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Online Education (human Rights Degrees)

By Expert Author: John Srob

Master of Arts in Human Rights
This type of program takes a global look at education, health, development, race and gender, as well as surveying how those issues affect social justice and human rights. It prepares graduates for work in research or in the management of organizations focused on human rights issues. Some programs offer individuals a choice in specializations such as community development or social justice.
Rather than offering an entire master's degree program in human rights, some schools may have a human rights specialization track for those studying history, anthropology or political science. Some institutions offer dual degree programs that combine this type of master's degree program with a Master of Social Work (MSW), a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Educational Prerequisites
A bachelor's degree typically is required. Schools will also want to see copies of official transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate work. Also, international students will have to show they are proficient in English, typically by passing a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.
Program Coursework
Topics explored in a human rights master's degree program include gender, race and other social issues, such as war, poverty, domestic violence and environmental ethics. Some programs involve an internship and most include a thesis or applied project. Common class subjects include these:

Human rights and the law
Social problems
Grant writing for human rights organizations
International development and human rights
Fundraising for human rights organizations

Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Those who successfully complete this type of master's degree program may be able to work as researchers or administrators of government or private organizations relating to human rights. These organizations can include economic development agencies, community development organizations or international relief agencies.
Administrative workers in advocacy, grant-making and civic organizations earned median salaries of between $33 and $47 an hour in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Job growth in this area was predicted to increase by 14% from 2008 to 2018, according to the BLS.
Also, those with master's degrees in human rights may be able to secure jobs in teaching, either for public or private institutions. Depending on the state law for teacher licensing, additional education or certification may be required.
Continuing Education
Individuals with a strong interest in human rights and the law may want to pursue law degree perform legal work in human rights and international issues. Those with an interest in pursuing doctoral programs may consider related fields such as anthropology, political science and history.
A human rights master's program prepares you to study a wide variety of human rights issues from a global and interdisciplinary perspective, such as theory, foreign policy, and economic development. You may have the opportunity to take related classes in other departments, including sociology, religion, and political science. Programs may allow you to participate in a variety of human rights research projects and attend guest lectures and conferences.
Pros and Cons

Learn research methodologies that can prove useful in certain careers or a PhD program
Interdisciplinary curriculum provides flexibility in your career paths
May be able to choose concentration or electives that develop expertise in a particular area


Working for an organization that helps people who are suffering can be emotionally stressful
You may need to complete an internship as well as a master's thesis to graduate
Career options may be limited to the non-profit and public sectors

Courses and Requirements
Master's programs typically include a number of core classes that all students must take. You can customize the remaining portion of your program by choosing a concentration or electives that are relevant to your career goals. Possible courses may include:

Introduction to human rights
International law and human rights
International organizations and human rights
Research methods
Global poverty and human rights

Additionally, you usually complete a thesis and/or a project that pertains to a particular human rights issue of your choosing. Some type of fieldwork may also be required in order to gain professional experience.
Online Course Info
Although no online master's programs in human rights are currently offered, some independent organizations offer relevant courses that may count toward continuing education credit. Some organizations may award certificates after completion of the classes, and some classes are free while others require payment.
Getting Ahead with this Degree
Acquiring fluency in at least 1 foreign language can help you get ahead, especially if you plan to work for an international non-profit organization. Additionally, because human rights is a versatile field, learning about related fields, such as journalism, education and grant writing, can make you more marketable. You can also become active in various human rights advocacy groups.
Alternative Degrees
If you're goal is to help people suffering from various mental or emotional problems, you may benefit from earning a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Clinical social workers must have this degree in order to diagnose and treat clients with mental and emotional issues. In an MSW program, you typically spend 2 years studying a specific specialty and learning to evaluate patients, manage multiple clients and supervise staffs. You can expect to earn a significant amount clinical training hours throughout the course of the program.

You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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