Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration

The Social Justice and Human Rights concentration in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program is flexibly designed to allow you to focus your studies around the issues to which you are most committed.  At the same time, the program provides a deep theoretical foundation for understanding the social, political, cultural, historical, and economic implications of an array of social injustices and human rights issues.  It emphasizes a global and intersectional approach while engaging students in imagining and applying strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world.

The Washington, D.C., area is a strategic place to study social justice and human rights. You will have opportunities to meet and work with activists and organizations who are putting contemporary understandings of social change into action.

You will be taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty who combine contemporary theoretical and philosophical frameworks--such as intersectionality theory, queer theory, and critical race theory--with the knowledge and strategies of past and present change-makers.  Faculty are engaged in social justice work worldwide, including in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and in our own community.

In addition to taking a small number of core courses, you will have the opportunity to shape your program around your social justice and human rights interests. Current and former students have focused on issues such as racial justice, educational rights, (dis)ability rights, indigenous rights, animal rights, the abolition of human trafficking. Others have focused on regional contexts such as the Middle East, Central Europe, East Africa, or Central America.

Students may choose to complete either an applied project, a traditional research thesis, or a research article for publication on a topic of their interest.