Human Rights Program A 15-credit minor or 24-credit certificate in Human Rights.

Hunter’s Human Rights Program aims to give students the tools they need to address human rights problems intelligently and constructively, whether as advocates, scholars, researchers or informed citizens. Via academic study and hands-on experience, students will explore both the theoretical and practical underpinnings of current human rights debates.

By learning about human rights law, theory and practice, students in the program will understand how human rights norms and aspirations can shape public policy, international relations, and corporate behavior. They will learn about issues such as accountability, humanitarian intervention, freedom of expression, and the rights of immigrants. They will be introduced to the structure of human rights enforcement mechanisms, assessing the way in which international treaties and multilateral institutions influence the behavior of national governments.


An interdisciplinary program, the Human Rights Program offers courses from a number of different academic departments, including political science, sociology, anthropology and history. It gives students a choice between two academic tracks: a 15-credit Minor in human rights or a 24-credit Certificate.

A key element of both tracks is the human rights internship, giving students useful work experience as well as the chance to understand the human rights movement in practical terms. Students may spend time working with an international NGO like Human Rights Watch or the Center for Reproductive Rights, a local organization like the Urban Justice Center, or even a grassroots organization based abroad. They will see first-hand how human rights concerns influence political, economic, and/or social policy. They will assist victims of human rights abuses, carry out human rights research, and learn how human rights organizations try to promote human rights.

Participation in the Human Rights Program, via either the Minor or the Certificate, will provide students with skills, experience and knowledge that will strengthen their applications to graduate school or law school, and help them in their future careers.

The Minor or Certificate in Human Rights may be taken in conjunction with any major. For more information about the courses that count toward the Minor and the Certificate, please visit the HRP Curriculum page.  For descriptions of some of the courses that the Human Rights Program is offering in Fall 2016, please visit the HRP Course Description page.

Panels, Speakers and Workshops

The Human Rights Program brings leading figures in the human rights movement to campus for talks, brown-bag lunches and other events. For more information about Human Rights Program events, please visit the HRP Course Description page.

Hunter College students can subscribe to the HUMANRIGHTS-L listserv to receive occasional emails about human rights internships, news and events.

Human Rights Program Staff

Director: Jessica Neuwirth
Phone:  212-396-7924

Program Assistant: Sandy Lakhicharran
Phone: 212-396-7969

Program Manager: JoAnne Vellardita
Phone: 212-396-7946

Program Associate: Raymi Echavarria
Phone: 212-396-7948