traditional-age college students as well as adult learners.  The School awards undergraduate and graduate degrees along with credit-bearing certificates that provide a direct pathway to degree programs. SLU also collaborates with other CUNY schools to offer a range of college-credit programs designed to provide workers with the academic and technical skills they need for professional advancement.  In addition, the School provides unique experiential learning opportunities involving the practical application of skills in organizational and community settings.

The School’s faculty includes renowned scholars in the social sciences, as well as distinguished practitioners in a variety of fields including government, labor, and public service. In addition to its academic programs, SLU sponsors applied research, organizes public forums and conferences, and publishes a national labor journal. The School also has a well-deserved reputation as a community hub for discourse and debate among scholars, policy-makers, and organized labor and allied organizations on a broad range of topics in support of economic and social justice.  Through its public forums and civic engagement programs, SLU is educating the community on the issues impacting all New Yorkers.

With its focus on workers’ rights, social change and economic justice, SLU is a place where thinkers and doers come together to create change.

Academic Departments

Labor Studies

Urban Studies

Our Faculty

The School of Labor and Urban Studies has a world-class faculty, which includes renowned social science scholars as well as expert practitioners in the fields of Labor and Urban studies. Together, this faculty provides both intellectual development and practical learning to give students the tools they need to succeed. Many SLU faculty hold the title of Distinguished Professor, the highest-ranking bestowed by the University. All of them are dedicated teachers as well as activists who are committed to education for meaningful social change. Meet SLU Faculty.

Faculty Publications

Learning Outside the Classroom

At SLU, learning outside the classroom is learning by doing in the greatest city in the world! Students will receive credit as part of their academic program while interning in unions, community organizations, and government agencies. They will be able to develop not only academic, but personal understanding, knowledge, and skills through analysis and reflection of their activities. It is an active process that engages them in understanding how theory connects to real world issues and real world solutions.

Community Semester

Community Semester is a full-time, intensive academic and service-learning program that provides students with an opportunity to put their passion for social justice to work. Students develop leadership skills and analyze their experience in the field by studying community organizing, community development, government, and non-profit leadership.

Union Semester

For almost 20 years, New York Union Semester has successfully connected social change makers with dynamic labor organizations. This unique semester-long program combines rigorous academic study with first-hand experience within the labor movement. Students analyze the experience they gain in the area during class time through comprehensive studies of the US labor movement.

Urban Academy

Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (C-STEP)

CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) has been awarded the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) Grant from the New York State Education Department for 2020-2025. This CSTEP grant funds SLU’s Project LAW (Leadership, Achievement, and Work), which provides eligible minority and underserved students with additional academic preparation for professional school admissions.

The Leadership, Achievement, and Work (LAW) project has two major goals: 1) to prepare qualified underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals for entry to and successful matriculation in a program distinctively designed for educating undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to become licensed public interest attorneys in New York State; and 2) to instill in these students, through an emphasis in labor law, the four principles of social justice: equity, access, civic participation, and human rights.