College of Arts and Sciences

Human Rights Studies

Program Option

Department of Political Science web site

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2023-2024 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

Human Rights Studies explores the subject of human rights as a set of important academic questions rather than as a doctrine. The program critically examines the ethical frameworks that have shaped the emergence of human rights as an important idea in global politics. It considers diverse cultural, ideological, and political perspectives on the universality of human rights. Students who complete the program will recognize the contested nature of human rights. Because competing viewpoints shape the notion of human rights, the program is not based on a settled definition of human rights. However, all students who complete the program will become familiar with the philosophical roots of human rights discourse and the codification of human rights norms in international law.

The program examines human rights in both domestic and international contexts, engaging with human rights challenges in the United States as well as in other countries. The primary goal of the program is not to train human rights professionals. Instead, the program seeks to educate students who recognize the importance of human rights issues in their personal, civic, and professional lives, whatever their professional path.

Program Requirements

Course Credits
POLS 151 - Transnational Advocacy Network 3
POLS 150 - Human Rights and World Politics 3
POLS 133 - Case Studies in Comparative and Transnational Human Rights 3
Electives - Select nine credits from a list of approved courses by the Department of Political Science 9

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.