Minor - Human Rights

John Carlos Statues SJSU 

The Minor in Human Rights is a multidisciplinary, 15-unit minor at San José State University. Students in the Human Rights Minor have the opportunity to explore the history and structure of formal human rights and international law, study historical and contemporary human rights struggles, meet and work with Bay Area human rights organizations, and gain experience in a seminar capstone symposium course.

Students who are interested in careers or scholarship (graduate or professional school) related to international law, international relations, policy studies, human rights advocacy, human rights reporting, forensic reporting on war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, community organizing, social movement networks, or social problems will likely find the minor fulfilling.

Our faculty in the Department of Justice Studies hold advanced degrees in Law; Jurisprudence and Social Policy; Law, Policy, and Society; Justice Studies; Political Science; Criminology, Law, and Justice; Journalism; Sociology; and Criminology. Faculty in other departments contributing courses to the curriculum hold degrees in fields ranging from Anthropology, to Economics, to Social Work, and more.


Curriculum Requirements (15 units)

  • JS 025: Introduction to Human Rights and Justice
    (3 units; GE Area D3)

  • JS 171: Human Rights and Justice (3 units; SJSU Studies Area V)
    SOCI 118: Sociology of Human Rights and Social Justice 

  • Choose 2 substantive electives (6 units)
    For a complete course list, please see the Human Rights Minor Form.

  • JS 179: Human Rights Practicum and Seminar
    (3 units; prerequisite courses: JS 025 and any 100W)


Required Lower Division Coursework

Students must have completed their lower division coursework to enroll in many of the courses in the minor. There may also be prerequisites that must be taken before students will be able to enroll in substantive elective courses.


Advantages to the Human Rights Minor

Students will receive the highest quality instruction across disciplines in the Colleges of Applied Sciences and Arts, Business, Humanities and the Arts, Science, and/or Social Sciences.

The courses within the Human Rights Minor may overlap with major course requirements, reducing time to completion. Many of the Minor courses also fulfill SJSU Studies Course Requirements (Area R, S, and V).  Proper planning and advising will ensure that students graduate when intended.

Students will receive exposure to Bay Area human rights organizations though the capstone (JS 179) course.

Students interested in the minor should register for JS 025, complete their lower division coursework, and complete their major's 100W requirement. Apply for acceptance into the minor as soon as you know you're interested by submitting SJSU's "Change of Major/Minor Request" form to the Human Rights Coordinator, the Legal Studies Coordniator, or another Justice Studies advisor

When it is time to graduate, you may complete the Human Rights Minor Form and take it with your transcripts to see the Human Rights Coordinator, the Legal Studies Coordinator, or another Justice Studies advisor during their office hours.


Contact Information

The Human Rights Cordinator, Dr. Sambuddha Ghatak, is the Department of Justice Studies' designee to lead advising for the minor. If you are interested in declaring a Human Rights Minor or if you have additional questions, feel free to contact him.