FAQ

1. What do we mean by human rights?
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which validated the acceptance of 30 rights, as "a common standard of achievements for all peoples and nations." This historic declaration set out for the first time those fundamental human rights guaranteed to all persons without discrimination. The Universal Declaration encourages "every individual and every organ of society" to promote the rights guaranteed under the declaration, which it characterizes as the "foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world." It is upon these rights that the Human Rights Program bases its work. You can read the complete Universal Declaration here.

2. How can I study human rights? (undergrad/grad)
Each semester, the University of Minnesota offers a number of courses containing human rights content. These courses can be found at every level of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs and in a wide variety of disciplines.

The Graduate Minor/Concentration in Human Rights provides students in the Graduate School at the University, as well as professional students in the Humphrey Institute and the Law School an opportunity to gain interdisciplinary expertise in the study of human rights laws and mechanisms. The program includes both classroom and field experience in international human rights issues and advocacy.

Undergraduate students are able to study human rights within several major programs. The Institute of Global Studies, Department of Political Science, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology, Department of Geography, African American and African Studies, and Gender Women and Sexuality Studies all offer opportunities for undergraduate students to study human rights through a wide variety of classes and study abroad programs. For a list of courses with human rights concentrations click here.

3. Can I get a graduate degree in human rights at the University of Minnesota?
Currently only a freestanding Graduate Minor is available at the Graduate School at the University. Students must be enrolled in a Masters or PhD program through another department before they apply to enroll in the Human Rights Minor. Foreign lawyers may apply to the LL.M. Program at the University of Minnesota with a focus on human rights. http://www.law.umn.edu/prospective/llm.html

4 . What kind of internship opportunities are available in the human rights field?
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul host a thriving human rights community and students are encouraged to seek out volunteer opportunities with the many human rights organizations nearby. (Nora we need to add a list of local organizations to our internship link on our website - I'll send you last year's internship list from our class and you can prepare a general list to link to here.)

The Learning Abroad Center in the Office of International Programs is the University of Minnesota's comprehensive resource for study, intern, work, volunteer, and travel experiences worldwide.

Idealist.org, Internabroad.com and Studyabroad.com are all excellent on-line resources that offer a variety of information ranging from specific volunteer or internship possibilities to how to buy travel insurance to what to bring to a particular country.

The International Service and Travel Center, located in Blegen 94, at the University of Minnesota provides information about a variety of international internship and employment possibilities as well as experienced peer advisors to help answer questions and provide guidance regarding what to do before, during and after an international experience. .

5 . Can I get funding or credit for a human rights internship?
Getting funded can be one of the most difficult parts of the internship procedure. There are a variety of ways to go about the funding process. You could write letters to family members, friends, church members, etc. asking them to donate money to your trip. Or, you could apply for grants through a few different programs offered through the University of Minnesota (or elsewhere). It is strongly recommended that you begin early and if you do decide to apply for a grant, you should commit enough time to completing the application as the fellowship programs are quite competitive. Keep in mind that when you apply for funding, you should have some sort of notification and/or evidence that you have, or soon will have, been awarded an internship position. Follow this link for more information on funding resources at the University of Minnesota.

6. What does the Human Rights Program do?
The Human Rights Program has a threefold mission:
Educating
HRP carries out interdisciplinary teaching and research in international human rights.
Advocating
HRP helps students find meaningful work experiences in human rights organizations around the world.
Connecting
HRP brings together students, faculty, professionals and experts working in the field of human rights to address critical issues.

7. What are the advantages of an interdisciplinary approach to human rights?
HRP promotes the impressive interdisciplinary research and program activities on human rights at the University. Human rights is by its very nature an interdisciplinary subject, engaging many fields of academic study including the humanities, law, social sciences, public policy and the health communities, to name a few. We encourage students to increase our knowledge about preventing human rights violations by using their abundant skills and curiosity to undertake research, analysis and strategic advocacy on human rights issues.
8. What other human rights activities exist at the University of Minnesota?
There are various student groups dedicated to human rights here on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. To search for student groups visit www.sua.umn.edu.

Child Protection International, an NGO dedicated to protecting and advocating for the rights of children worldwide, was started with help from the Human Rights Program and does a variety of international advocacy work in the human rights field. Child Protection International is always looking for fresh and passionate volunteers to help in its campaign to end to end child abductions in Southern Sudan. To learn more visit childprotectioninternational.org.

9 . What kinds of careers are available to people interested in human rights?

For job opportunities and current job postings that are focused on human rights visit http://www.hrusa.org/field/joblinks.shtm.
10 . Where are you located?
We are located at 214 Social Sciences, 267 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455
You can reach us by:
- Phone: 612-626-7947
- Fax: 612-626-2242
- Email: hrp@umn.edu
11. Where can I find out more about human rights activities/events going on in the Twin
Cities?
To find out more about human rights activities/events that are happening in the Twin Cities please visit our News and Events Page on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate minor/concentration

1. Can I get a Masters in human rights?

Currently there is only a Graduate Minor/Concentration in human rights offered at the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota. To learn about the graduate minor and future human rights programs click here.

2. How many classes do I need to take to get a minor in human rights?
The Human Rights Minor is available to masters and doctoral students. The minor is intended to provide an interdisciplinary foundation in human rights studies and practical experience in human rights work, coordinated through the program director.
Master's Students
Must complete 9 credit hours: two of the four core courses, at least one elective course (3 credits) taken from a designated course list, and one six-week internship approved by the DGS (with a minimum total of 200 hours work). Students may meet the total hourly requirement over the span of more than 6 weeks subject to DGS approval.
Doctoral Students
Must complete 12 credit hours: two of four core courses, at least two elective courses (totaling 6 credits), and one six-week internship (with a minimum total of 200 hours work) approved by the DGS. Students pursuing the graduate human rights minor must have at least one faculty member affiliated with the minor on their oral examination committees
3. Where can I find internship opportunities?
For information about finding an internship, and reading the accounts of past interns click here.
4. How can I fund my internship?
For information on funding resources for internships click here.

5. Can I take classes within my masters program to fulfill the HR minor curriculum?
Generally Human Rights Minors must take courses listed outside their home departments (unless the courses are cross-listed with other departments) to count them toward the graduate minor. To see the current courses that are being offered click here.

6. What kind of Masters Degree goes well with a human rights minor/concentration?
Many Masters Degree programs would go well with a human rights minor/concentration. Human rights is by its very nature an interdisciplinary subject, engaging many fields of academic study including the humanities, law, social sciences, public policy and the health communities

7. How long does it take to complete the HR minor coursework?

Master's Students must complete 9 credit hours: two of the four core courses, at least one elective course (3 credits) taken from a designated course list, and one six-week internship (with a minimum total of 200 hours work) approved by the DGS. Students may meet the total hourly requirement for the internship over the span of more than 6 weeks, subject to DGS approval.

Doctoral Students must complete 12 credit hours: two of the four core courses, at least two elective courses (totaling 6 credits), and one six-week internship (with a minimum total of 200 hours work) approved by the DGS. Students pursuing the graduate human rights minor must have at least one faculty member affiliated with the minor on their oral examination committees and official dissertation committee.

About this Archive

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.