Undergraduate Human Rights and Social Justice Certificate

Undergraduate Human Rights and Social Justice Certificate

The Human Rights and Social Justice certificate will provide students the knowledge and skills to engage with important issues of our times, to explore multidisciplinary foundations and current debates about human rights and social justice, and to contribute positively to their communities and future careers. The program embeds learning and engagement with issues of diversity, equality, inclusion, and social change, within the bedrock of the deeply entrenched and long-standing global human rights system. It focuses on the interdisciplinary study and application of foundational concepts and global standards of human rights to diverse issues and movements, including but not limited to: poverty, race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and age, both past and present.
To enroll in the Human Rights and Social Justice Certificate, please complete this form.


  • Identify foundational human rights and social justice concepts including equality, discrimination, universality, and interdependence, from historical to current and local to transnational perspectives.
  • Differentiate current research, programs, strategies, and actors that address human rights and social justice issues in a variety of settings.
  • Recognize the cultural, political, sociological, economic, and other dimensions of particular human rights issues in a variety of contexts.
  • Appreciate how different disciplines approach human rights and apply one or more approach to a human rights issue.
  • Identify different discourses on human rights and social justice to communicate effectively about rights issues for various audiences.


The certificate requires 18 credits of approved courses, including 6 credits of foundation courses, 12 credits of elective courses, and the submission of a digital portfolio The student’s tailored certificate must include courses from three different disciplines and can include no more than six credits from their home discipline. . 
6 credits of foundation courses
  • Activist Anthropology (ANTH 1709)
  • Rhetoric and Human Rights (COMMRC 1148)
  • Writing for Change (ENGCMP 0641)
  • Human Rights in World History (HIST 1062)
  • Rights and Human Rights (PHIL 1400)
  • Politics of Human Rights (PS 16750
  • Introduction to Global Studies (PS 05500
  • 1612 Social Justice and the City (URBST 1612)
  • Human Rights in the City Internship (SOC 00000)
12 credits of elective courses
  • See Human Rights Course Listing 
  • Alternative credit options include internships, interdisciplinary research, experiential learning opportunities, workshops, and pop-up micro courses approved by an academic advisor
Successful submission of a digital portfolio
The digital portfolio requirement helps students reflect on, synthesize, and communicate their knowledge garnered through the certificate and cocurricular engagement. The e-portfolio is similar to an online resume and can be shared with employers, and graduate schools.  Work on the digital portfolio begins with the first class as it requires reflection of coursework and engagement on campus and in the community. To get started, read these instructions to get you on your way and visit the FAQ.  Students should begin building their own e-portfolio once they enroll in the certificate.
Request a template here.