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Human Rights Studies

Experiential Learning

The Human Rights Studies Program is one of the few degree programs that requires all its majors to engage in experiential learning for academic credit. These opportunities allow students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply and expand those skills in the “real-world” through internships, service-learning, research, student leadership, professional networking, and other creative spaces to explore the countless options for making human rights career.



The Amnesty International Chapter at the University of Dayton is a non-partisan organization that brings students together to promote human rights on campus. Students engage in advocacy campaigns, push for legislative reform, and educate the public on certain issues. The chapter focuses on a number of campaigns ranging from ending gun violence to promoting the rights of refugees and migrants.


By joining CR, you can partake in events throughout the year to raise awareness on sex trafficking and the hyper-sexualization of culture; the invisibility of privilege: racial divides in America; and corporate social responsibility.


This chapter of the NGO actively educates the campus community about human rights and development needs in Malawi by holding weekly events and an annual fundraiser. HRS students - especially those interested in traveling to and doing research in Malawi, are encouraged to join and deepen their engagement in the Warm Heart of Africa.


By joining HRW, you can design, plan and implement with your peers an annual weeklong series of events to expose, educate, and create discussion opportunities for the UD community on human rights issues.


Each Fall term, this day of stimulating ideas and research in the fields of social sciences provides you with another opportunity to showcase your research.


A campus-wide day of student research and discovery. Each spring term, this annual event provides you an opportunity to present your research, as well as attend hundreds of sessions from all disciplines.



Polish your resume and linkedin account? Write a cover letter? Conduct on-campus interviews? Negotiate salaries? The Career Services staff is happy to provide HRS students with opportunities in the job search process through workshops and individual appointments with a career advisor. Check out their calendar for events and workshops.


You can apply and travel during Spring break on a career immersion experience where HRS students meet, learn from and network with alumni working in the D.C. area. Over the years, Dayton2DC participants benefit from the mentorship of alumni they met and/or secured internship and job opportunities.
Apply in the fall term.


If you are a member of the Honors program, you can apply and receive a full scholarship to live and spend your summer in D.C. interning with an organization corresponding to your interest in human rights work. Additionally, you will develop networks, better understand your future career options, and participate in professional development opportunities. 
Apply in the fall term.


You can apply for this eight-week summer residential internship opportunity in Columbus, Ohio. Selected HRS students will be placed based on their interest in positions such as the Ohio Statehouse, executive agencies, judiciary, interest groups, and lobbying firms. This scholarship program offers 3 hours of internship credit, a fellowship stipend and accommodation. 
Graduating seniors are ineligible. 
Apply in the fall term.


Seeking internship opportunities with nonprofit and human rights organizations? Connect with Dr. Daniel Birdsong, Internship Coordinator in the Department of Political Science. Summer and semester-long internships available. You are encouraged to also speak with Dr. Miranda Hallett about finding new and creative internship opportunities.


Abolition Ohio is an anti-human trafficking coalition housed in the HRC. Through AO, you can learn, conduct research, intern, volunteer, lead and participate in awareness-raising and advocacy events and campaigns.


This scholarship is designed for you if need financial support and wish to travel internationally to participate in human rights or service programs in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Apply in the spring term.


Are you interested in development work? You should apply to this full scholarship to travel, live, and conduct research in Malawi for nine weeks during the summer. This program is not about ‘voluntourism’; it provides HRS participants with an opportunity to design and implement graduate level research by collaborating with the local NGO Determined to Develop. You earn 6 cr. hours for this program. Graduating seniors are ineligible. 
Apply in the fall term.


This program is designed to support a University of Dayton graduating senior or a recent graduate with a yearlong field experience working withDetermined to Develop. Upon completion of the program, the student receives a graduate assistantship at the Human Rights Center and a scholarship to enroll and pursue their M.A of Public Administration at the University of Dayton. The Human Rights Center will provide full travel support and living expenses for the service/field work period and full tuition and stipend during the graduate assistantship contingent upon full and successful completion of all requirements.
Apply in the fall term.



This innovative and activist-driven oral history project allows you to dive deep into what it means to be an upstander in the face of serious human rights abuses, giving you first-hand experience in taking testimony, interviewing and being part of a storytelling project that advances human dignity. The 2016 project produced Ferguson Voices. The 2018 project takes place in El Paso, Texas.  This is a collaboration between the NGO, PROOF: Media for Social Justice (PROOF) and the University of Dayton Human Rights Center and the Human Rights Studies Program and represents a new initiative to study, collect, archive and publicize instances of moral courage around the world.



SPHR is a biannual conference providing you with an opportunity to meet, network and learn from scholars and practitioners about human rights work and research. HRS participants can deepen their understanding the field of study, explore career options, and meet hundreds of speakers and leaders of major human rights organizations. You could also present your research at the conference or join the event planning team.


HRC is looking throughout the year for volunteers, interns, student assistants and researchers. Check out their postings and apply for paid and unpaid opportunities.


HRC hosts a series of dialogues and events throughout the year. Check out their calendar and attend upcoming events.

HRC in the News

Keep up with the news. Media highlights for the Human Rights Center staff and Faculty Research Fellows can be found on the HRC in the News page

Blog: Let's Talk Human Rights  

Visit the Human Rights Center

Are you interested in community building work? You can be selected at the end of your first year as UD student to spend the next three years in this program learning the leadership skills that will help you understand how to build communities through sustaining long lasting relationships. HRS students become civic professionals and citizen leaders by immersing in the greater Dayton community. 
Apply in the spring term of your first year.


Hop in the river and join this initiative of staff, faculty, and community members to build a community around our rivers in the Greater Dayton area. HRS students who become river stewards benefit from multifaceted research projects with students from over 25 majors to promote, preserve and protect rivers and water rights. 
Apply in the spring term of your first year.


Twenty students annually take a semester away from full-time study to provide 450 hours of direct service in the Dayton community. HRS participants become lifelong advocates for social change and grow through experiential learning, the creation of intentional community, and professional training and supervision from local social service providers. Semester of Service is funded by an endowment and annual grants from the Marianists.
Apply in the fall term for Spring service. Apply in the spring term for Summer and Fall service. The Summer program requires community living.

Visit the Fitz Center

Where does your journey around the world begin? HRS students enhance their learning and cultivate cross-cultural skills by making friends and attending international festivals as well as exploring educational opportunities and embracing global adventures.


Whether for a summer, semester or a year, you can study, intern or volunteer in places all over the world. The Study Abroad team will help you navigate partner institutions, programs and countries of interest. Application deadlines vary.

Visit the Center for International Programs

Uniting faith and action for justice. The CSC, part of the university’s Campus Ministry, provides HRS students with numerous opportunities for reflective service, cross-cultural immersion trips, service-learning, and education and advocacy for justice rooted in the Catholic social teaching and the Marianist spirit. Application deadlines vary.

Visit the Center for Social Concern

Below is a list of some partners of the Human Rights Studies program:


Human Rights Studies Program

Keller Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1425