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Let's Talk Human Rights

What Comes Next? Graduate Programs, Workshops, & Opportunities for Human Rights Studies Students

By Rachel Carr '20

As fall comes to a close, graduate school application season ramps up. Students interested in pursuing human rights, international development or peace studies, both graduating and underclassmen, look across the country for programs and places to continue their learning. Over the past few weeks, I have talked to graduating seniors to learn more about what they are looking for and researched what is available. From dedicated master’s programs to workshops, a variety of spaces exist for students to continue their human rights education and practice. 

Senior with a double major in Human Rights Studies and English, Mary McLoughlin, shared that she looks for a graduate program to be “interdisciplinary and offer experiential learning.” Her desire to find a traditional master’s program that incorporates these principles aligns with programs at the University of Alabama and Columbia University. At the University of Alabama, she could work towards a Masters of Arts in the Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights with a “topical focus on peace, justice, human rights, and ecology” (application deadline: January 31, 2020). Similarly, Columbia’s Human Rights Studies interdisciplinary master’s program orders courses from across the university’s departments (application deadline: March 12, 2020). These programs are administered by the university’s human rights research institutes, similar to the Human Rights Center at UD. 

Other students look for a master’s program to be more practice-oriented than their undergraduate studies; Josh Segalewitz, a senior majoring in human rights studies and sociology, believes “human rights should be learned through a combination of scholarly work and engagement with communities experiencing injustice.” The Master of Human Rights at the University of Minnesota incorporates a requirement for a 400-hour internship in addition to their interdisciplinary curriculum (application deadline: December 15, 2019). Supported jointly by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the College of Liberal Arts, Minnesota’s program looks to pair “conceptual and professional knowledge.” 

If you are interested in education, the University of San Francisco offers a new Human Rights Education Master’s program focused on “understanding the promise of rights guarantees and the gap between rights and actual realities” (application deadline: March 1, 2020). It focuses on how to teach and educate about human rights from early childhood through undergraduate in either formal educational or informal settings, such as community organizations. 

For those who are interested in international development and law, students might advance their practice by diving into the rule of law. Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law offers the Rule of Law for Development Program (PROLAW). Students may work towards a Master of Laws (MLL) or Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) (application deadline: July 1, 2020). These one-year programs take place at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center in Italy and position students to “develop valuable networks with leading international development and humanitarian relief organizations headquartered in Rome.”

At any of these institutions, students may choose to deepen their studies through workshops. Based in Oxford, England, the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights offers extended workshops to address specific areas of human rights. Last summer, they held a week-long workshop on “The Global Ethics Of Human Movement And Migration.” Even if their studies pull students towards areas of international relations or peace studies, the workshops remain excellent experiential learning opportunities. 

This selection of programs captures just a fraction of the educational opportunities available to students graduating from UD and interested in these areas. From anthropology to public affairs and education to law, the master’s programs are as varied as the career paths ahead of the graduates. 

Rachel Carr is a student intern at the University of Dayton's Human Rights Center. She is a senior Political Science major, with minors in Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment (SEE) and English; she strives to strengthen community relations and protect the local environment. Rachel directed the podcast "America the Borderland" for the Center's Moral Courage Project and is a River Steward in the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.

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