Human Rights and Documentary Media Certificate


Human Rights and Documentary Media

About the Certificate

The 15-unit Graduate Certificate in Human Rights and Documentary Media integrates the study of documentary media production, outreach and impact with legal, historical, journalistic and other perspectives, and provides extensive opportunities for students to interact with professionals from around the globe.   

We work closely with a growing network of distinguished filmmakers, media activists and human rights media organizations including Skylight, WITNESS, New Day Films and nDigiDreams.  The certificate also draws on the interdisciplinary breadth of the Human Rights Practice Program, which has featured over 250 virtual guest lectures from 40 different countries just since its inception in 2018.  

To read more about the certificate, you can visit a February 2021 article in FILMMAKER MAGAZINE

You can also visit an article about the short film BrownWhite produced by  Ruchama Ehrenhalt as part of her work in the Human Rights Practice Program.  

Potential Students  

The Certificate Program will appeal to:

  1. students who have some documentary media background and would like to learn how documentary media can be used to advance human rights;
  2. human rights stakeholders, such as those currently working in non-governmental organizations who are interested in adding the ability to deploy documentary media to advance their causes;
  3. recent undergraduate students from the US and abroad with strong interests in social justice and human rights; and
  4. students graduating from other UA programs especially M.A. and Ph.D. students (in such fields as Anthropology, Public Health, Sociology, Development Practice, and Arid Lands) who will be interested In receiving focused training in human rights and documentary media. 

We anticipate that some students who finish this Certificate will stay in the program and pursue our 30 credit MA in Human Rights Practice. 

Read our student testimonials


Bringing together the expertise and innovative curricular offerings from the Graduate Program in Human Rights Practice (HRTS) and School of Theatre, Film, & Television in the College of Fine Arts, students will have the opportunity to work with expert faculty who operate in a broad range of disciplines and research worldwide issues.  Key faculty supporting this certificate include:

  • Bev Seckinger, Professor, School of Theatre, Film and Television
  • Lisa Molomot, Instructor, School of Theatre, Film, and Television
  • William Paul Simmons, Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Director of the Human Rights Practice Program
  • Jacob Bricca, Associate Professor, School of Theatre, Film and Television
  • Mette Brogden, Assistant Professor of Practice and Program Manager,  Graduate Programs in Human Rights Practice
  • Phyllis Taoua, Professor of French and Francophone Studies
  • Jeannine Relly, Professor of Journalism, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Inclusion, College of SBS
  • Marcela Vásquez-León, Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies
  • Kaitlin Murphy, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Amália Mora, Adjunct Instructor, Human Rights Practice Program

Advisory Board

The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights and Documentary Media is advised by several highly accomplished documentary filmmakers including:

Core Courses

12 credits of core courses will be required. All students will complete FTV 544, HRTS 541, and HRTS 905, and then either HRTS 500 or HRTS 505. 

Elective Course

3 Elective Credits from courses related to the students’ interests.  Most often these will be from courses offered in the HRTS program, but courses from other departments can be taken with approval from the director of the HRTS program.