Human Rights

Course descriptions

The field of concentration in Human Rights gives students an understanding of the legal instruments, norms, and institutions that constitute contemporary human rights law, as well as the social movements, cultural practices, and literary and artistic representations that have and continue to imagine the human rights ethic in various ways. In recent years, the human rights dimensions of many of the most vexing and pertinent issues at the global, national, and local level have gained prominence – including the problems of environmental deterioration, economic inequality, and ethnic and religious conflict. Students who major in Human Rights will be better equipped not only to understand the complex nature of these and other issues, but also to develop and pursue novel approaches toward a better world. In addition to studying the manifold histories, theories, and practices of human rights in a systematic and comprehensive manner, students majoring in Human Rights will also develop more specialized methodological and topical expertise in a second discipline.

To complete the Major in Human Rights, students are required to complete an additional, primary major offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or an additional degree program offered in another University School or College. For students completing a double major within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a minimum of 48 credits without overlap is required to earn both majors and students will receive one degree appropriate to their primary major.

For students completing a dual degree, at least 30 degree credits more than the degree with the higher minimum-credit requirement must be completed (a minimum of 150 credits) and students will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights along with another degree appropriate to their second program.

It is recommended that Human Rights majors declare their primary major by the end of their third semester.

Recommended course: HRTS 1007

Requirements for the Major in Human Rights

Undergraduate majors must complete a total of 36 credits: 9 credits of core courses with at least one course in each of groups A, B and C; 12 credits of elective courses from the lists of core courses or elective courses; 12 credits of related courses as approved by the Director of the Human Rights Major; and HRTS 4291 or 4996W.

Core Courses

A. Institutions and Laws

B. History, Philosophy and Theory

C. Applications and Methods

Elective Courses

Information Literacy and Writing Requirements

The following courses satisfy the Information Literacy Competency and Writing in the Major requirements: ANTH/HRTS 3028W, 3150W, 3153W; ECON 2127W, 3473W; HRTS 3149W, 3200W, 3250W, 4996W; HRTS/PHIL 2170W, 3219W, 3220W; POLS 3418W; POLS/HRTS 3256W; SOCI 3421W, 3429W, 3503W, 3801W, and SOCI/HRTS 3835W, 3837W.

A minor in Human Rights is described in the Minors section.


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