Human Rights Interdisciplinary

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


Human rights have become the moral language of today, the idiom in which we discuss our common humanity and weigh competing claims for resources, rights, and protections. The Human Rights Interdisciplinary (HRI) minor at UC Berkeley allows students to shape their education around coursework which investigates the legal, political, historical, economic, social, psychological, and representational dynamics of human rights.

Helping undergraduates explore issues via multiple forms of thought and media of expression—through literature as well as politics, journalism as well as law, film as well as anthropology—the HRI minor emphasizes the many different intellectual spaces in which human rights questions are currently being posed. In so doing, it encourages students to recognize how human rights are intertwined with fields as disparate as postcolonial literature and medical ethics, as well as with the more familiar fields of political science and international law.

Declaring the Minor

The first steps in declaring the HRI minor are to fill out the application form, the program worksheet and meet with a Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor advisor to get the forms approved and have yourself declared in CalCentral.

The department encourages students to meet with an HRI minor adviser early in their academic careers. Advisers will help craft a plan of study, approve elective courses, and help students connect with the faculty members whose work best fits their academic interests.

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Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

A complete Human Rights Interdisciplinary minor application consists of:

  1. Minor Application Form and Program Worksheet.
  2. A current CalCentral (unofficial) transcript with your name printed on it. Please highlight any courses that apply to the minor. Also, indicate which course (if any) will overlap between the minor and your major.
  3. Copies of transcripts from other colleges attended (if course work taken there will be counted for the minor). Electronic transcripts are accepted only if the relevant coursework also appears in your transfer credit summary on CalCentral.. If it does not appear oin CalCentral, we require official  transcripts.  (We do not have access to transcripts in the Registrar’s Office.)
  4. The Petition for Confirmation of Minor Program Completed signed by the student and the major adviser.


Select one of the following three courses:
HISTORY C187The History and Practice of Human Rights (Choose one of the following three courses:)4
GLOBAL 173International Human Rights4
LEGALST 154Human Rights, Research & Practice4
Select three courses from the Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor course list.
Complete the Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor capstone:
UGIS 156Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor Capstone Workshop (and thesis project)3

Permanently Approved HRI Minor Courses

The courses below may be counted in any semester they are offered.  There may be other courses available on campus that are suitable for the minor, however, such courses will require a curriculum petition.

AFRICAM 111Race, Class, and Gender in the United States3
AFRICAM 112BPolitical and Economic Development in the Third World4
AFRICAM 116Slavery and African American Life Before 18654
AFRICAM 118The Slave Trade and Culture in the Modern Atlantic World3
AFRICAM 125History of the Civil Rights Movement4
AFRICAM 139Selected Topics of African American Social Organization and Institutions1-4
AFRICAM/RELIGST 173ACGandhi and the Civil Rights Movement in America3
AMERSTD 139ACCivil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History4
ANTHRO 150Utopia: Art and Power in Modern Times4
ANTHRO 189Special Topics in Social/Cultural Anthropology (Mass Violence, Representation, and Justice)4
ANTHRO 189ASpecial Topics in Cultural Anthropology/Area (Topics include: Poverty and Rights in the Asian-Pacific AND Poverty, Culture, and Rights)4
ASAMST 125Contemporary Issues of Southeast Asian Refugees in the U.S4
ASAMST 141Law in the Asian American Community4
CHICANO 174Chicanos, Law, and Criminal Justice4
EA LANG 101Catastrophe, Memory, and Narrative: Comparative Responses to Atrocity in the Twentieth Century4
ECON 133Global Inequality and Growth4
ENGLISH 175Literature and Disability4
ESPM 155ACSociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems4
ESPM 162Health, Medicine, Society and Environment4
ESPM 163ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
ESPM 169International Environmental Politics4
ETH STD 144ACRacism and the U.S. Law: Historical Treatment of Peoples of Color4
ETH STD 173ACIndigenous Peoples in Global Inequality4
GWS 102Transnational Feminism4
GEOG 130Food and the Environment4
GEOG 159ACThe Southern Border4
GLOBAL 173International Human Rights4
GPP 115Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes in the New Millennium4
GWS 141Interrogating Global Economic "Development"4
HISTART 190FSpecial Topics in Fields of Art History: 19th-20th Century3-4
HISTORY C139C/AMERSTD 139ACCivil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History4
HISTORY 178History of the Holocaust4
HISTORY C187The History and Practice of Human Rights4
ISF 100EThe Globalization of Rights, Values, and Laws in the 21st Century4
L & S C180UWealth and Poverty4
LEGALST 107Theories of Justice4
LEGALST 132ACImmigration and Citizenship4
LEGALST 138The Supreme Court and Public Policy4
LEGALST 140Property and Liberty4
LEGALST 190Seminar on Topics in Law and Society (Law, Rights and Minorities)1-4
LEGALST 154Human Rights, Research & Practice4
PACS 126International Human Rights4
PACS 127Human Rights and Global Politics4
POL SCI 123SSpecial Topics in International Relations (Gender and International Human Rights)4
POL SCI 124AWar!4
POL SCI 124CEthics and Justice in International Affairs4
POL SCI 157BConstitutional Law of the United States4
SOCIOL 115GGlobal Health and Social Justice4
SOCIOL 124Sociology of Poverty4
SOCIOL 130Social Inequalities4
SOCIOL 140Politics and Social Change4
UGIS 110Introduction to Disability Studies3

Faculty and Instructors

Contact Information

Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-642-4466

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Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Max Auffhammer

101 Stephens Hall

Lead Academic Advisor

Ethan Savage

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643-4156

Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Nithya Raghunathan

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643-7282

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