This is the first version of the 2022-23 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Learning Outcomes

Students who earn the Certificate in Human Rights will be able to:

  • critically analyze real-world global challenges from a human rights perspective;
  • articulate creative and effective solutions to real-world global challenges from interdisciplinary perspectives by applying human rights principles, advocacy strategies, and tactics grounded in the basic concepts of human dignity, nondiscrimination, equality, diversity, and pluralism;
  • identify and trace the impact of the major events that have led to the formation of contemporary human rights concepts, norms, and institutions;
  • explain the historical underpinnings of international human rights advocacy and international institutions that emerged in response to doctrines of racial superiority, inequality, discrimination, imperialism, and conflict during the 20th century; 
  • apply human rights frameworks to other fields of study, including student’s primary major and professional work;
  • integrate concepts from other fields of study into their human rights coursework;
  • critically analyze the major scholarly debates about human rights, past and present;
  • articulate justifications of human rights frameworks and regimes as well as critiques of discourses on, and approaches to, human rights;
  • explain foundational international human rights legal concepts and the interpretation and application of norms as well as the limits of the law in advancing human rights;
  • identify human rights violations based on existing international human rights legal frameworks;
  • identify the basic operational functions of international and domestic legal regimes involved with the promulgation, promotion, and protection of modern human rights standards;
  • analyze and evaluate the relationship of human rights to individuals, governments, corporations, and civil society organizations and to analyze and evaluate the role of each in the promotion and protection of human rights and in relationship to other social priorities;
  • identify specific target audience(s) with capacity to raise awareness about and to mitigate human rights abuses and to effectively communicate desired actions and outcomes to these diverse audiences in both academic and/or non-academic settings; and
  • develop critical thinking, reading, listening, writing, research, and analytical skills.

The undergraduate Certificate in Human Rights requires 18 s.h. of credit. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in certificate coursework. They may count a maximum of 6 s.h. of transfer credit toward the certificate with approval from the certificate program's faculty advisory group.

The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program. Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) students may earn the certificate when the undergraduate classification is primary.

Individuals should declare their intent to earn the certificate in MyUI

The Certificate in Human Rights requires the following coursework.

Foundations in Human Rights

All of these:
HRTS:2115/IS:2115Introduction to Human Rights3
HIST:4101History of Human Rights3
PHIL:3430Philosophy of Human Rights3

Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights

These courses are repeatable if the topic differs. HRTS:3909/IS:3909 Human Rights Lab is offered without topics, but may be repeated.

6 s.h. from these:
HRTS:3903/IS:3903Technology and Human Rights (8-week course)1-3
HRTS:3904/IS:3904Business, Labor, and Human Rights1-3
HRTS:3905/IS:3905Topics in Human Rights1-3
HRTS:3906Global Crises and Human Rights3
HRTS:3907/IS:3907Literature and Human Rights (8-week course)1-3
HRTS:3908/IS:3908Governance and Human Rights (8-week course)1-3
HRTS:3909/IS:3909Human Rights Lab1-3

Human Rights in Practice

One of these:
HRTS:3910/IS:3910Human Rights Advocacy3
HRTS:3920Seminar in Human Rights Praxis: Supervised Internship3

The Certificate in Human Rights benefits students interested in careers in government, social services, the nonprofit sector, business, and education, as well as those pursuing law school or other professional or graduate degrees.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Human Rights, Certificate

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
First Year
FallHours
HRTS:2115 Introduction to Human Rights a 3
Certificate: Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights course(s) b 1 - 3
 Hours4-6
Spring
HIST:4101 History of Human Rights a 3
Certificate: Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights course(s) (HRTS:3909 Human Rights Lab is recommended but not required) b 1 - 3
 Hours4-6
Second Year
Any Semester
HRTS:3920
Seminar in Human Rights Praxis: Supervised Internship c
or Human Rights Advocacy
3
 Hours3
Fall
PHIL:3430 Philosophy of Human Rights a 3
Certificate: Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights course(s) b 1 - 3
 Hours4-6
Spring
Certificate: Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights course(s) (HRTS:3909 Human Rights Lab is recommended but not required) b 1 - 3
 Hours1-3
 Total Hours16-24
a
Courses for the Certificate in Human Rights may be taken in any order. HRTS:2115 Introduction to Human Rights is taught in fall, spring, and summer terms. Most other courses are offered only one semester each year.
b
Complete a total of 6 s.h. of Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights courses numbered HRTS:3903 through HRTS:3909. Many Contemporary Global Issues in Human Rights courses are one semester, six- to eight-week courses.
c
Complete the 3 s.h. Human Rights in Practice requirement by taking HRTS:3910 (typically offered in the fall) or HRTS:3920 (typically offered in the spring).