Human Rights Majors and Minors

Last updated October 3, 2017

California Schools

Schools in the U.S.

International Schools

California Schools

Location: San Francisco, CA
Type of program: Minor in Global Peace, Human Rights, and Justice Studies

Global Peace, Human Rights, and Justice Studies is an all-university, interdisciplinary minor in which students and faculty cooperatively study and explore the problems, issues, challenges, and opportunities to prevent war and to make this a more just, peaceable and sustainable world. Click to learn more.

Location: San Jose, CA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

Students in the Minor will have the opportunity to explore the history and structure of formal human rights and international law, study any number of historical or contemporary human rights struggles, meet and work with Bay Area human rights organizations, and gain experience in a graduate style/level capstone symposium course. Click to learn more.

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Type of program: Program on Human Rights (PHR)

PHR seeks to understand how strategies of human rights can best be deployed to advance social justice, freedom, equality, development and the rule of law. It provides a forum for the dozens of Stanford faculty who work in disciplines that engage or border on human rights (including education, engineering, history, human biology, journalism, law, philosophy, political science, public health, and religious studies) and over 30 student-initiated human rights groups on campus. Click to learn more.

Type of program: Minor in Human Rights 

This interdisciplinary minor program ensures students receive invaluable mentorship from experienced human rights scholars and practitioners, while lending academic rigor to the scholastic experience of the students who choose this path. The minor provides structure to diverse academic offerings on human rights-related topics, encouraging students from across the university to understand how human rights are interconnected across seemingly disparate disciplines. The Human Rights Minor is open to students in any major. Click to learn more. 

Location: Berkeley, CA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights – Interdisciplinary Studies

Human rights have become the moral language of today, the idiom in which we discuss our common humanity and weigh competing claims for resources, rights and protections. Through its interdisciplinary research and teaching initiatives, the Human Rights Program at UC – Berkeley investigates the political, historical, legal, economic, social, psychological, and representational dynamics of human rights. Click to learn more.

Location: Davis, CA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

What are Human Rights? Where do they come from? How are they violated and how can they be protected? How can we stop genocide or human trafficking? Is access to health and education a human right? At UC Davis, the Interdisciplinary Minor in Human Rights is a joint project of the Department of History, and the Religious Studies and Hemispheric and Latin American Studies Programs. It was created to help students answer these kinds of questions. Click to learn more.

Location: Irvine, CA
Type of program: UCI Human Rights Program

Helps foster a human rights orientation to graduate research conducted in a range of disciplines. By aggregating information about human rights research and activities throughout the system on a central website, it will showcase the sum of faculty and student endeavors and facilitate collaboration. It will also enrich the campus and community awareness of human rights issues by bringing prominent activists and scholars to give lectures and colloquia. Click to learn more.

Location: San Diego, CA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

Students will engage openly with the history and the implementation of human rights, explore its origins and trajectory, the passions it arouses, and the range of its influences and effects. The development and multiple meanings of human rights, its institutional advocates and adversaries, the attendant moral dilemmas are all recognized today as topics of profound interest and objects of study. Click to learn more.

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

Program within the Department of Political Science. Interdisciplinary minor will cover the theoretical foundations of human rights, the historical and current developments, case studies and policies. Furthermore students will be required to take their learning outside the classroom through an internship or by teaching human rights in the community, and will be encouraged to join relevant student organizations. Click to learn more.

Schools in the U.S.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

Human rights have become a central and widely recognized standard for assessing a just and good society, judging good government, protecting vulnerable groups both at home and abroad and identifying standards for upholding human dignity. The human rights minor provides an academic space for addressing these concerns and for asking difficult moral and political questions. It incorporates a variety of disciplines, including literature, history, philosophy, political science, religion, sociology, anthropology and women’s studies. Click to learn more.

Location: Tempe, Arizona
Type of program: B.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights

The BA program in social justice and human rights spans the social sciences and the humanities to prepare students to meet the challenges of twenty-first century issues of social justice and protection of human rights in local, national, international and global contexts. The degree program introduces students to principles and practices of everyday humanitarianism, multimedia advocacy, and theories and practices of social justice and human rights. Students in the program have the opportunity to select from three uniquely theoretical and applied areas of focus including advocacy and social change, critical trauma studies and everyday humanitarianism, and materialism, intersectionality and inequality.  Click here to learn more.

