International migration is a global phenomenon—comprising broad and deep linkages within and between the developed and developing worlds. Issues surrounding global migration processes cross manifold intellectual boundaries, understanding demands insights and methods from a broad array of disciplines.
Standard models in economics or demography offer powerful explanations of why people migrate and how migration might have an effect on wages and employment in both sending and receiving societies. However, migration is ultimately about the lived experience of people—those moving and those they encounter. Understanding migrants’ emergent identities and the problems of belonging and acceptance that migration generates requires attention, both to the micro level, as well as to the specific historical and cultural contexts surrounding both migration flows and societal responses.
The minor in International Migration Studies aims to build an appreciation of international migration and its dilemmas as it draws on the insights generated from a broad array of disciplines and methodological approaches needed for grappling with a vast social and intellectual phenomenon.
"The International Migration Studies minor is a very good way for students to gain more knowledge about a global phenomenon that is relevant to every sphere of society both historically and currently. Immigration intersects with law, health, history, economics, gender, as well as the environment. This minor provides an international overview of migration, without being biased towards a specific country or region, but instead offering different contexts of migration in all areas of the world. This way, I learned not only about migrants’ experiences and trajectories, but also their cultures, histories and societies. Although this minor would be a great addition to a similar subject (in my case, Political Science), I believe that its interdisciplinary nature and the many electives offered in different departments allow students to incorporate it to a seemingly unrelated field, providing much insight into one’s major. This is noticeable by looking at the different academic and life backgrounds from which students of the minor come, another reason why I recommend it.
Aside from the very relevant and interesting aspect of the subject, the minor and its mandatory courses provide comprehensive research methods and allow students to become more familiar with writing and reading papers. On the one hand, the senior capstone (I M Std 199) is a great way to culminate all the material learned into one final research paper, giving students full autonomy to decide the topic and faculty advisor. On the other hand, attending scholarly events through I M Std 193 teaches not only about new academic works in migration, but the way in which scholarly work is presented by graduate students and academics. Most importantly, the faculty members of this minor are some of the most influential and knowledgeable about migration and sociology, including Professors Waldinger, Menjivar, Kligman, and Agadjanian.”
-Federico Trudu, International Migration Studies minor
"Signing up for the Minor in International Migration Studies was the best decision I made at UCLA. As high as my expectations were, they were constantly surpassed thanks to dedicated lecturers who share a real, palpable passion for the topic and the countless aspects associated with it. Highly interesting, academically challenging, intellectually stimulating: for me personally, the Minor in International Migration Studies represents the very best UCLA has to offer."
-Klaus Gomez-Stimeder, International Migration Studies minor
"The International Migration Studies minor, alongside the support I received from Prof. Waldinger and Gaby Solomon-Dorian, greatly benefitted my academic and professional career/experiences while at UCLA. I did not feel “rushed” or overwhelmed with regards to completing the coursework and thesis. The courses offered throughout the minor (especially the electives) can be tailored to each student’s individual interests, and can therefore, complement their research as they work on their thesis. Overall, enrolling in the minor was one of the best decisions I could have made for my academic experience; not only did I learn comprehensive theories, migratory trends, and humanizing stories of migrants and their need for movement, but I was given the liberty to write and become an expert on what I felt was an important, pressing issue in global society."
-Helena Bonilla Uribe, International Migration Studies minor
"Being an International Migration Studies minor was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my UCLA undergraduate career! Prior to my admission into the minor, I already had some knowledge about Mexican migration to the U.S. I admit, I thought that my own lived experiences in relation to this topic were sufficient. Little did I know that I was wrong and that the subject of migration is more broad and complex than I originally thought! The key word in the minor is “international,” in the sense that the courses and requirements provided me with extensive exposure to the scholarship on migration including topics like refugees, asylum seeking, comparative migration policies/experiences in place outside of the U.S-Mexico context, and the sociopolitical landscape of migration policies and integration. I would recommend this minor to any student that is interested in acquiring a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of migration. I promise you that this minor will have you leave UCLA with more knowledge of the world! In addition to the amazing course load for the International Migration Studies minor, what made this minor particularly special to me was the thesis component. I admit I was a little intimidated about conducting and writing my own 30-page thesis on such an immensely important subject. However, when the time arrived to begin my thesis project I felt very prepared with the basics (i.e., theories and scholarship) to write a project of that magnitude. My faculty advisor, Prof. Menjivar, was an amazing support system for me during my thesis project, and by the end I felt accomplished and honored to engage in such an opportunity. As a new UCLA alumni, I will be working in public policy in the Fall. I know that as I enter this new career opportunity, I will be able to contribute to public policy as it relates to immigrants in our country thanks to the knowledge, skills and experiences I gained as an International Migration Studies minor."
-Daniela G. Rodriguez, International Migration Studies minor
"From beginning to end, adding an International Migration Studies Minor my senior year was the best academic decision I made during my time at UCLA. The course list pushed me to take classes in a wide variety of departments, which opened my eyes to so many new perspectives on the topic of migration. Classes are taught by some of the world’s leading experts on migration theory and the professors were always willing to answer my questions or discuss topics further in office hours. The fall quarter research seminar fostered critical discussion in a small class setting and the final thesis pushed me to complete my own research for the first time. I would highly recommend this minor to anyone who wants to learn more about the important role migration plays in our society and is looking for a more personalized learning experience at UCLA."
