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Now you can get a Master’s in Human Rights at Catholic University

J-P Mauro - published on 01/30/20

Pontifical university creates the first program of its kind.

In the fall of 2019, The Catholic University of America is rolling out a new graduate program in which students can earn a Master’s degree in Human Rights. The course load is unique in that it is the first such program to approach the subject from a Catholic perspective. CUA is now accepting applications for enrollment for the Fall 2020 semester.

Although the degree is offered through CUA’s Institute for Human Ecology (IHE), it is a mult-disciplinary program that takes students through classes in philosophy, law, canon law, and theology and religious studies. While these classes are offered through the many specialized schools of the university, the degrees are issued through the school of Arts and Sciences.

According to the CUA website, the course requires 30 hours of classes and a “capstone course” that will link together the course of study found in previous courses. Students will complete a research paper to complete this final course, and will be expected to “contribute to the building of a culture of human rights that advances the good of the human person in community.” In order to graduate it is required to maintain at least a B average.

A graduate from CUA’s new program will learn of the international legal structure of human rights and understand the Catholic anthropology of the human person. They will be able to analyze a given scenario to accurately determine if human rights have been infringed upon, and they will understand the similarities between human rights concepts and Catholic social thought.

Once the course is completed, CUA offers career services which can help place graduates in meaningful jobs in the field of human rights defense. The program’s location in Washington, D.C., offers unparalleled opportunities for employment in businesses, foundations, aid agencies, science and technology centers, think tanks, charities, research institutes, cultural organizations, and policy advocates.

Interested parties can find more information, as well as a run through of specific classes included in the program, at CUA’s website. Or for answers to specific questions they can contact the Program Director, William Saunders, at

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