Location: Annandale Hudson, NY
Type of program: B.A. in Human Rights

The Human Rights Project is an exploratory research and action initiative at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Through teaching, public programs, research, and engagement with communities in the region and globally, the Project aims at once to foster critical discussions of human rights theory and practice, and to engage with practitioners on the leading edges of human rights research. Founded in 1999, the Project developed the first interdisciplinary undergraduate degree (B.A.) program in Human Rights in the United States in 2003. Click to learn more.

Location: New York, NY
Type of program: B.A. in Human Rights

With the proliferation of human rights institutions over the past half century and the centrality of human rights in current debate topics, human rights standards have become crucial touchstones of contemporary ethics and politics. The program in human rights seeks to provide the basic insights and skills needed for young women to become cogent, life-long advocates for human rights. This interdisciplinary program is designed to be pursued alongside a major in one of the departments with a disciplinary or area studies focus. Click to learn more.

Location: New York, NY
Type of program: Certificate or Minor in Human Rights

Hunter’s Human Rights Program aims to give students the tools they need to address human rights problems intelligently and constructively, whether as advocates, scholars, researchers or informed citizens. By learning about human rights law, theory and practice, students in the program will understand how human rights norms and aspirations can shape public policy, international relations, and corporate behavior. They will learn about issues such as accountability, humanitarian intervention, freedom of expression, and the rights of immigrants. They will be introduced to the structure of human rights enforcement mechanisms, assessing the way in which international treaties and multilateral institutions influence the behavior of national governments. Click to learn more.

Location: New York, NY
Type of program: B.A. or Concentration in Human Rights

The Undergraduate Human Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights engages students in this dynamic and evolving field and enhances their knowledge, skills, and commitment to human rights. The program offers a major and a concentration in human rights, provides students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and explore their interests in human rights outside the classroom, and works to strengthen and support the undergraduate human rights community on campus. Click to learn more.

Type of program: Certificate in Human Rights

The Summer Certification of Professional Achievement in Human Rights is also offered and emphasizes the interaction between human rights theory and practice, and lets students explore human rights both inside and outside the classroom. Throughout the summer, students are invited to attend discussions, trainings, performances, films, and other events that engage with the human rights community of New York City. Click to learn more.

Location: Willimantic, CT
Type of program: Minor in Peace and Human Rights

The Peace and Human Rights Studies minor is a fifteen credit interdisciplinary program compatible with any undergraduate major. The program draws on all disciplines which have peace and human rights components including anthropology, art, business, history, literature, philosophy, political science, sociology and woman’s studies. Students are encouraged to think critically and to broadly explore issues of fundamental significance in today’s world relating to peace and human rights. Click to learn more.

Location: Fairfax, VA
Type of program: Concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights

This concentration is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and competencies necessary for vocations or further study related to social, political, and economic equality; human rights education, advocacy, and law; and domestic and global justice. Students examine local, societal, and global issues through both a human rights lens, focusing on the fundamental rights of human beings and how they are secured or denied, and a social justice lens, focusing on societal inequalities and how they are sustained or alleviated. Students also study a variety of forms of exploitation ranging from racism, sexism, and heterosexism to environmental degradation and animal abuse; violations of fundamental human rights such as human trafficking and denial of access to education; and the theory and practice behind movements fomented in response. Click to learn more.

Location: Haverford, PA
Type of program: Concentration in Peace, Justice and Human Rights

The interdisciplinary concentration in Peace, Justice and Human Rights offers students the opportunity to study the history, philosophy and critiques of the rights tradition, examine themes of human rights and justice in their local and international contexts, and apply philosophical, social scientific and ethical reasoning to real-world problems. Three core courses are combined with three elective courses focused on a particular theoretical problem, geographical region, or comparative study, to expand or enhance the focus students pursue in their majors. Students will also learn to communicate about their studies across disciplinary boundaries, and will be encouraged to develop creative new perspectives on entrenched problems. Click to learn more.

Location: University Heights, OH
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights

The John Carroll University Program in Peace, Justice and Human Rights will combine undergraduate research and study with experiential and service learning in order to help students gain both theoretical and empirical understanding of the challenges and possibilities of peace-building and conflict resolution. Drawing on Catholic social teaching that sees peace as inseparable from justice and the extension of human rights as a fundamental ethical obligation, the Program also emphasizes the importance of political pluralism, cultural and religious diversity, ecological balance, and nonviolent conflict resolution and transformation. Its fundamental goal is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and creativity to seek justice and promote peace. Click to learn more.

