Human Rights Studies

Program director: James Silk, L39 SLB, 432-1729,


Seyla Benhabib (Political Science, Philosophy), Ned Blackhawk (History), Amity Doolittle (Environmental Studies), Crystal Feimster (African American Studies, American Studies), Moira Fradinger (Comparative Literature), Inderpal Grewal (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Benedict Kiernan (History), Louisa Lombard (Anthropology), Hope Metcalf (Law School), Alice Miller (Law School, Public Health), Jill Richards (English), Thania Sanchez (Political Science), James Silk (Law School), David Simon (Political Science), Elisabeth Wood (Political Science), Jonathan Wyrtzen (Sociology)

The Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights Studies presents human rights as a rich and interdisciplinary field of study. The program provides students with the analytical, conceptual, and practical skills necessary for human rights study; connects students to affiliate faculty and peers; supports student research projects and internships; and offers career guidance in the field.

Students apply to the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights Studies during the fall term of the sophomore year. They also complete the requirements of a Yale College major. Yale College does not offer a major in human rights.

To fulfill the requirements of the program, students complete a gateway course (HMRT 100), four electives, and a capstone project. The gateway course equips students with the theoretical tools necessary for studying human rights, their evolution, and their justification. It introduces a number of contemporary issues such as gender disparities, racial discrimination, climate change, global health, human trafficking, refugees, world poverty, and humanitarian intervention. Students select four electives from a list of eligible courses provided at the start of each term. A capstone project, informed by extracurricular experience, is developed in consultation with the program director. Additional information is available at the Human Rights Website.


HMRT 100b / PLSC 148b, Theories, Practices, and Politics of Human RightsThania Sanchez

Introduction to core human-rights issues, ideas, practices, and controversies. The concept of human rights as a philosophical construct, a legal instrument, a political tool, an approach to economic and equity issues, a social agenda, and an international locus of contestation and legitimation. Required for students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights.  SO
MW 1:30pm-2:20pm

* HMRT 400a, Advanced Human Rights ColloquiumJames Silk

This course is the culminating seminar for Yale College seniors in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights (Human Rights Scholars). The goal of the colloquium is to help students conceive and produce a meaningful capstone project as a culmination of their work in the program. It is a singular opportunity for students to pursue in-depth research in human rights. Open only to Human Rights Scholars in their senior year and a requirement for completing the program. 
M 10:30am-12:20pm