Human Rights (Certificate)

At a Glance: program details

Certificate Map

Human rights are an integral part of a just society. As a student with a certificate in human rights, you will develop the skills to identify human rights violations, analyze their causes and consequences, and formulate approaches for redressing the harms they perpetuate.

Program Description

The certificate program in human rights provides students with interdisciplinary tools and perspectives from history, law, political science, sociology and philosophy that can serve as a framework for thinking broadly and critically about human rights issues. Coursework and experiential learning opportunities prepare students for work protecting human rights, including:

  • children's rights
  • environmental human rights
  • immigrants' rights
  • personal integrity rights
  • the right to education
  • the right to health care
  • the right to housing
  • the right to water and energy justice
  • sexuality rights
  • women's rights
  • workers' rights

Program Requirements

Students must complete 18 credit hours of qualifying coursework, of which at least 12 credit hours must be upper division. At least 12 credit hours must be completed at ASU. Each course must be completed with a minimum grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better.
Global Politics of Human Rights (select one) -- 3 credit hours
Human Rights Institutions and Organizations (select one) -- 3 credit hours
Interdisciplinary Component -- 9 credit hours
Upper Division Human Rights Electives (9)
Students select three electives on current issues in human rights. Courses must be taken from at least two of the substantive areas listed below and from two or more subjects. Other course options may be approved by an academic advisor in the School of Social Transformation.
Marginalization and Human Rights
Social Stratification and Human Rights
States and Conflict
Experiential Learning Component -- 3 credit hours
To better connect classroom learning with practical experience, students will be required to participate in either a for-credit internship with a human rights organization in the U.S. or abroad, or a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) under faculty supervision (honors thesis may substitute). A written component to the internship or REU is required.

Prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment Requirements

To declare a certificate in human rights, students must first have a minimum of 30 earned credit hours.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply fundamental principles of human rights to research or community engagement.
  • Employ the core concepts and methods used in studying human rights in their written work.

Career Outlook

Human rights training can lead to a rewarding and meaningful career path as well as a professional degree. The following list of career options is not exhaustive; each offers unique opportunities, requirements, strategies and tools for social change:

  • human rights activism coordinator
  • human rights advocacy officer
  • human rights campaigner
  • human rights educator
  • human rights fundraising specialist
  • human rights grant writer
  • human rights lawyer or legal officer
  • human rights policy analyst
  • human rights program officer
  • human rights researcher or research assistant

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions.

Social and Human Service Assistants

  • Growth: 8.6%
  • Median Salary*: 38520
  Bright Outlook

Community Health Workers

  • Growth: 14.1%
  • Median Salary*: 46190
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 6.3%
  • Median Salary*: 113940
  Bright Outlook

Equal Opportunity Representatives and Officers

  • Growth: 4.6%
  • Median Salary*: 71690
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 7.5%
  • Median Salary*: 135740
  Bright Outlook

Healthcare Social Workers

  • Growth: 9.6%
  • Median Salary*: 60280
  Bright Outlook

Social and Community Service Managers

  • Growth: 9.1%
  • Median Salary*: 74240
  Bright Outlook

Child, Family, and School Social Workers

  • Growth: 5.3%
  • Median Salary*: 50820
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 4.5%
  • Median Salary*: 98590
  Bright Outlook

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

  • Growth: 10.6%
  • Median Salary*: 51240
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Program Contact Information

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