International Human Rights (MA)

Volume 1: 2019.2020

Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


This program is owned by the College of Arts & Sciences, however, this program is not currently being offered.

Program Description

The master of arts (MA) in international human rights takes an interdisciplinary approach to human rights in practice, utilizing the contributions of diverse fields such as international public policy, international law, global business and international organizations to give students a broad conception of human rights practice for careers in these areas. The MA goes beyond a narrow legalistic approach: students will examine the international process of human rights protection and advocacy, including the nature of the international order, the relationship between human rights and sovereignty of states, and the problems of intervention and resource distribution. By their completion of this degree, students not only master the theoretical and conceptual aspects of the discipline of international human rights, but also acquire the necessary skills to work in the field of human rights as researchers, advocates and project managers, among others.

This degree requires completion of 36 credit hours of the international human rights program.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the fields, theories, history and major actors that underpin international human rights in practice.
  • Critically analyze and assess human rights practice in international affairs, business and advocacy.
  • Evaluate the consequences of the political and moral choices of a wide range of actors that impact the realization of human rights.
  • Apply their theoretical knowledge to contemporary issues in human rights.
  • Recognize cultural differences and how they contribute to the debates surrounding human rights.
  • Explain how the forces of globalization can contribute to and detract from the realization of human rights.
  • Communicate findings through presentations, research papers and an independent research project or thesis.

Program Curriculum

The 36 credit hours required for the MA in international human rights must include the following courses:

  • HRTS 5000 Introduction to International Human Rights (3 hours)
  • INTL 5000 Introduction to International Relations (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5200 Research Methods and Approaches (3 hours)
    or INGO 5200 Research Methods and Approaches in International and Nongovernmental Organizations (3 hours)
  • INTL 5530 International Law (3 hours)
  • HRTS 6000 Capstone in International Human Rights (3 hours)
    or HRTS 6250 Thesis (6 hours)
  • Two courses from the Law Organizations Cluster (6 hours)
  • Three courses form the Skills Cluster (9 hours)
  • Two courses from the Interdisciplinary Electives Cluster (6 hours)

Law Organizations Cluster (2 courses)

  • HRTS 5600 International Human Rights Law and Organizations (3 hours)
    (Prerequisite: INTL 5530 International Law)
  • HRTS 5610 International Humanitarian Law (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5620 International Criminal Law (3 hours)
  • INTL 5540 International Organizations (3 hours)
    or INGO 5000 Introduction to International and Nongovernmental Organizations (3 hours)

Skills Cluster (3 courses)

  • MNGT 5210 Nonprofit Revenue Development (3 hours)
  • BUSN 5200 Basic Finance for Managers (3 hours)
    or BUSN 5210 Financial Management for Nonprofits (3 hours)
    or INGO 5100 Finance, Budgeting and Accounting for International and Nongovernmental Organizations (3 hours)
  • INTB 5710 Cross Cultural Management (3 hours)
  • INGO 5300 Human Resources and Staffing for International Nongovernmental Organizations (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5300 Human Rights Advocacy, Fact Finding, and Outreach (3 hours)
  • HRTS 6500 Internship (3-6 hours)

Interdisciplinary Electives Cluster (2 courses)*

  • HRTS 5450 History of Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5350 Gender and Human Rights (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5400 Human Right Diplomacy (3 hours)
  • HRTS 5800 Issues in Human Rights (3 hours)

*Students completing the Thesis option are required to take only one class from the Interdisciplinary Electives cluster.

Note: Not all of the courses listed above will available to the students at all locations.

If the requisite course is waived, the student must choose an elective course from this major.

The required courses and electives listed in this core may be taken as directed studies, subject to the conditions stated in the Directed Studies section under Academic Policies.


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission section of this catalog for general requirements.

Send all admissions materials to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours of graduate credit, with grades of B- or better. In the MBA program and other specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.