MA in International Human Rights

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 practices necessary for starting 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 in 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 (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 from 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: International 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 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 be available to 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 of Academic Policies.

Admission Requirements

At Webster Leiden Campus we look for high potential individuals with a global mindset, who are not only motivated to succeed academically but also thrive in society. We are proud to welcome students from different countries and backgrounds with the belief that embracing such diversity can only contribute to their all-round development, and enhance their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. The Board of Admissions reviews every application carefully to decide who will be offered a placement.

Graduate Applicants

Application Form: The process begins with the submission of your online application form and payment of the application fee. The application fee can be paid by credit card. Applicants are required to upload a number of supplemental items to support their application. These are listed below.

Supplemental items: After receiving your application form you will be able to upload the remaining following documents into your application:

  • Copy of a recent CV or Resume.
  • Letter of motivation (one page) stating why you want to pursue the program, how it ties into your current career or future professional goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Certified copies of your transcripts.
  • TOEFL 575/89 or IETLS 6.5 scores if applicable. If you will be taking a TOEFL test outside of Webster and would like to have your results automatically sent to us, please use the following code: 0548.

Acceptance: After viewing the completed application package, the Admissions Committee will make an admissions decision. An admissions representative will then contact you informally to let you know if you have been accepted to Webster University, and an official acceptance package will be emailed to you. Physical mail is available on request.

Enrollment and Tuition Payment: If an acceptance is offered, you will need to pay a deposit of €1000 to secure your enrollment. Your enrollment is not complete until your first payment for tuition or living expenses is received by bank transfer. Credit card payments are only possible at the campus in Leiden. The latest possible payment date is 21 days prior to your start date, but we suggest you arrange payment much earlier than this so as to not delay the final step of enrollment.

Registration: Once your payment has been received and registration for classes opens, you will be contacted by your Academic Advisor to register for your classes. If you are in need of a student visa to enter the Netherlands, your visa process will also start at this time.

Important Note: Students who need a Visa need to apply minimum 3 months before their intended start date!

Apply Now