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Grounded in critical thinking and positive action, this program provides a rigorous human rights education in the classroom and community. You'll graduate prepared to tackle—and to teach about—inequities based on race, class, gender, sexual identity, religion, and nation.

Program Details

Designed to support teachers of early childhood through college, as well as educators working in non-formal settings such as community organizations, Human Rights Education (HRE) entails understanding the promise of rights guarantees and the gap between rights and actual realities.

Courses examine the right to education, schooling with dignity and rights, and curricular efforts towards social justice and comprehensive human rights. Students engage with issues in local and global contexts, with emphasis on globalization, migration, social movements, and transnationalism.

Transformation is an essential element of HRE, and is done through a process of education that empowers people to make changes in their own lives, as well as in their families, communities, and institutions.

Program Delivery

The program follows a schedule of alternate weekend classes that convene nine times a semester (Friday evenings and all day Saturdays). See Teaching Weekend dates.

A hallmark of the Masters in Human Rights Education program is its flexibility to work with diverse students. Students can complete the coursework requirements in as few as 18 months (two academic year semesters plus the summer term) and can extend the program as long as needed (up to 5 years). Most students complete the Masters program in 2 academic years with summer coursework often included.


The Master of Arts in Human Rights Education (HRE) consists of 30 credits. Requirements include 15 credits of core coursework, 9 credits of elective coursework, and 6 credits of Culminating Project. All classes are 3 credits, unless otherwise noted.


  • IME 618 - International Human Rights Law for Educators (3)
  • IME 620 - Human Rights Education: Pedagogy and Praxis (3)
  • IME 621 - Human Rights Education: History, Philosophy and Current Debates (3)


  • IME 616 - Social Movements and Human Rights (3)
  • IME 617 - Tools for Human Rights Practice (3)
  • IME 619 - Gender and Globalization (3)
  • IME 640 - Immigration and Forced Displacement (3)


  • IME 602 - Linguistic Rights and Bilingual Education (3)
  • IME 605 - Re-conceptualizing Multicultural Education (3)
  • IME 606 - Critical Analysis of Urban Schooling (3)
  • IME 612 - Critical Race Theory and Praxis (3)
  • IME 625 - Contemporary International Issues (3)
  • IME 636 - Human Rights and Media (3)
  • IME 637 - Critical Pedagogy (3)
  • IME 639 - Cross-Cultural Literacy (3)


  • GEDU 603 - Methodology of Educational Research (3)
  • IME 649 - MA Thesis/Field Project (3)

The Human Rights Education Program Learning Outcomes:

The goal of the HRE program is to develop professional practitioners with expertise in the following key areas:

  • Analyze the gap between universal rights and grassroots realities in local, global, and transnational contexts, with attention to issues of power, privilege, and marginalization. Explore the conditions and dimensions of empowering and transformative learning processes.
  • Describe and critique the differing approaches, perspectives, and models toward human rights education and how they impact the ways in which HRE is carried out in diverse settings.
  • Drawing on critical pedagogies, produce advocacy tools and curricular resources to be used in formal or non-formal educational contexts to address human rights violations.
  • Design, conduct, analyze and present findings from interviews, using diverse methods, such as oral history, in order to raise awareness about human rights issues.
  • Identify diverse methodological tools and skills needed to conduct ethical research in a range of contexts such as classroom teaching, community organizing, and curriculum development, among others.
  • Synthesize contextual understandings, reflective analysis, theoretical frameworks, and methodological training to inform either the production of a thesis or research-based field project.

You can find more information here:

Visit the MA Human Rights Education page on the University of San Francisco website for more details!