Columbia University has a unique international reputation for human rights education and research, earned through decades of highly respected training of human rights professionals and a commitment to the interdisciplinary study and practice of human rights.
The Human Rights Studies Program was established in 1998 as part of the Liberal Studies Master of Arts program under the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2011, the program was transferred to the Institute for the Study of Human Rights.
The Human Rights Studies M.A. is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the academic study of human rights theory and practice.
As part of GSAS, our students take courses in a range of departments, including Political Science, Religion, Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and Sociology. Students can also take human rights related courses offered by other Columbia schools, such as the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia Law School, or the Mailman School of Public Health.
The degree consists of 30 credits, including a thesis. Detailed information about the courses and thesis can be found under the degree requirements page of this website.
Students interested in applying for the Human Rights Studies program can find more information about the program on the prospective students webpage.
Specific questions about the degree structure and content can be directed to