Location: New York, NY
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

The Human Rights Studies minor will introduce students to some of the key conceptual, ethical and methodological approaches to the study and practice of human rights. In particular, it will address key concepts, principles and norms, such as human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, due process, empowerment, human security, human development, and accountability; it will expose students to diverse disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study and practice of human rights from a domestic as well as an international perspective; it will familiarize students with the evolution of international human rights norms both in theory and practice, the latter through the study of pivotal events in the history of human rights, such as the anti-slave trade campaign, the Civil Rights Movement, the Campaign Against Apartheid, and, more recently the campaign to establish the International Criminal Court and the launching of the Millennium Development Goals. Click to learn more.

Location: Newton, MA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

The Human Rights minor consists of 6 courses, including a Practicum Component for 3 credits. To fulfill the Practicum Component requirement, a student must take 3 Service-Learning or Social Justice Activism linked credits or complete a 3-credit internship. An internship in the major area of study that is focused on Service Learning or Social Justice Activism may be used to fulfill the Practicum Component requirement, or a student may arrange to complete an Internship focused on Service-Learning or Social Justice Activism that is independent of the major, with the approval of the coordinator of the Human Rights minor in the Justice Studies Department. Click to learn more.

Location: Saint Paul, MN
Type of program: Concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism

Macalester’s concentration program provides students with a basic understanding of the international norms of human rights and humanitarianism, the history and purpose of the primary intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the philosophical, historical and intellectual background of the field. The Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism also regularly sponsors student-faculty luncheons and dinners for concentrators, along with an annual spring workshop on pursuing careers in human rights and humanitarianism. Click to learn more.

Location: University Park, PA
Type of program: B.A. in Global and International Studies with a Pathway in Human Rights

Global and International Studies is devoted to understanding human cultures and societies as bounded by “One World”.  This major emphasizes developing a global perspective through scholarly study, research, international communication and experience abroad. The human rights option examines the history, development, enforcement, and violations of concepts of the basic rights of humanity.  Whether through questions of torture, freedom of conscience, trafficking of women and children, agreements about prisoners of war, human rights constantly need redefining and rethinking if they are to be broad enough to cover everyone on our planet and specific enough to have a real effect on human behavior. Click to learn more.

Location: Mahwah, NJ
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies

The program will emphasize the study of human rights and genocide as academic and practical pursuits and will aim to prepare students for graduate school, as well as career opportunities in international organizations, government, non-profits, multinational corporations, and the media. It will be firmly anchored in the belief that establishing legal frameworks in erecting viable international support systems represent the best hope that humankind has in preventing genocide, torture, religious persecution, and other assaults upon human dignity and rights. Click to learn more.

Location: Dallas, TX
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Human Rights

The Embrey Human Rights Program offers an interdisciplinary program introducing students to the study of universally recognized civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights. The program offers undergraduate majors and minors, lecture programs, and the opportunity for any SMU student to participate in educational travel programs to visit human rights sites worldwide. Click to learn more.

Location: Hartford, CT
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Human Rights

The Human Rights Program is an interdisciplinary program, meaning that students may take courses in different areas to fulfill their major and minor requirements. The human rights major and minor provide an interdisciplinary overview of the key questions and concerns shaping the study of human rights. Students explore the complexities underlying civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, both in theory and practice. Drawing on a variety of perspectives and cases from around the world, including the United States, courses equip students to think comparatively and critically about a wide range of human rights issues. Click to learn more.

Location: Chicago, IL
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

College students in any field of study may complete a minor in Human Rights. The minor is an interdisciplinary plan of study that provides students the opportunity to become familiar with the theoretical, historical, and comparative perspectives on human rights. The flexibility of this course of study complements majors in any of the disciplines. A minor in Human Rights will provide a background for graduate study in many disciplines or for careers that incorporate human rights analysis or advocacy, including medicine, law, film-making, social work, public policy, teaching, journalism, or government service. Click to learn more.

