Listen to the SBS Major Steps podcast episode, Making a Difference with Human Rights. Guests include Bill Simmons, director of the Human Rights Practice program, and current student Kayleigh Kresse.

Online MA and Graduate Certificate in Human Rights Practice

Program Overview

The wholly online Masters degree and graduate certificate in Human Rights Practice are professionally oriented programs designed to provide participants with the foundational knowledge, critical perspectives, and practical skills to advance human rights around the globe. Students will graduate with a portfolio of applied work, a large network of contacts, and marketable skills for the practice and application of human rights. Students in the program will help produce white papers, webinars, shadow reports, and other forms of human rights work.

  • The fully online programs are designed both for individuals currently employed as well as for full time students. 
  • The MA can be earned within one calendar year, though most students will take 18 months, and the certificate, consisting of 12 credits, can be completed within 4-9 months. 
  • Both programs are designed to combine theoretical and methodological training with practical skills and applications as students are encouraged to interact, get involved, and engage the world, all while receiving a degree in human rights from a recognized and well-respected university.


Our Curriculum

Students will study cutting-edge issues through frequent webinars and the online participation of human rights practitioners from around the globe.  Our curriculum includes unique online experiences such as virtual field trips, in-depth analyses of current human rights crises with input from actors on the ground, community-engaged projects, and incorporation of students’ current human rights work.  Classes are also designed to support the human rights work of NGOs, activists, government officials, and even current students. 

The curriculum will develop organically and collaboratively.  Faculty and students will co-create parts of the curriculum, and we will also solicit curriculum ideas and projects from NGOs, government offices, academics, and activists.


Our Faculty

Experts from the University of Arizona (UA) will facilitate courses and provide lectures along with external participants from around the globe who will contribute additional knowledge and real-world insights from their applied human rights work. Our 30 UA faculty operate in a broad range of disciplines, teaching and researching worldwide on such issues as: indigenous law, transitional justice, cultural and religious heritage, human rights and theater, immigration, gender-based violence, critical trauma studies, human rights and culture, human rights and conflict, economic development and women’s empowerment, LGBTQ rights, queer archiving, international crises, refugees, violence against journalists, media and terrorism, human rights education, international law, labor rights, and victims’ testimonies. 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences