Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration

Imagining and applying strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world

Catalog Year: 2022-2023


Green Leaf

The MAIS in interdisciplinary studies is for students who seek a master's degree that integrates knowledge from several disciplines. It addresses the rapidly evolving demand for unique graduate study by promoting advanced scholarship that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students can pursue one of the following structured interdisciplinary concentrations and also have the opportunity to design an individualized concentration to meet the special needs of their careers.

The MAIS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Energy and Sustainability is a Green Leaf program

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate coursework in a concentration. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their concentration head and the director. All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis.

Concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR)

The social justice and human rights concentration is designed to cultivate a deep theoretical understanding of the social, political, cultural, historical, and economic implications of a wide array of social injustices and human rights issues. Students are engaged in the applied process of imagining and actualizing holistic and complex strategies for creating and sustaining a more equitable, just, and humane world.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 696 MAIS ProSeminar 1
Total Credits 1

Core Courses

Foundational Course  
INTS 540 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice Human Rights 3
Social Justice and Human Rights Courses  
INTS 537 Critical Race Studies 3
Choose one of the following: 3
Queer Theory  
Feminist Theories  
Social Justice and Human Rights Issues and Movements  
Select one course from the following: 3
Social Justice and Equity in International Education  
Access and Social Justice  
Representations of Race  
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives  
Gender, Sexuality, and Disability  
Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights  
other relevant course chosen in consultation with the concentration head
Total Credits 12

Emphasis Courses

Select 6 credits of courses with an emphasis on a specific social justice or human rights issue or context or a specific region, chosen in consultation with the concentration head. The theme of the emphasis courses should be reflected in the student's experiential learning project. 1 6
Total Credits 6

Experiential Learning

Students will seek out and/or create an opportunity for experiential learning that deepens their understanding of social justice and/or human rights. Experiential learning opportunities can include internships, service-learning, consulting projects, and field studies or research (including overseas). The experiential learning requirement should be met through an opportunity that advances the student's understanding of their chosen emphasis. Because the intention is to develop and apply newly acquired skills, students may not use work done previously or their current employment to fulfill this requirement. All experiential learning projects must be approved by the social justice and human rights concentration head in the semester before registering for the course. Students may register for an individualized section of MAIS 695 Experiential Learning or another graduate-level internship or practicum course to fulfill this requirement.

MAIS 695 Experiential Learning 3
Total Credits 3


Students complete 6 or 9 elective credits from the following or other relevant courses chosen in consultation with the concentration head. Students who do a project for the capstone will complete 9 credits. Students who do a thesis for their capstone will complete 6 credits. 6-9
Culture, Power, and Conflict  
Intercultural Communication  
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns  
Special Topics in Communication 1  
Diversity and Difference in Conflict Analysis and Resolution  
Principles of Environmental Conflict Resolution  
Peace Studies  
Gender and Violence  
Identity and Conflict  
Ethnic and Cultural Factors in Conflict Resolution  
Conflict and Race  
Conflict and Gender  
Human Rights Theory and Practice in Comparative Perspective  
Structural Sources of Conflict  
Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners  
Education and Culture  
Advanced Topics in Education 2  
The Achievement Gap  
School Reform in the United States: Politics and Policies  
Neighborhood, Community, Education Policy  
Social Justice and Equity in International Education  
Seminar in Multicultural Education  
Special Topics in the History and Criticism of Children's Literature 3  
Human Dimensions of Climate Change  
Cultural Pluralism in Higher Education  
Access and Social Justice  
Special Topics in Higher Education 4  
Problems in American History 5  
Representations of Race  
Experiential Learning 6  
NUTR 594
Special Topics in Nutrition and Food Studies 7  
Environmental Ethics  
PUAD 642
Environmental Policy  
PUAD 649
Advocacy and Lobbying  
Social Institutions and Public Policy  
Human Smuggling and Trafficking  
Islam and Human Rights  
Racial and Ethnic Relations: American and Selected Global Perspectives  
International Migration in the Age of Globalization  
Special Topics in Sociology 8  
Social Networks, New Media, and Inequality  
Institutions and Inequalities  
Sociology of Human Rights  
Influencing Social Policy  
Social Policy for Children and Youth  
Global Human Rights Policy  
Empowering Communities for Change  
Gender, Sexuality, and Disability  
Transnational Sexualities  
Sexuality, Race, and Immigration  
Policing Black Bodies  
Current Topics in Women and Gender Studies 9  
Special Topics 10  
Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights  
Feminist Theories  
Transnational Issues of Gender and Race  
Total Credits 6-9

Research Methods Course

Select one course from the following 3
Interdisciplinary Research Methods  
Research Methods in Higher Education  
Research for Social Change  
Feminist Research Methods  
Feminist Research Practice  
Other relevant course in consultation with an advisor


MAIS 797 Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal 1
Total Credits 1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following: 1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 1 credit)  
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)  
Total Credits 1-4


Philosophy, MA and Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS Dual Degree

Students interested in pursuing a dual master's program linking philosophy and another discipline should discuss their interest with the graduate program directors of both programs and review the university policies regarding Individualized Dual Master's Degree Programs. Students approved to pursue dual master's study linking the MA philosophy degree and the Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS with a concentration in women and gender studies will complete WMST 630 Feminist Theories across the Disciplines/PHIL 658 Feminist Theory and 3 additional credits of WMST courses approved by the Department of Philosophy to apply to the philosophy degree as elective credit. Six credits of approved PHIL credits will apply to the MAIS degree as elective credit. Application to the second master's program should be pursued with consultation of the directors of both programs. Admission to the second master's program will require that the student has met the minimum prerequisites for admission to the second program. If a student lacks the minimum prerequisites and seeks to be admitted to a second master's program, the director of the second program may identify ways in which the prerequisite can be completed prior to admission.