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Human Rights Program


 The Human Rights Program examines the theory and practice of human rights, combining academic training with hands-on experience. By exploring the philosophical foundations and legal framework of human rights, as well as addressing current political, social and economic realities, the program seeks to give students the tools necessary to engage intelligently with contemporary human rights problems. Among the thorny issues students may examine are indigenous peoples’ rights to natural resources, the limits of freedom of expression, the problem of corporate complicity in rights violations, the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention, and the problem of enforceability (both of economic, social, and cultural rights, and of civil and political rights).
An interdisciplinary program, the Human Rights Program offers courses in political science, anthropology, sociology and history, among other fields of study. Students may follow either of two academic tracks: a 15-credit Minor in human rights, or 24-credit Certificate. A key element of both tracks is the human rights internship, which gives students direct experience with the researchers, advocates, lawyers and analysts who make up the human rights movement.
Both the Minor and Certificate in human rights are good preparation for a career in government, at a nongovernmental organization, or in a regional or international agency. Many students may choose to go on to law school, journalism school or a graduate program. Whatever their career choice, their knowledge of human rights will make them more thoughtful and informed citizens.

Programs and Courses in Human Rights

Programs and Courses in Human Rights 

Administration and Faculty

Director of the Human Rights Program and Program Adviser

Jessica Neuwirth, Program Director
Roosevelt House-RH 404

Program Manager:

JoAnne Vellardita
Roosevelt House-RH 401

Program Associate:

Kelsey Adolphs
Roosevelt House-RH 401

Policy and Curriculum Committee

Carol Gould, Chair, Professor, Philosophy; PhD Yale University

Yukiko Koga, Associate Professor, Anthropology; PhD Columbia

Marnia Lazreg, Professor, Sociology, PhD New York University

Deborah Tolman, Professor, Women & Gender Studies, PhD Harvard University

John Wallach, Professor, Political Science; PhD Princeton University