Human Rights & History Minor

The minor in human rights and history will complement a wide variety of majors. Students study the subject of human rights over time and across the globe while preparing for career opportunities based on a carefully selected, required internship.


The human rights and history minor helps students contextualize the historical implications of human rights. Human rights minors are required to complete 21 units with a grade equivalent of 2.00 or higher in each course taken. All human rights and history minors may transfer up to 9 units toward the minor. The minor is open to students in any major. Consult with an adviser to ensure your academic program prepares you for your career aspirations. View minor requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog

Sample Human Rights & History Course Outlines are posted below to help guide students with their course selections. They may also contact the Coordinator for the Human Rights & History Minor:  

Sample Course Outlines by Topic of Interest

Why Study Human Rights and History?

The human rights and history minor introduces students to the origins and development of human rights. Students explore a range of topics for the purpose of investigating the role they have played in human history. These topics include:

  • slavery and racism
  • sexual assault
  • genocide
  • forced migration
  • environmental degradation
  • violence against marginalized groups including women and members of the LGBTQ+ community

The human rights and history minor will challenge students to think about issues historically, geographically and thematically. The minor will also investigate how human rights have been implemented, abused and restricted.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights documents
This image of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is published on the United Nations website.

This program has been designed to allow students to take courses across the disciplines (with an emphasis on history) by offering a framework for understanding the roots of human rights controversies, theoretical approaches to understanding them and practical approaches to ameliorating their 21st century effects.

The minor is optimal for students pursuing a broad array of professional fields, including careers in government, international relations or the non-profit sector. It allows students to tailor their interests by connecting their coursework to an internship. Examples include courses on the environment, immigration and forced migration, race and society, gender, sexual violence and LGBTQ+ issues. Internships may address those or related topics.

Majors to Consider with this Minor

The minor pairs well with, but is not limited to, majors in: