Skip to Main Content
Navigated to About.


The School of Labor and Urban Studies (established 2018) is an outgrowth of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies (JSMI). Named in honor of former CUNY Chancellor Joseph Murphy, a leader in adult and worker education for nearly 35 years. JSMI was established in collaboration with three New York City unions and began with 52 students. Today, the leaders of 26 labor and community organizations serve on its Advisory Board. More than 1,200 adult and traditional-aged students are currently enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree and certificates programs in Labor and Urban studies and workforce development programs. The Joseph S. Murphy Institute will continue within the new School, focusing on workforce development programs and housing the School’s Community Service unit, with its public programming, research and publications.

The mission for the School derives from its core values: access to education, diversity at every level, social justice, and equality for all. It seeks to expand higher education opportunities for workers; prepare students who aspire to careers in public service and movements for social justice; promote civic engagement; provide leadership development for union and community activists; and help workers achieve greater economic security. Its perspective is unique, addressing the needs of its constituents while helping New York City and State fulfill their needs for a well-educated, highly skilled public and private workforce.

The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through the Graduate School and University Center. To note that the institution hosted a virtual site visit in lieu of an on-site visit in accordance with the United States Department of Education (USDE) guidelines published March 17, 2020. To reaffirm accreditation. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2027-2028.