Undergraduate Specializations

The Human Rights Institute offers undergraduate students the opportunity to select a specialization that allows them to customize their coursework to suit their passions. We have designed six options with suggested course combinations and internship options.

Advocacy & Practice

All students involved in the Human Rights program at UConn are exposed to diverse, cutting-edge research in the classroom, and gain experience in the practical application of the human rights framework through participation in experiential learning opportunities in the community. Students who investigate the Advocacy and Practice thematic in particular develop a specialized focus on diverse approaches to advocacy, and a holistic understanding of the numerous private and public actors which influence human rights outcomes at domestic and international levels.

This collection of practically-oriented coursework highlights the diverse application of rights discourse, contextualizes the activities of NGOs within human rights advocacy networks, and explains the realities of pursuing a career in the human rights field.

Recommended Courses

HRTS 3050: Approaches to Human Rights Advocacy
HRTS 3259: Human Rights and New Technologies
BADM/BLAW/HRTS 3252: Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility
POLS/HRTS 3256: Politics and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains
POLS/HRTS 3430: Evaluating the Human Rights Practices of Countries
GEOG 3240: Medical and Health Care Geography
EDCI 2100: Power, Privilege, and Public Education
HRTS 3573: Asian Indian Women: Activism and Social Change
WGSS 2255 (W): Sexualities, Activism, and Globalization (CA 4INT)

Business

Students who investigate the Business and Human Rights thematic area will gain insight into the relationship between business practices, and the social and political interventions meant to ensure economic stability, environmental sustainability, and enhanced respect for human rights.

The Business and Human Rights thematic area systematically connects the global to the local. Through sustained engagement with this content, students will develop an expansive understanding of how global actors influence the lived experiences of ordinary people throughout the world. Analyzing the world of multinational corporations through the lens of human rights results in a holistic view of the international economic system, and requires students to question traditional ideas about the role and scope of businesses in the modern age.

Recommended Courses

ECON 3128: Economic and Social Human Rights
BADM/BLAW/HRTS 3252: Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility
BADM/BLAW/HRTS 3254: Business Solutions to Societal Challenges
POLS/HRTS 3256(W): Politics & Human Rights in Global Supply Chains
ENGR/HRTS 3257: Assessment for Human Rights Sustainability
ENGR/HRTS/POLS 3209: Sustainable Energy in the 21st Century
NRE 2600: Global Sustainable Natural Resources (CA 4INT)

Internship Opportunities

The Human Rights Institute has well-established placement opportunities at organizations working directly at the intersection of business and human rights:

  • The Business & Human Rights Resource Center
  • Social Accountability International
  • NetImpact

Engineering

A human rights minor enables engineering students to explore human rights and sustainability in a variety of ways – including within global supply chains, in the renewable energy sector, and relation to public opinion on science and technology. Students gain the skills to assess the risks that business activities can pose to people and the environment. They also analyze how to “re-engineer” product design and production processes to render them more socially and environmentally sustainable.

The human rights minor requirements can be fulfilled as part of the current engineering curricula by careful selection of free electives. Choosing courses also satisfying a Content Area General Education requirements will provide an additional flexibility in the major curriculum (such as CA1D, CA2, CA4, 4INT).

Recommended Courses

HRTS 3200(W): International Human Rights Law (CA1D; 4INT)
HRTS 3250(W): Human Rights and New Technologies (CA1D)
HRTS/ENGR 3257: Assessment for Human Rights Sustainability
HRTS 3475: Economic Development and Human Rights
BADM/BLAW 3252: Corporate Social Impact and Responsibility
BADM/BLAW/HRTS 3254: Business Solutions for Societal Challenges
PHIL/HRTS 3220(W): Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (CA1D)
POLS/HRTS 3212: Comparative Perspectives on Human Rights
POLS/HRTS 3256(W) Politics and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains
SOC/ HRTS 3837: Sociology of Global Human Rights
POLS 3211: Politics of Water (CA2)
HRTS/POLS/ENGR 3209: Sustainable Energy in the 21st Century

Health

Students who investigate the Health and Human Rights thematic area will gain extensive insight into global health systems, the geography of diseases and healthcare services, and the importance of using an intersectional approach to analyzing health and disability.

The Health and Human Rights thematic area systematically connects the physical indicators of health, to the social, political, and economic realities that produce and sustain health inequities around the globe. Through sustained engagement with this content, students will develop a critical framework to assess the effectiveness of conventional approaches to healthcare. The systematic study of the intersection of health and human rights compels students to methodically consider how a rights-based approach to health alters how we understand and respond to health challenges.

Recommended Courses

HRTS 3050: Approaches to Human Rights Advocacy
ANTH/HRTS 3326: Global Health and Human Rights
GEOG 3240: Medical and Health Care Geography
HRTS 3327: Power and Health in Latin America and the Caribbean
HDFS 3251: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Family
NURS 3225: Ethical Ways of Knowing
PHIL/HRTS 2170: Bioethics and Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspective
WGSS 3257: Feminist Disability Studies

Internship Opportunities

The Human Rights Institute has well established placement opportunities at organizations working directly at the intersection of health and human rights:

  • TEDMED
  • UConn Migrant Farm Worker Clinics
  • Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Coalition

Identity

The Identity and Human Rights thematic area systematically connects the effect of intersecting social identities to the lived experiences of individuals. Sustained engagement with this content will provide students with a unique understanding of how race, gender, and sexuality intersect with each other, and with historical and contemporary social contexts, to produce unique barriers to the enjoyment of human rights.

Students who investigate the Identity and Human Rights thematic area will confront how the social construction of identity impacts the lived experiences of people around the world, and will interrogate what it means to practice a rights-based approach that is informed by the intersectional experiences of individuals.

Recommended Courses

SOCI/HRTS 3831: Human Rights in the United States
AFRA/SOCI/HRTS 3825: African Americans & Social Protest
ANTH/HRTS 3028(W): Indigenous Rights and Aboriginal Australia
AASI/SOCI 3222: Asian Indian Women: Activism and Social Change
AASI/HIST 3531: Japanese Americans and World War II
EDCI 2100: Power, Privilege, and Public Education
HIST 3570: American Indian History
HIST 3575/LLAS 3221/HRTS 3221: Latino/as and Human Rights
SOCI 2503(W): Prejudice and Discrimination
WGSS 2255: Sexualities, Activism, and Globalization

Internship Opportunities

The Human Rights Institute has well established placement opportunities at organizations working directly at the intersection of identity and human rights:

  • Connecticut NAACP
  • Connecticut Students for a Dream
  • Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors

Law

Students who investigate the Law and Human Rights thematic area will gain insight into the relationship between legal standards, and the social and political interventions meant to ensure sustainable improvements in human rights practices.

The Law and Human rights thematic area interrogates the relationship between the international human rights regime, domestic legal institutions, and societal norms regarding the treatment of vulnerable persons. Student will be asked to question the normative implications of competing legal frameworks while developing an accurate conceptualization of human rights law as an advocacy tool. The systematic study of human rights law prepares students to critically assess policy interventions from a rights based framework, and to centralize the human experience to all discussions regarding policy design.

Recommended Courses

ANTH/HRTS 3230(W): Propaganda, Disinformation, and Hate Speech
HRTS 3055: Theory and Practice of International Criminal Justice
HRTS 3200(W): International Human Rights Law (CA 1D; 4INT)
POLS/HRTS 3428: The Politics of Torture
POLS/HRTS 3430: Evaluating Human Rights Practices of Countries.
POLS/HRTS 3418(W): International Organizations and Law
POLS/HRTS 3807: Constitutional Rights and Liberties