Interdisciplinary Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Other Concentrations

Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration

The social justice and human rights concentration is designed to cultivate a deep theoretical understanding of the social, political, cultural, historical, and economic implications of a wide array of social injustices and human rights issues. Students are engaged in the applied process of imagining and actualizing holistic and complex strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate course work in one of the concentrations below. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their faculty adviser and the director. 

Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions: a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses; a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits; a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions.

Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis. Students are required to take MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar (1 credit), MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal (1 credit), and either MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (1-4 credits) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (3-4 credits). Students electing to complete the concentration in community college teaching with a thesis will complete 38 credits.

◊ Concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR)

The social justice and human rights concentration is designed to cultivate a deep theoretical understanding of the social, political, cultural, historical, and economic implications of a wide array of social injustices and human rights issues. Students are engaged in the applied process of imagining and actualizing holistic and complex strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world.

One required course of proseminar (1 credit)

MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar

Two core courses (6 credits)

One foundational course (3 credits)

INTS 540 - Contemporary Issues in Social Justice & Human Rights

One ecological justice course (3 credits)

CONF 682 - Principles of Environmental Conflict Resolution

PHIL 643 - Environmental Ethics

SOCI 635 - Environment and Society

Emphasis courses (9 credits)

Students complete 9 credits of courses with an emphasis on a specific social justice or human rights issue or context or a specific region, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. Examples of issue emphases include racial justice, human trafficking, or children's rights. Context emphases examples include the education, corporate, or government sector. Regional emphases examples include the Middle East, Latin America, or Southeast Asia.

Elective courses (12 credits) chosen from:

Students complete 12 elective credits from the following, chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor. At least 6 of these credits must focus on a social justice or human rights issue, context, or region unrelated to the student's chosen emphasis.

CONF 601 - Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution

CONF 695 - Selected Topics

CONF 702 - Peace Studies

CONF 709 - War, Violence, and Conflict Resolution

CONF 720 - Ethnic and Cultural Factors in Conflict Resolution

CONF 722 - Conflict and Religion

CONF 723 - Conflict and Gender

CONF 728 - Human Rights Theory and Practice in Comparative Perspective

CONF 739 - Collective Action, Social Movements, and Globalization

CONF 746 - Peace Building

CONF 749 - World Religions, Violence, and Conflict Resolution

HE 606 - Diversity in Higher Education

EDUC 537 - Introduction to Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Learners

EDUC 892 - Social Justice and Equity in International Education

EDUC 894 - Seminar in Multicultural Education

GOVT 727 - Restorative Justice

GOVT 841 - Ethics and Human Rights in International Affairs

PUAD 642 - Environmental Policy

PUAD 649 - Advocacy and Lobbying

PUBP 736 - International Migration and Public Policy

PUBP 765 - Human Smuggling and Trafficking

SOCI 605 - Gender and Social Structure

SOCI 623 - Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives

SOCI 641 - Micro Sociology: Inequality and Everyday Life

WMST 600 - Special Topics (when topic is Narratives of Human Rights: Violations Against Women and Girls; Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights; or Gender, Sexuality, and Disability)

WMST 630 - Feminist Theories across the Disciplines

WMST 640 - Women and Global Issues

One research methods course (3 credits) chosen from

HE 610 - Research Designs in Higher Education

WMST 610 - Feminist Approaches to Social Research

Proposal (1 credit)

MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal

Project or thesis (4 credits)

MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project

or

MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis

Total: 36 credits

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