Human Rights Studies Minor

UNC Asheville’s Human Rights Studies minor was created to provide a course of study fostering critical and creative thinking, and comprehensive knowledge about human rights locally, nationally, and internationally. The Human Rights Studies program is administered by the Political Science department and draws content, methods and skills from across the disciplines.

The program highlights the philosophical and political tensions inherent in human rights discourse and action, and also promotes unique student opportunities for undergraduate research and engaged scholarship in human rights, helpful to careers in areas such as public policy and administration, education, human services, humanitarian aid, business, journalism, law, criminal justice and law enforcement.

Coursework in Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, History, Literature, Philosophy, and a variety of interdisciplinary programs is incorporated to help elucidate and explain how various human rights concepts have emerged, evolved, been codified and implemented (often selectively and incompletely).


Dignity is UNC’s premier undergraduate human rights journal. The student-run publication was founded at UNC Asheville in 2020, and invites the active participation of students and faculty across the UNC system as reviewers, editors, and contributors. Please direct any questions or concerns to

Human Rights Studies Minor Requirements

Gateway Courses

One course from:

  • HRST 201: Perspectives on Human Rights (3-4)
  • INTS 214/PHIL 214: Philosophy of Human Rights (4)
  • POLS 388: Human Rights and International Politics (4)


14-15 elective hours from course offerings in:

Human Rights in Global Perspective
AFST 334: Global Leadership and International Service (4)
AFST 364: Africa in the Global Context (4)
AIIS 200: Introduction to American Indian and Indigenous Studies (4)
AIIS 205: Issues, Ideas and Identity in Contemporary Native America (4)
ASIA 334/INTS 334: Nation-Building, Identity and Diversity in South Asia (4)
ETHN 100: Introduction to U.S. Ethnic Studies (4)
HIST 389: The Modern Middle East (4)
LIT 328: Ethnic Literatures (4)
PHIL 323: Philosophy of Third World Feminism (4)
PHIL 304: Social and Political Philosophy (4)
PHIL 305: Philosophy of Law (4)
PHIL 315/RELS 315: Islamic Philosophy (4)
POLS 320: Challenges to American Democracy (4)
POLS 344: Black Political Thought (4)
POLS 362: African Politics (4)
POLS 389: International Law (3)
SOC 320: Sociology of Race (4)

Human Rights of Marginalized Populations
ANTH 339: Intersections of Gender in the Americas (4)
ANTH 350: Body, Disability and Culture (4)
ANTH 357: Disrupted Lives: The Anthropology of Social Suffering (4)
LIT 346: Readings in Gender and Sexuality (4)
PHIL 321: Philosophy of Disability (4)
PHIL 365/SOC 380/WGSS 365: Feminist Theory (4)
PHIL 202: Philosophy of Sex and Gender (4)
POLS 348: Women and Politics (4)
SOC 220: Juvenile Delinquency (4)
SOC 390: Queer Sociology (4)
WGSS 100: Introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (4)

Civil and Political Rights
AFST 433: Politics of War in Africa (4)
HIST 301: Women in United States History: 1865 to the Present (4)
HIST 302: African American History: 1865 to the Present (4)
HIST 307: Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement (4)
HIST 331: Race, Nations and Genocide (4)
POLS 311: Politics of Violence (4)
POLS 330: Individual Rights and Civil Liberties (3)
POLS 331: Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy (3)
POLS 343: Politics of the Civil Rights Era (4)
POLS 368: Latin American Politics (4)
POLS 387: International Organizations (4)
PSYC 343: Psychology and Law (4)
SOC 200: Criminology (4)
SOC 480: Sociology of Law (4)

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
ASIA 364/INTS 364: Gender and Development in South Asia (4)
ECON 242: Economics of Food (3)
ECON 314: Economic Growth and Development (3)
ECON 337: Environmental Economics and Policy (3)
ENVR 324: Environmental Ethics (3)
ENVR 332: Environmental Management (3)
INTS 364: Gender and Development in South Asia (ASIA 364) (4)
POLS 325: Urban Politics (4)
POLS 337: ReStorying Community (4)
POLS 353: Politics and Social Welfare Policy (4)
POLS 357: Civic Engagement in Community (4)
POLS 363: The Political Economy of Development (4)
SOC 312: Society, Culture and Poverty (4)
SOC 387: Gender, Globalization, and Development (4)

Total of 18 credit hours

Students  declaring the minor will be required to consult with the director to ensure that the courses selected display a significant degree of coherence and coverage. Students are encouraged to include a human rights-related undergraduate research project, community-engaged scholarship project, internship,  and/or study abroad experience, approved by the director of the Human Rights Studies minor, as part of their program of study.

For questions, contact Program Director Dr. Peter Haschke (