-Bridget Poisel, International Migration Studies minor
"I was aimless for much of my first year as a transfer student at UCLA. I always knew I wanted to do research as an undergrad, and eventually go to grad school, but couldn’t narrow my interests down. One quarter, I was determined to study sociolinguistics, the next quarter, I was researching law school. I applied for the International Migration Studies minor just before my senior year–which proved to be the most fateful decision of my academic career (so far).
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of migration studies, I was able to unite all of my disparate interests and gain direction for my future. Coming from an immigrant background, the courses provided me with insights into issues affecting my own community. I was also given the opportunity to complete a thesis, which endowed me with the critical research skill necessary for graduate studies. Not to mention, there’s the opportunity to commune with word-class migration scholars. Following the completion of the minor, I finished a master’s degree as a Departmental Scholar and went on to Morocco as a Fulbright fellow. Not bad for someone who had no idea what to do with my life until senior year."
-Ani Alaberkyan, International Migration Studies minor
The International Migration Studies minor is designed for students who are seeking advanced work in the subject matter, and culminates in a substantial research thesis (I M Std 199) of approximately 30 pages in length, generally completed during the last quarter of their Senior Year.
Interested students must apply to the minor no later than the Spring Quarter of their Junior Year.
Roger Waldinger, Chair, International Migration Studies
Leisy Abrego Ph.D., Chicana/o Studies
Victor Agadjanian, Ph.D., International Institute, Sociology
Ruben Hernandez-Leon, Ph.D., Sociology
Hiroshi Motomura, J.D., Law
Marjorie Orellana, Ph.D., Education
Roger Waldinger, Ph.D., Sociology
The above faculty have agreed to teach applicable courses for the International Migration Studies minor and/or serve as faculty advisors for the required thesis.
The UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration maintains a list of affiliated faculty. International Migration Studies minors are encouraged to consider these faculty as potential advisors for the thesis, as well.
Gaby Solomon-Dorian, Director of Student Affairs
UCLA International Institute Academic Programs
10389B Bunche Hall*
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Have a question about the International Migration Studies minor? Send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please be sure to include your UID# in all correspondence.
*Want to get in person advising? Note that in person advising is available by appointment only! To make an appointment, simply send an email to email@example.com. Please include your UID#, as well as your schedule of availability for the next few days. You will receive an email confirmation as to your appointment day/time.
***Academic Counseling is available for UCLA students only. Non-UCLA students may refer to the Admissions & Transfer Student Information link for information on UCLA requirements.***
Want to be on the Mailing List for the minor? UCLA students can receive up-to-date information regarding application deadlines, upcoming workshops, course information, enrollment updates, and other announcements pertaining to the International Migration Studies minor. To be added to the mailing list, please email your request (be sure to include your UID#) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Academic Programs offered through the UCLA International Institute allow students to focus on a particular area of study - either a specific geographic area, or a global comparative and issue-oriented approach - through a variety of disciplines across campus. The Institute also offers its own courses taught by core teaching faculty under the following subject areas: African Studies, Global Health, Global Studies, International & Area Studies, International Development Studies, International Migration Studies, and Latin American Studies.
Graduating seniors earn honors
International Development Studies students received academic and activist awards, and a Global Studies senior has been accepted into a UCLA doctoral program.
Graduate profile: IDS Academic Award winner Katherine Gan
Looking back at the IDS program, Katherine says, “It has enriched my understanding of what is going on in the world and how the past (e.g., colonial legacies such as racism) can affect our current global situation.”
Soon-to-be graduate wins 2021 Activist Award
“The thing that I value the most about the International Development Studies major is the opportunities it has provided me, ranging from chances for volunteering to traveling to internships,” says Laura Rabago, who is slated to graduate in December.
Global Studies student finds her voice in interfaith activism and community
When Rucha Modi graduates in June, she will not only have earned a B.A. in Global Studies, but accumulated a rich body of experience in interfaith activism.
B.A. just the starting point for these graduating seniors
Kyilah Terry (B.A., European Studies 2019) is headed to graduate school this fall, while Maria Amaya Morfin (B.A., International Development Studies 2019) is currently preparing for the GRE and grad school applications.
International internship: Enabled Children's Initiative
UCLA senior Kawsar Nasir Ahmad did a 10-month internship with the Afghanistan-based Enabled Children's Initiative, an experience that has only solidified her plans to work for Doctors without Borders after she becomes a doctor.
More Student Stories>>
Center for the Study of International Migration
The Center for the Study of International Migration, which is also housed in the International Institute, offers events each quarter related to current scholarship in the field of international migration. Students are encouraged to attend center events of interest, and may sign up for the Center’s mailing list to be notified of upcoming events.
Students who wish to receive unit credit for attendance to and reflection on center events may elect to enroll in I M Std 193 (Colloquia and Speaker Series), when offered. This 2-unit course may be repeated for credit. Please note, however, that I M Std 193 does not go towards any requirements for the minor. It does, however, go towards your overall and upper division unit requirements, as well as give you great exposure to migration issues!
Gaby Solomon-Dorian, Director of Student Affairs
UCLA International Institute Academic Programs
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