Master of Arts in Human Rights

The Human Rights Institute offers a master of arts (MA) in human rights to advance participants’ knowledge of human rights as both an academic and professional field, hone students’ critical inquiry skills, and ultimately become competitive candidates for professional positions in industry, government, education, and non-profit sectors.

 

There are two paths to the successful completion of a master of arts in human rights at UConn:

4+1 Accelerated Master of Arts Program

Our 4+1 program enables UConn students to complete their bachelor’s degree and MA in human rights in five years. Through the program, students take graduate-level coursework that goes toward their MA at no additional cost to their undergraduate tuition.

Eligibility

UConn students apply during their junior year and begin taking graduate courses during their senior year.

Deadlines

March 15: Priority deadline

May 15: Applications submitted between March 15 and May 15 will be evaluated based on availability. After May 15 please contact the Institute directly at humanrights@uconn.edu.

Two-Year Master of Arts Program

The two-year path to an MA in human rights is the perfect fit for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree, and are interested in pursuing graduate coursework in the field of human rights.

Eligibility

Students with a bachelor’s degree from any accredited higher education institution are eligible to apply.

Deadlines

March 15: Priority deadline

May 15: Applications submitted between March 15 and May 15 will be evaluated based on availability. After May 15 please contact the Institute directly at humanrights@uconn.edu.

Program Rationale 

The Common Core credits provide students with knowledge of the theoretical foundations of human rights, insight into the challenges of defending and promoting human rights, and guided instruction on how to ethically and reliably conduct human rights research and practice. The capstone Human Rights Practice Lab asks students to develop and execute a human rights research project under the supervision of faculty. The project will be oriented toward solving a real-world problem and may grow out of the student’s practicum experience.

 

Our Human Rights Practicum ensures program participants gain substantive professional experience while pursuing their degree. It provides students with human rights-based problem solving experiences related to their career goals.

 

Students gain proficiency in a human rights topic area of their choosing by taking an additional 15 credits of elective coursework, at least six of which should be drawn from our list of foundational elective courses.

 

The remaining 9 credits required to complete the MA plan of study can be drawn from either the Foundational Electives or the Supplementary Electives, depending on the students’ professional goals and interests.

Coursework

The 30-credit program structure integrates academic coursework on human rights with professional work experience opportunities that enhance applicants' professional portfolios in preparation for the job market. The credits break down as follows:

  • 15 Common Core credits
  • 15 elective credits:
    • Minimum of 6 Foundational Elective credits
    • 9 additional elective credits drawn from either the Foundational Elective or Supplementary Elective lists.

A complete listing of our current graduate course offerings can be viewed on our Course Offerings page.

Core Courses

Common Core Credits

  • HRTS 5301:Contemporary Debates in Human Rights
  • HRTS 5351:Topics in Human Rights Practice*
  • HRTS 5282: Practicum in Human Rights 
  • HRTS 5401: Methods in Human Rights Research and Practice
  • HRTS 5600: Human Rights Practice Lab

Electives

Foundational Electives

  • EDCI 5847: Human Rights and Social Justice in Education
  • HRTS 5055: Theory and Practice of International Criminal Justice
  • HRTS 5095: Special Topics in Human Rights*
  • HRTS 5351:Topics in Human Rights Practice*
  • HRTS 5428: Torture
  • HRTS 5450: Contemporary Issues in Genocide Studies
  • HRTS 5460: Human Rights and Armed Conflict
  • HRTS 5499: Independent Study in Human Rights
  • HRTS 5899:Variable Topics in Human Rights*
  • HRTS/HIST 5270: History of Human Rights
  • HRTS/POLS 5390/ECON 5128: Economic Rights
  • LAW 7878: International Human Rights
  • SWEL 5385: Human Rights and Social Work

