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.

Visit Program Website

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 a letter grade.
  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. The Completion of L&S Minor form.


Select at least 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 four courses from the Human Rights Interdisciplinary minor course list.
One course - of the five required for the HRI minor - may be replaced by completing a 3 or 4 unit internship with a human rights organization. Please consult with an HRI minor advisor if you are interested in the internship option.

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.  Note: Special topics courses require approval by an HRI minor advisor.

AFRICAM 111Race, Class, and Gender in the United States3
AFRICAM 112APolitical 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
AMERSTD 139ACCivil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History4
AFRICAM/RELIGST 173ACGandhi and the Civil Rights Movement in America3
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
COM LIT 190Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature4
EA LANG 101Catastrophe, Memory, and Narrative: Comparative Responses to Atrocity in the Twentieth Century4
ECON 133Global Inequality and Growth4
ENGLISH 175Literature and Disability4
ENGLISH 180AAutobiography4
ESPM 155ACSociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
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
ETH STD 180Selected Topics in Comparative Ethnic Studies1-4
GEOG 130Food and the Environment4
GEOG C135Water Resources and the Environment3
GEOG C155Race, Space, and Inequality4
GEOG 159ACThe Southern Border4
GLOBAL 173International Human Rights4
GPP 115Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes4
GWS 102Transnational Feminism4
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 100USpecial Topics in Comparative 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 154Human Rights, Research & Practice4
LEGALST 190Seminar on Topics in Law and Society (Law, Rights and Minorities)1-4
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
POL SCI 191Junior Seminar4
SOCIOL 115GHealth in a Global Society4
SOCIOL 124Sociology of Poverty4
SOCIOL 130Social Inequalities4
SOCIOL 137ACEnvironmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment4
SOCIOL 140Politics and Social Change4
SPANISH 135Studies in Hispanic Literature4
UGIS 110Introduction to Disability Studies3
UGBA 192TTopics in Corporate Social Responsibility1-4

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Miguel A. Altieri, Professor. Environmental Science, Policy and Management, agriculture, environmental science, pest management.

Stephanie Ballenger, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Peter Bartu, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Middle Eastern Studies.

David Beecher, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Economy.

Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies.

Crystal Chang, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Asian Studies, Political Science.

Margaret Chowning, Professor. Mexico, history, gender, women, Latin America.

Beverly Kay Crawford, Professor Emeritus. International and Area Studies, Political Economy Group Major.

Jack Davey, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Alain De Janvry, Professor. Agricultural & Resource Economics, economics, labor management and policy.

J. Bradford Delong, Professor. Economics, globalization, economic growth, convergence, economics of post WWII Europe.

+ Munis D. Faruqui, Associate Professor. Mughal India, Delhi Sultanate, Islam in South Asia/India, Urdu.

Emily Gottreich, Associate Adjunct Professor. Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Urban Studies, Jewish history, Morocco, North Africa, Sephardic Studies.
Research Profile

Gillian P. Hart, Professor Emeritus. Geography.

Fatmir Haskaj, Lecturer. Political economy, development, critical theory and urban studies.

+ Khalid Kadir, Lecturer. Global Poverty & Practice Minor, International & Area Studies.

Alan Karras, Associate Director, Senior Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Economy.
Research Profile

Cecilia Cissell Lucas, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Erin Murphy-Graham, Associate Adjunct Professor. Educational equity, cultural studies, gender equity, diversity, international education, alternative schooling, democratic education, ethnic issues.

Mario Muzzi, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Laura Nathan, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Clara I. Nicholls, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies.

Tiffany L. Page, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies.

Lanchih Po, Associate Adjunct Professor. International and Area Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Elisabeth Sadoulet, Professor. Economics, agriculture, labor management and policy.

Manuela Travaglianti, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies.

Khatharya Um, Associate Professor. Education, memory, Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American histories and communities, Southeast Asian diaspora, refugees, international migration, transnational and diaspora studies, genocide studies.
Research Profile

+ Michael J. Watts, Professor Emeritus. Islam, development, Africa, social movements, political economy, political ecology, geography, South Asia, peasant societies, social and and cultural theory, US agriculture, Marxian political economy.

Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer. Department of Ethnic Studies, Asian Studies.

Darren C. Zook, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Science.

Daniel Zoughbie, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.


Clare Talwalker, Lecturer. Qualitative methods, global poverty action, human rights, South Asia and economic anthropology.

Contact Information

Human Rights Interdisciplinary Minor

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-642-4466

Visit Program Website

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, Minor Advisor

Nithya Raghunathan

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643-7282

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