The individually tailored, interdisciplinary major in human rights studies requires 10 courses and a senior project. No more than two courses may be double-counted toward another major or minor. Students must earn a minimum of C- in any given course to receive credit for the major. Declaration forms and instructions are available from the Human Rights Program director.
Core courses (3 credits): Whenever possible, the core courses should be taken sequentially. HRST/POLS 125 is generally a prerequisite for declaring the major.
- HRST 125. Introduction to Human Rights (fall)
- PHIL 246. Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations (spring)
- POLS 369. International Human Rights Law (fall and spring)
Electives (7 credits): Electives must satisfy the following criteria: Students must take two Specialized Electives and five General Electives. No more than three electives may be from the same discipline or program, and at least four electives must be at the 300 level or above. At least one elective should focus on the United States. And at least three electives must be complementary, focusing on similar types of rights or regions of the world. Courses are selected in consultation with the program director. A full list of approved electives is available from the Human Rights Program office (70 Vernon Street) and on the HRST website. Frequently taught specialized electives include:
- HIST 256. Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean
- HRST 332. Understanding Civil Conflicts and its Causes and Consequences
- HRST 348. New Beginnings: Justice Alternatives and the Arts
- HRST 373. Human Rights through Performance: The Incarcerated
- INTS 307. Women’s Rights as Human Rights
- MUSC 220. Music and Human Rights
Capstone/Senior Project: All seniors majoring in Human Rights must complete a senior thesis or project. The senior project in Human Rights is a one-semester exercise, intended to be the culmination and integration of the coursework in the major. It can take the form of a long research paper or performance or other artistic project. In cases in which a student chooses the latter option, the performance or artistic project still must be accompanied by approximately 20 pages of written work linking the project explicitly to human rights. Senior projects are approximately 40-50 pages in length. Students can enroll on a senior project either semester senior year. Registration requires completing a special form for theses from the Registrar’s Office for enrollment in HRST 497 (Senior Project).
Honors: To qualify for honors, students must have a B+ overall college GPA and an A- average in all approved courses in the major, and must complete an Honors Thesis, a year-long, two-credit project. Students who believe they qualify and are interested in writing a thesis should contact the program director before the start of the fall semester. Senior theses are approximately 80-100 pages in length. Seniors who qualify to write an honors thesis must enroll in HRST 498 in the fall. At the end of the term, they receive an “IP” (“in Progress”). In the spring, they must enroll in HRST 499; at the end of that semester, they receive a single grade for the two-credit thesis.
Internships: The Human Rights Program is dedicated to enabling students to explore human rights issues and learn more about human rights organizations in Hartford, their hometowns, and metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad. Our goal is to provide opportunities for human rights majors and minors in pursuit of their own individual interests with financial assistance from the Human Rights Program. Each year, the Human Rights Program selects several Trinity students who have obtained a human rights internship to be awarded stipends as they work at the organization of their choice. The internships, which offer students the opportunity to translate what they have learned in their Trinity courses to hands-on professional experiences, prove to be transformative. Students return to campus with a more sophisticated understanding of human rights issues and the world of advocacy.
Study away: Human Rights courses and internships can be found in a variety of Study Away Programs including Trinidad, Cape Town, or Vienna.