University of Iowa Center for Human Rights

Undergraduate certificate: human rights



The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights administers the Certificate in Human Rights, the only undergraduate credential awarded by the College of Law.

The Certificate in Human Rights involves an integrated, specific course of study that includes an introduction to foundational concepts in human rights as they have been informed by political, ethical, moral, legal, and historical thought. Through the curriculum, students explore specific, pressing human rights topics from interdisciplinary perspectives, identify solutions to global challenges, learn to translate foundational human rights concepts into effective advocacy, and strengthen their ability to communicate with academic and nonacademic audiences.

Students sitting in classroom.

Human rights purport that all people deserve to live life with dignity; that human beings are owed the protection of these rights simply because they are human. Universal human rights apply to all equally and without discrimination. They encompass civil and political rights; economic, social, and cultural rights; and apply to both individuals and groups. The rights set forth in human rights doctrines, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are interrelated, interdependent, and indivisible.

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights prepares students to apply human rights concepts to their professional career or field of study. Students learn to appreciate the value of empathy, social responsibility, and engaged global citizenship.

Students have opportunities to apply for funding to support summer rights-related internships, participate in an annual student academic conference and essay contest, and gain hands-on experience through center internships.