Migration Studies

Migration and immigration are experiences shared by virtually every society.

Migration is the connective tissue that brings individuals from different backgrounds into close contact to manage heterogeneity, surmount adversity and build communities. It is also an engine of economic and technological progress, source of cultural flourishing and cause for tension and heated political debate. Without understanding human experiences of migration, we cannot get to the heart of some of the most pressing—but often intangible and abstract—issues of our day: inclusion and exclusion; diversity and pluralism; ethnic and national identity formation; bridges, borders and walls.

The Colleges of the Fenway (COF) shared minor in Migration Studies addresses an urgent need to prepare students for professional and civic lives in a world increasingly marked by diversity. The program enhances understandings of migration and immigration through strong historical foundations, interdisciplinary case studies, and service learning and engagement with the Boston community. This minor is a valuable complement to students pursuing careers in business, education, social work, health care, the arts, policy and government, law, nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofit administration. Graduates will be well positioned to succeed in these fields and others and to bring a comprehensive and deep understanding of key contemporary issues to their professional work.

Requirements for a Minor in Migration Studies (in collaboration with the Colleges of the Fenway)

Five courses (four classroom-based, one service-learning/community partnership)

Introduction to Migration Studies - Offered annually in Spring, rotating instructors, rotating campuses. All students must take "Introduction to Migration Studies," an introductory-level course familiarizing students with the major issues, methods, and frameworks of migration and immigration studies.

Electives: All Migration Studies Minor students must select three electives from the list of approved classes, bearing in mind the following requirements:

  • It is highly recommended that at least one course be taken away from the student's home institution within the COF.
  • Students must take at least one advanced seminar (3000- or 300-level, etc.), from the list of approved courses.
  • Students must take one course not in their declared major's discipline


  • ART2204       Art in the Contact Zone
  • HIST1114      Creating the Atlantic World
  • HIST2106      A History of New England: 1500-Present
  • HIST2128      Immigrants in the American Experience
  • HIST2207      Slavery in Global History
  • HIST3107      A History of Boston
  • HIST3205      Themes in the History of the American West
  • HIST3404      East Asia Migration and Diaspora in Global Perspectives
  • HIST3412      Immigrant Kitchens: a Glocal Perspective on Identity, Ethnicity and Foodways
  • POLS2301     Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
  • POLS2417     Statecraft and Globalization
  • POLSC2801  Food Policy and Social Justice
  • SOC3201       Worlds in Motion: The Causes and Consequences of Migration


  • ENGL161      American Literature 1865-1910, Imagining America
  • ENGL179      Human Rights & Global Literature
  • ENGL230      Postcolonial Film
  • HIST213        Race and Ethnicity in U.S. History
  • HIST214        History of the African Diaspora
  • HIST217        Caribbean History
  • HIST240        The Atlantic World, 1500-1800
  • FREN265       Francophone Short Stories and Films
  • FREN311       Contemporary Issues in France
  • POLS215       The Politics of Exclusion
  • SOCI330        Transnational Studies
  • WGST/AST210 Sisters of the African Diaspora


  • LALW317     Literature from Immigrants in the USA
  • LALW365     Women's Literature in Comparative Perspective
  • LASS404      Asian Diasporas and American Experiences
  • LASS251      Chinatown and Beyond: A World Historical Perspective
  • LASS254      Immigration and Race in the USA

The Minor in Migration Studies has three main learning outcomes:

  1. The roots of this program lie in the discipline of history, and we expect all students to walk away from the Minor with a solid historical foundation in the roots of global migration systems and of immigration in the United States. Additionally, students will be aware of the key disciplinary and methodological approaches scholars have used when addressing questions about migration and immigration.
  2. Because students will largely craft their own program of study, drawing from a rich and interdisciplinary array of courses, students will develop strong content knowledge in areas of interest to them. While one student may concentrate heavily on questions related to the law, policy, and international relations, another student may graduate with insights about representations of the migratory experience in art and literature, as well as the ways communities can use the fine arts to strengthen their identities.
  3. Finally, by formalizing service learning in partnership with our local communities as a requirement for the minor, the Migration Minor will help prepare students for a variety of possible job outcomes. For example, students volunteering over the course of a semester in local organizations that cater to the needs of immigrant communities will obtain experience for future careers in nongovernmental organizations, legal services, ESL programs, healthcare service, community cultural centers, community organizations, workers collectives, and more.

Explore Emmanuel

Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Featured Faculty: Petros Vamvakas

Petros Vamvakas is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies and Peace Studies Programs. His work focuses on security and democratization, as well as issues related to identity and race in politics throughout the Americas. As part of his teaching, he has escorted groups of students to Crete, Greece, and will be bringing a group of students to Cuba.

Learn More
Learn More
Learn More
Saints Spotlight: Ashlee Jeannot '17

While a student, Ashlee Jeannot '17 founded the S.T.A.R.T. program for first years students--a model she took with her after graduation to provide diversity and inclusion training beyond the college campus.

Learn More
Saints Spotlight: Shennah Derstine '17

Shennah didn't have to go far to find the right internship opportunity--the graphic design minor reported to Emmanuel's on-campus Marketing & Communications department, where she worked on a range of graphic design projects to promote College events and programs. 

Learn More
A Commitment to Service: Justin Prairie '05

Although half a world away in Pakistan, Justin Prairie '05 is never far from Emmanuel and Boston. A foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, Justin currently works on political and military affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Learn More
Martin '17 Launches "Her Campus" at Emmanuel

Key ingredients to Samantha's success included courses that enhanced her knowledge of the field of communications; relationships with classmates, faculty and staff that influenced her personal and professional life; and leadership roles in a broad range of extracurricular activities.

Learn More
Saints Spotlight: Christina Ascolillo '17

While at Emmanuel, Christina took advantage of every networking opportunity that came her way, which led to an internship and then a full-time position at the Massachusetts State House.

Learn More

Let's Get Started.

Emmanuel is a place where students broaden their sense of what’s possible and prepare for inspiring careers in an ever-changing world. Be here.