Human Rights Studies M.A.


Columbia University has a unique international reputation earned through decades of highly respected training of human rights professionals, output of powerful and innovative research by faculty, and a commitment to the interdisciplinary study of human rights.

The Human Rights Studies M.A. is an interdisciplinary program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) that focuses on the academic study of human rights theory and practice. The program was established in 1998 under the umbrella of the Liberal Studies M.A. program and was transferred to the Institute for the Study of Human Rights in 2011.

As an interdisciplinary program, students take courses offered by ISHR as well as human rights courses offered by other departments and schools at Columbia University. The 30-credit degree program can be completed part-time or full-time and requires the completion of an M.A. thesis. Detailed information about the degree structure can be found under the degree requirements page of this website.

Students interested in applying to the program can find more information about the program on the prospective students page.

Detailed information regarding the application requirements and deadlines for the program are available here.

Questions regarding the online application and admissions process should be directed to the GSAS Office of Admissions by emailing