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Human Rights and Genocide Studies

Website: School of Humanities and Global Studies

About the Minor

The program emphasizes the study of human rights and genocide as academic and practical pursuits and aims to prepare students for graduate school, as well as career opportunities in international organizations, government, non-profits, multinational corporations, and the media. It is firmly anchored in the belief that establishing legal frameworks and erecting viable international support systems represent the best hope that humankind has in preventing genocide, torture, religious persecution, and other assaults upon human dignity and rights.

Students achieve an understanding of the origins, theory and practice of international human rights and the treatment of genocide as a crime under international law. Linkages to human rights and genocide prevention organizations and agencies located in the New York metropolitan area are emphasized.  Students are encouraged to understand and question the implementation of human rights and genocide prevention theories and policies, as well as to acquire practical work experience through internships and other experiential learning opportunities. The development of communication skills, foreign language proficiency, and participation in study abroad opportunities are promoted and supported. Student-faculty research projects are encouraged. Co-curricular opportunities related to human rights are provided by HGS colloquia, guest lectures, and film screening, as well as by events organized by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The Cahill Center provides valuable assistance in developing meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students.

As with other minors, the Human Rights and Genocide Studies minor is intended to complement the disciplinary specialization and methodological training inherent in a major. Students will achieve the necessary background for eventual career and graduate study opportunities in advocacy organizations, journalism, teaching, policy analysis, or service in government and intergovernmental entities.

Outcomes for the Minor

Goal: Students become familiar with key concepts, history, and current issues relevant to human rights.

Outcome 1: Students will be proficient in key concepts in the study of human rights and genocide, including their origins and the international institutions designed to deal with them.

Outcome 2: Students will be familiar with the history of, and debates around, human rights and genocide, whether through creative, empirical or theoretical approaches.

Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate familiarity with current issues and events in human rights.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (i.e., 20 credits) to complete this minor.
  2. At least three of the courses fulfilling this minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A School Core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.


Related Information

Each year, the HRGS faculty and HGS dean select 1 or 2 winners of the Ernst Aronsohn scholarship, open to students who have declared the HRGS minor and who have a 3.0 GPA or above.  Click here for more information

School of Humanities and Global Studies Website
Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Website
Faculty Profiles