Location: Storrs-Mansfield, CT
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Human Rights

What are human rights? How has the concept of human rights evolved? How and why have human rights been violated, both in the United States and abroad? How have people struggled against human rights violations and with what success? What protections against violations of human rights exist, and how can these protections be enhanced and made more effective? These are the type of questions that human rights students are encouraged to pursue. In the human rights major and minor, students receive interdisciplinary instruction in theoretical, comparative, and historical perspectives on human rights through classroom courses and gain valuable practical experience in the human rights field through a supervised internship. Click to learn more.

Location: Dayton, OH
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Human Rights

The Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights Studies is intended to produce intellectually adept students capable of performing rigorous research and conducting high quality analysis of critical questions in the area of human rights. It is equally intended to produce thoughtful and transformational servant-leaders who will apply the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to contemporary human rights issues and situations both domestically and internationally. The minor in human rights provides students an opportunity to address issues related to human rights from various disciplinary approaches. Click to learn more.

Location: Iowa City, IA
Type of program: Certificate in Human Rights

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights is pleased to offer the undergraduate Certificate in Human Rights. Human rights concern the inherent dignity of all human beings and the promotion and protection of that dignity irrespective of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, culture, nationality, or birth. The Human Rights Certificate Program seeks to broaden understanding of human rights issues and to identify solutions to them on an interdisciplinary basis. Coursework in units across the University prepares students to examine societal problems critically and to design specific solutions to human rights dilemmas contextually in areas including (but not limited to) civil governance, the situation of women and racial and sexual minorities, child welfare, socioeconomic development and well-being, hunger and poverty, education, health, immigration, ecological sustainability, and mass violence. Click to learn more.

Location: Augusta, ME
Type of program: Minor in Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies

An interdisciplinary program which integrates scholarship and practice, the HGHRS minor encourages students to examine genocide and human rights within their historical and cultural contexts, to understand the causes of genocide, and to consider how to create an environment of tolerance in their world. A collaborative initiative, the program draws upon the resources of other academic institutions, the community and human rights groups, state and local government, and most especially, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. Click to learn more.

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Type of program: B.A. in Global Studies, Human Rights and Justice Concentration

The Human Rights Program educates students by connecting them with academic and real-world experience in the field of international human rights. Undergraduates at the University of Minnesota can become involved in human rights through a variety of means: First, students can major in Global Studies. Within the Global Studies major, students choose a concentration. Human Rights and Justice is one of five possible concentrations. Students can also take individual human rights-oriented classes. Additionally, the Human Rights Program offers undergraduate students the chance to intern with human rights NGOs around the Twin Cities. Click to learn more.

Location: Boston, MA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

The Human Rights Minor at UMass Boston is an interdisciplinary program of study open to students from all disciplines. Housed in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the minor emerged from the student-faculty-community collaboration of the Human Rights Working Group, which seeks to foster and sustain a human rights community on campus and beyond. Throughout the minor, we will consider the influence of culture, cross-cultural interaction, colonial perspectives and our own global and gender perspectives on creating human rights consciousness locally and globally. Click to learn more.

Location: Lincoln, NE
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

The Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs is an interdisciplinary program with an international focus. This minor is for students with an interest in international human rights, the development of the idea and practice of human rights over time, and in the political and philosophical tensions that arise between the protection of human rights and other goals, like the idea of respecting cultural diversity, maintaining a national identity, or protecting the security of citizens. Click to learn more.

Location: Charlotte, NC
Type of program: Minor in Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies

Through the Dept. of Global, International & Area Studies (GIAS), we offer a minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies (HGHR). The interdisciplinary minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies consists of at least 18 hours, including a 3-hour introductory course and 15 hours divided among Subjects in Holocaust Studies and Subjects in Genocide and Human Rights Studies. A student must have at least two courses from each subject area. Please see an advisor for more information. Click to learn more.

Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

In the minor, students receive interdisciplinary instruction in domestic and international issues relating to human rights and civil liberties through classroom courses. Students can gain valuable practical experience in the human rights/civil liberties through a supervised internship. The minor in Human Rights requires 18 hours. All students must complete PS 459: Human Rights. Of the remaining 15 hours, no more than 6 can be taken from any one discipline. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a 3-hour internship as part of this minor. Click to learn more.

