Human Rights Practice BA Major Requirements

The BA in Human Rights Practice provides students with a focused program of study in an important and growing field that is critical for addressing numerous socio-political issues.  The rigorous, critical, and applied curriculum offers students extensive opportunities for community engagement. It includes innovative courses that mentor students in best practices for working with marginalized community members.  The program is designed to provide participants with the foundational knowledge, critical perspectives, and practical skills to advance human rights around the globe. 

Our curriculum focuses on real-world learning where students will apply course-based concepts and information to human rights issues in their communities where they live and on the issues of greatest concern to them.  Students will have the opportunity to engage with distinguished human rights stakeholders through videoconferences, internships, class projects, mentorships, and capstone projects.

Our focus on project-based learning means that students will help produce white papers, webinars, shadow reports, and other forms of human rights work.  And our courses allow students to gain specific skills (such as writing grants, gathering testimonies, writing op-eds, producing documentaries) that will aid them in the human rights job market.  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. You can read more about these courses.

Major Requirements  

The fully online Human Rights Practice BA consists of 120 total units, including foundation courses and other general education requirements.  At least 36 of these credits must be from Human Rights Practice core courses, with 21 of these credits being upper-level (i.e., 300-level or above).  

The required core courses for the Human Rights Practice BA major are any four courses (12 units) from the following.

  • HRTS 200: Introduction to Human Rights (3 units)
  • HRTS 250: Current Issues in Human Rights (3 units)
  • HRTS 300:  Human Rights in the US (3 units)
  • HRTS 305: Human Rights Stories (3 units)
  • HRTS/GWS 320: Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights (3 units)
  • HRTS 400: Community Engagement for Human Rights (3 units)
  • HRTS 402: Skills for Human Rights Work (3 units)
  • HRTS 420: Community-Based Research for Human Rights (3 units)

Also required for the Human Rights Practice BA major are any eight upper-division human rights elective courses (24 units). These can be derived from the 300 or 400-level courses above that have not been taken as core courses, or from any of the courses below.

  • HRTS 401: Human Rights Organizations (3 units)
  • HRTS 455: Human Rights in the Middle East (3 units)
  • HRTS 461: Human Rights in Eurasia (3 units)
  • HRTS 495A: Human Rights across Contexts (3 units, specific topics change each semester)*
  • HRTS 496A: Human Rights Crises (3 units, specific topics change each semester)*
  • HRTS 496B: Cutting- Edge Advances in Human Rights (3 units, specific topics change each semester)*
  • HRTS 497A: Exploring Human Rights through Virtual Field Trips (3 units)
  • HRTS 499: Independent Study/Internship (3 units)
  • HRTS 498: Capstone (3 units) 

*specific topics vary each semester, and up to three different topics for each course may be taken (up to 9 units total). Information about specific topics are provided several months in advance.

With the pre-approval of the program, some courses transferred from other institutions or taken in other UArizona departments may be eligible to be substituted for HRTS electives. Undergraduate students in senior status with at least a 3.0 GPA may be eligible to take HRTS graduate courses (i.e., those numbered 500 and above) for undergraduate credit. 

Undergraduate Minor and Certificate 

The Human Rights Practice BA minor requires a minimum of 18 units, 9 of which must be upper-level.  An Undergraduate Certificate in Human Rights Practice is also available to Main Campus UArizona students (although not those enrolled through AZ Online). The Undergraduate Certificate mirrors the BA minor but is 12 units (6 units of required courses and 6 units of electives). Interested undergraduates should contact their advisor about this option. You can learn more on the webpage about the minor and certificate

Accelerated Master's Program (AMP)  

The University of Arizona Graduate College offers exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Human Rights Practice in as few as 5 years. Student will start taking graduate level courses during their senior year and those graduate courses will count for both their undergraduate degree and their graduate degree at the cost of undergraduate tuition. Current UA students interested in this option should speak with their advisor.