Supplementary Electives

  • ALDS/GERM/CLCS 5324: Teaching for Intercultural Citizenship and Human Rights I
  • ALDS/GERM/CLCS 5325: Teaching for Intercultural Citizenship and Human Rights II
  • ANTH 5325: Cultural Rights
  • ANTH/HRTS 5327: Propaganda, Disinformation, and Hate Speech
  • ENGL 6540: Seminar in Literature and Human Rights
  • LAW 7380: Critical Race Theory
  • LAW 7653: European Human Rights
  • LAW 7695: Philosophy of Human Rights
  • LAW 7814: Refugee Law
  • LAW 7876: Philosophy of Collective Rights and Self-Determination
  • LAW 7883: Human Rights and Post Conflict Justice
  • LAW 7914: American Slavery and American Law: The Legal Origins of Racism in America
  • POLS 5115: Theories of Human Rights
  • POLS 5322: Assessing Human Security
  • PUBH 5460/LAW 7592: Health and Human Rights
  • SOCI/HRTS 5825: Sociology of Human Rights
  • SOCI 5515: Sociology of Immigration

Other elective options may be approved by the Graduate Education Director after consultation with the Graduate Education Committee.
*May be repeated for a total of 9 credits with a change in subject matter.

How to Apply to the 4+1 Program

Applicants are required to submit: 

  1. Personal statement (maximum 750 words, 1 inch margins, standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman)  that addresses the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to earn a master’s degree in human rights and what particular topical interests do you have within the human rights field?
    2. How have your academic training, work/internships, and relevant life experiences prepared you to be successful in this program?
    3. How will his program further your career goals? 
  2. Resume 
  3. Unofficial transcript 
  4. Two letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and commitment to human rights

To apply:

  1. Access The Graduate School’s application
  2. Create an account
  3. Create a new application
    1. Confirm your personal information
    2. Click the drop down menu under the question "To which type of program are you applying?"
    3. Select 4+1 Programs and click Submit
  4. Open the Pre-Grad or Non-Degree Application you just created
    1. Click the dropdown menu under the header Intended Program
    2. Click Human Rights under the 4+1 Programs header
    3. Upload required documents

How to Apply to the 2-Year Program

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. Personal statement (maximum 750 words, 1 inch margins, standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman)  that addresses the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to earn a master’s degree in human rights and what particular topical interests do you have within the human rights field?
    2. How have your academic training, work/internships, and relevant life experiences prepared you to be successful in this program?
    3. How will his program further your career goals?
  2. Resume
  3. Unofficial transcript
  4. Two letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and commitment to human rights

To apply, please access The Graduate School’s application.

Costs & Fees

There is a $75.00 application fee required to apply for the program.

In some cases The Graduate School may provide an application fee waiver. Please review the UConn Graduate School Fee Waiver Policy to see if you qualify.

The tuition and fee schedule for graduate programs can be found on the Bursar’s website.

FAQs

Do I need to take the GRE?
No, GRE scores are not required for program admission.

Do I need to be a human rights major to enroll in the MA in human rights program?
No, you are eligible to apply to the MA program regardless of your undergraduate major.

How many credits count toward both my undergraduate human rights degree and the MA in human rights?
Up to 12 credits (four 3-credit classes) of approved graduate coursework which is included in the student’s undergraduate (BA) plan of study can be used to the MA plan of study.

Does the Human Rights Institute offer graduate assistantships for accepted students?
At this time, HRI is unable to offer financial support in the form of graduate assistantships for students enrolled in the MA program.

Does HRI offer financial support to students completing the human rights practicum?
Yes, we will offer scholarships to support students as they complete the practicum. Information about these scholarships will be made available to students upon admission into the program.

Questions about the masters program or application process? Please contact David Richards or Alyssa Webb .

Graduate Program Advising

david richards

David Richards

Director of Graduate Programs, Human Rights Institute
Associate Professor, Political Science & Human Rights

david.richards@uconn.edu

Alyssa Webb

Alyssa Webb

Educational Program Coordinator, Human Rights Institute

alyssa.webb@uconn.edu