Students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights are expected to attend weekly dinners in their sophomore spring and junior fall, unless they have a conflict with a prior and inflexible commitment. In their sophomore spring, students are required to attend three events sponsored by the Schell Center and write short reflections on these events, to be submitted by the end of the semester. In the rest of their time in the Program, students are required to write and submit one event reflection each semester. Juniors and seniors should send their event reflection to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two weeks after the event took place.
More information about weekly dinners and other non-academic aspects of the Human Rights Program can be found under the Student Life tab.
There are six required courses in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights: a gateway lecture course, four electives, and a senior colloquium. In their senior year, Scholars complete a capstone project informed by their coursework, extracurricular activities, and summer internships or research.
HMRT 100/PLSC 148 “Human Rights Theory and Politics,” offered each spring, introduces students to the core ideas, issues, practices, and controversies regarding human rights. In doing so, its objective is to map the complex terrain that human rights and their study occupy, rather than (merely) to justify the concept’s existence.
Human Rights Scholars are required to take the course in spring of their sophomore year, unless they are studying abroad or receive permission from the Program Director for other extenuating circumstances.
Each Human Rights Scholar will undertake a capstone project in the fall of senior year, to be informed by the student’s extracurricular experience and developed in consultation with the Program Director. In order to complete the project, scholars will enroll in a weekly seminar (HMRT 400, ‘Advanced Human Rights Colloquium’) in which they will receive guidance from the Program Director, share progress reports, and provide each other with feedback.
Please note that University policy requires that all student research projects involving human subjects be reviewed by an institutional review board (IRB) prior to the start of the study, to ensure that the project meets University requirements and any applicable regulations.
Marwan Safar Jalani ’20 presents his Capstone Project, which analyzed the intentional use of sectarianism by the Syrian government to inflame conflict and solidify power.
Each Human Rights Scholar is required to take four electives, drawn from existing Yale courses. Each Scholar’s elective courses should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of human rights study, including a diversity of perspectives and methodologies across departments and disciplines. For example, Scholars are encouraged to select courses that explore different geographic or thematic areas and that introduce them to both theoretical and practical concerns. Our formal criterion for a Program elective is that a course “engage with the language, ideas, and methods of human rights.” We ask that you distinguish this from courses that address issues that affect people’s human rights, would be susceptible to a human rights analysis, or would simply be useful for understanding a human rights issue in which you are interested. Rather, with the Program’s goal of enabling a coherent study of human rights and with only four electives required, we expect your electives to focus on courses that will engage directly with and enhance your knowledge of and facility with the concepts, institutions, and development of human rights discourse.
Remember, you may count a maximum of two courses from your major as electives. Scholars who are double majoring may count three courses (two courses from one major and one course from the other). Please note that only courses taken following the student’s admission to the Program will satisfy the elective requirement.
In your sophomore spring semester of the Program, you must attend three Schell Center-sponsored events and write a 500-750-word reflection paper on each of these events. In each subsequent semester during your junior and senior years, you must submit an event reflection paper for one Schell Center-sponsored event. Please send your reflection essay as an attachment to email@example.com (cc’ing Maddy) with the subject “Last Name – Reflection – Event Title” within one week of having attended the event (for sophomores) or by the end of classes (for juniors and seniors).
Further guidance is available on the Event Reflection form, which you should use when submitting your reflection paper.