Major/Minor Degree Info
The Human Rights Major
SMU is the first university in the South, and only the fifth in the country, to offer an academic major in human rights. Approved September 9, 2011 by the SMU Board of Trustees, the Bachelor of Arts in human rights degree comes five years after creation of the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU.
Requirements for the B.A. Degree
The Human Rights major consists of thirty hours of coursework, a second major or a minor and at least eleven hours in any one foreign language. At least twelve hours in addition to the core courses must be taken at the advanced level (3000 or above).
Core Courses (12 hours)
Human Rights Track (9 hours)
Three courses from either the Gender and Human Rights Track or the Public Policy and Human Rights
Track. [A student must take courses from at least two departments within the chosen track to fulfill this
Electives (9 hours)
Three elective courses from the Approved Elective List (or other courses as approved by the Director). These
must include courses from at least two departments and at least one advanced level course.
Second Major or a Minor in a related Field
Given the interdisciplinary nature of the study of Human Rights, students are required to take a second major
or minor in a related field.
Students must successfully complete at least eleven hours in any one foreign language or demonstrate
proficiency through testing or other approved means.
Requirements for the Minor
A Human Rights minor consists of a minimum of eighteen hours of coursework. HRTS 3301/HIST 3301 Human Rights: American's Dilemma is required. The remaining fifteen hours must been taken from the Approval Elective List; nine hours of these must be at the advanced level (3000 or above). In addition to HRTS/HIST 3301, no more than two courses from any one department may be taken as electives unless pre-approval is given by the Director.
The minor also requires a commitment of students' effort, time and talent in defense of or in advocacy for human rights. Students will complete either a twenty-hour sevice-learning placement with a human rights community-based agency (as a component of HRTS/HIST 3301) or will receive independent credit (HIST 4398, 4399) by participating in an Embrey Human Rights Program sponsored journey to a location where recent human rights violations have occurred or are occurring (e.g., Cambodia, Rwanda, Poland, Argentina, the U.S.-Mexico border) and completing a research paper on a human rights topic related to the site.