Human Rights and Technology Certificate

Bringing together the expertise and innovative curricular offerings from the Graduate Program in Human Rights Practice (HRTS) and the cutting-edge School of Information (I-School).

The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights and Technology will critically analyze the intersections between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and human rights.

Key Features 

  1. Students can explore such critical issues as: data rights, privacy, misinformation, artificial intelligence, surveillance, cyberactivism, encryption, e-learning, and data literacy.
  2. Numerous technologies can also be covered such as big databases, blockchain, surveillance technology, virtual reality, crowdsourcing of human rights data, and archiving of digital media. 
  3. The program critically assess the capabilities and limitations of currently used and emerging ICTs and will be highly distinct in its coverage of emerging threats to the human experience in an increasingly computationally-driven and algorithmic decision-making world.    
  4. Students will learn from human rights practitioners and technological experts who are breaking new ground using technological applications for advancing human rights.
  5. Students will also have opportunity to work with scholars who study the ethical and political dimensions of technology and human rights, and the implications of new challenges like fake news, false video, data collection and improper use. 
  6. Through their coursework and final projects students will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects with human rights organizations and technology professionals. 


Students will have the opportunity to work with expert faculty who operate in a broad range of disciplines and research worldwide issues. Human Rights Practice Faculty represent a wide diversity of demographic characteristics, backgrounds and expertise. 

Faculty have relevant expertise in such topics as the right to information, surveillance, social, cultural, and historical dimensions of science and technology, innovative human rights activism, freedom of expression and access to information, the use of online platforms by at-risk groups, innovative uses of new media, counter-mapping, digital storytelling, media production, and community empowerment.

I-School Faculty bring expertise in numerous key issues that affect human rights or that could have important applications to human rights such as big data management, social media use, digital culture, human-computer interaction, extended and virtual reality, cryptotechnologies, data mining, data curation, artificial intelligence, archival studies, digital storytelling, and digital media ethics.


The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights and Technology is a 15-unit program, with 9 required units and 6 units of electives. Up to 6 transfer units may be accepted with the approval of the Program Director. 

Core Courses: 

  • HRTS 543 – Advancing Human Rights through Technology (3 units)
  • INFO 536: Data Science for Human Rights (3 units)
  • HRTS 598A – Human Rights and Technology Project (3 units)


6 additional elective units are required, to be chosen by students from graduate courses related to their interests.   Most often these will be three credits from HRTS and 3 credits from the I-School.  Courses from other departments can be taken with approval from the director of the HRTS program. You can view a list of currently available HRTS graduate-level courses