Graduate Schools with Human Right Programs

Although degrees in human rights are rare, you can find human rights courses in a variety of degree and certificate programs. Learn about graduate programs with relevant courses.

Deciding on which graduate school to attend with regard to human rights all depends on what area of specialty you want to study. General social justice programs are available, in addition to studying human rights on an international level.

Are There Schools with Human Rights Programs?

The definition of human rights has been up for debate since ancient times. The United Nations finally adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which stated in part that the 'recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world'.

Looking at this statement could lead you to understand that human rights can pertain to many areas of study. Consequently, many universities have adopted courses that address the subject in various undergraduate disciplines. An undergraduate degree may qualify you for an entry-level position in an organization dealing with human rights. A graduate degree or certificate may enhance your possibilities of advancement. Schools offer graduate-level human rights programs or incorporate human rights-related courses into existing programs.

Which Schools Offer Master's Degrees in Human Rights?

Columbia University's program in human rights makes available courses from its other departments, such as those in anthropology, political science, and sociology. The University of Denver's program covers coursework in areas like economic development, security, and gender issues.

  • Columbia University offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in human rights studies
  • The University of Denver offers an M.A. degree program in international human rights
  • Arizona State University offers an M.A. degree program in social justice and human rights

Which Schools Offer Graduate Certificates in Human Rights?

Several institutions offer graduate-level certificate specifically in the field of human rights, including the following:

  • Emory University offers a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights program
  • The University of Connecticut offers a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights program
  • The University of Chicago offers a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights Studies program

Are Online Schools Available to Me?

Some schools also offer stand-alone graduate courses and seminars dealing with contemporary issues in human rights. Although rare, there are a number of human rights-related courses in online graduate programs, such as conflict resolution and public policy. OpenCourseWare courses, which are free online classes that generally aren't available for credit, are an option for self-directed study.

How Should I Choose a School?

One way to fine graduate schools with human rights programs is through Humanrightstools.org. This website provides a worldwide list of schools offering graduate diplomas, graduate certificates, master's degrees and doctorates that have to do with human rights.

What Will Certificate and Master's Degree Programs Teach Me?

Typically, a certificate program consists of 4-6 courses and will take 12 months to complete. Some examples of courses included are the history of human rights, perspectives in global health, issues in global politics, theories of justice and cooperation in world politics.

A program leading to a master's degree in human rights usually consists of at least ten courses and takes two years to complete. Courses can include post-colonial theory, an introduction to human rights, Palestine and Israel, terrorism, U.S. foreign policy, economics and development, international organizations and international law. Schools also require master's degree candidates to submit a thesis to fulfill degree requirements. A Master of Laws program, which can include courses in human rights, can be completed in as little as one year. Internships, although encouraged and advocated by schools, are generally not required.

Graduate schools with programs in or related to human rights are widely available in a variety of formats. Students can study via graduate certificates or master's degree programs, with coursework in areas like economics, sociology, and international law.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

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