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.

View the 2022-2023 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

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

1. Introduction to Migration Studies 

Emmanuel College 

  • HIST1101 Introduction to Migration Studies (H) (HI) (SJ) 

Simmons University 

  • HIST101 Introduction to Migration Studies

2. Electives: All Migration Studies Minor students must select four 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 Transcultural Exchange and the Visual Arts (AI-A) (VCI) (DM) 
  • HIST1114 Creating the Atlantic World (HI) 
  • HIST2106 A History of New England: 1500-Present (H) (HI)
  • HIST2128 Immigrants in the American Experience (HI) (DM)
  • HIST2207 Slavery in Global History (HI) (DM)
  • HIST2210 Themes in the History of the American West (HI) 
  • HIST3107 A History of Boston
  • HIST3404 East Asia Migration and Diaspora in Global Perspectives (SJ)
  • HIST3412 Immigrant Kitchens: a Glocal Perspective on Identity, Ethnicity and Foodways (SJ)
  • POLS2301 Politics of Race and Ethnicity in Latin America and Carribean
  • POLS2417 Statecraft and Globalization
  • POLSC2801 Food Policy and Social Justice (SA) (SS) (SJ)
  • 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
  • FREN316 Outside France: Persepectives from the French-Speaking World
  • 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.

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