Location: Seattle, WA
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

The minor in Human Rights is an option for students who are interested in the rapidly emerging field of human rights. The minor is a tri-campus initiative (UW Bothell, UW Seattle, and UW Tacoma). The curriculum reflects the rising interest in human rights throughout the world – even as human rights violations persist, and debate continues over the meaning and realization of human rights. Understanding this complex subject requires an interdisciplinary approach, one that combines in a new way the study of philosophy, politics, economics, culture, and law. The University of Washington is fortunate to house one of the strongest human rights programs in the country. We offer a rich selection of courses taught by scholars from diverse schools, departments, and programs. Click to learn more.

Location: Utica, NY
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights Advocacy

The minor in human rights advocacy is designed to provide an in-depth examination of human rights issues in history and contemporary events. The minor will also focus on the processes and institutions available for dealing with human rights violations. It is an appropriate minor for students in any major who have a concern for human rights and wish to use the knowledge and skills developed in their major to deal with these issues and/or develop career opportunities. Click to learn more.

Location: St. Louis, MO
Type of program: B.A., Minor or Certificate in International Human Rights

Webster University is a leader in human rights education. Courses are taught by faculty from across the Webster community, and students have opportunities to interact with human rights practitioners and scholars affiliated with leading non-governmental organizations, think tanks, state governments, and United Nations offices. Offering one of the only undergraduate human rights degrees in the United States, interdisciplinary courses are taught by faculty from across the Webster community and co-curricular events bring leading scholars and activists to Webster campuses. Undergraduates may also pursue the minor or certificate option to incorporate human rights into their area of study. Click to learn more.

International Schools

Location: Ontario, Canada
Type of program:
B.A. in Human Rights

The Human Rights major provides students with an overview of historical and contemporary human rights issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. The program is structured around five key thematic areas: 1) a critical analysis of the concepts and principles underlying human rights traditions; 2) a study of the laws and institutions that support and implement human rights frameworks; 3) an analysis of political repression from a human rights perspective; 4) an examination of social marginalization and the role of human rights in the protection of marginalized groups; and 5) an exploration of the relationship between human rights and social justice. Click to learn more.

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Type of program: Minor in Human Rights

In the era of globalization, one of the most important concepts in international affairs is human rights. The major in Human rights is interdisciplinary, examining the history and the nature of human rights and addressing basic issues such as: What are human rights? Are human rights culturally relative? How can human rights be justified? You will examine how these issues relate to pressing practical problems, for instance, how an understanding of human rights helps to address issues such as global poverty, unequal access to medicine, refugees, terrorism, warfare, children’s rights, humanitarian intervention, torture, surveillance, and more. Click to learn more.

Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Type of program: B.A. or Minor in Human Rights

The Human Rights Program at St. Thomas is one of the few such programs in all of Canada, and the only one in Atlantic Canada, that allows undergraduate students to obtain a Major in the academic study of Human Rights. In this program, you study Human Rights in a national and international context and do individualized research projects on specific topics in your upper years of study. The program provides knowledge of the philosophy, legal instruments, and political institutions that are the foundation for an education in Human Rights. Click to learn more.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Type of program: B.A. in Human Rights and Global Studies

At The University of Winnipeg, our strong international focus and innovative thinking are longstanding priorities for teaching and development. We’re the only university in Western Canada to offer a Degree in Human Rights and Global Studies, which provides a formal structure for students interested in issues of social justice, global citizenship, and human rights. Through our Global College, we encourage students, faculty, scholars, and dignitaries from around the globe to share diverse perspectives and engage in lectures and workshops that focus on issues affecting our planet. Click to learn more.

Location: Ontario, Canada
Type of program: B.A. in Human Rights and Human Diversity

This major addresses the human rights revolution in Canada and around the world. It prepares students for careers and further study by equipping them with an understanding of human rights (their origins, the laws and institutions designed to protect them, the range of rights, and controversial issues), human diversity (the forces and processes that are diversifying societies, policies that have been put in place to manage and accommodate diversity, as well as issues and opportunities that are accompanying diversity) and transferable skills that employers are seeking. Click to learn more.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Type of program: Human Rights and Equity Studies

Students in Human Rights and Equity Studies explore the ethical principles of human rights as well as the roots and impact of human rights violations and efforts at redress. Problems of physical, social and economic security, cultural autonomy, and political rights and freedom of expression are examined. Students wishing to pursue graduate study can combine Human Rights and Equity Studies with a second major in a discipline. Click here to learn more.



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