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 step in declaring the HRI minor is to complete and submit the HRI Minor Declaration form

The department encourages students to meet with an HRI minor advisor early in their academic careers. Advisors 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 minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for a letter grade.
  3. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  7. 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.
  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Students are eligible to declare when they:

  • Have completed at least one course for the HRI minor with a grade of B or better, OR:

  • Have completed at least two courses for the minor (not necessarily at UCB) with a minimum GPA of 2.0;

  • Not be in their final semester of undergraduate work


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 found on the HRI webpage  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 submission of a curriculum petition form and a copy of the syllabus to the HRI minor advisor.  Note: Special topics courses require approval by an HRI minor advisor.


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

Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Minor Advisor

Nithya Raghunathan

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643-7282

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