The MA in Social Justice and Human Rights (SJHR) in ASU's New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences provides a theoretically and methodologically rigorous program offering opportunities for skill specialization in research and/or in the management of advocacy-oriented organizations in the non-governmental sector, both domestically and transnationally. The Social Justice & Human Rights degree program offers justice and human rights approaches to specific issues such as health, education, labor, migration, child and family issues, and the environment. These issues will be approached in a context influenced by the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, location, and/or nationality.
Students may choose a career-oriented concentration in NGO Management or Research.
Social Justice and Human Rights Research Track. This track will prepare students for careers requiring research skills in governmental agencies and non-governmental agencies, as well as preparing them for doctoral programs in the social sciences and law. Students will not only be exposed to the most recent substantive research literature in social justice and human rights, they will also gain an advanced facility in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. Students will be required to apply their methods skills throughout their coursework, including in their internships, community-embedded seminars, and capstone experiences.
NGO Management Track. This track brings together training in the substantive area of social justice and human rights with intensive practical training in non-profit management that will prepare graduates for leadership positions in the rapidly growing NGO sector. Often NGO Coordinators are passionate about social justice and human rights, but they lack essential management skills. NGO Management track students will be required to take two courses in non-profit management such as Fiscal Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Program Evaluation and Information Management, and Leadership and Ethics in the Nonprofit Sector.
Unique Features of the Program
The Social Justice & Human Rights degree program is based on an innovative learner-centered curriculum that emphasizes team-taught, problem-based, and community-embedded seminars, as well as professional internships. Three distinct features of this program include:
Innovative, Learner-Centered Curriculum: Students will benefit from an innovative curriculum focused on engaging the community and working with faculty on interdisciplinary research. Such a curriculum not only brings university expertise to real-world community problems, but it also creates engaged interdisciplinary research teams of faculty and graduate students tied together by a common social concern. The curriculum will also be enhanced by the infusion of virtual lectures via videoconferencing from scholars, attorneys, activists, government officials, and others from around the world.
Problem-Based and Community-Embedded Seminars: An integral and innovative part of the curriculum are team-taught interdisciplinary seminars that examine current problems in social justice from several different theoretical and analytical viewpoints. For example, problem-based seminars will devote the entire seminar to a specific community issue such as the migrant deaths in Arizona or the murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. These courses will be taught by faculty who will each address the issue from their area of expertise (social movements, international law, activism, etc.). Community-embedded seminars will require students to be placed in local agencies dealing with that issue during the semester. For example, in a community-embedded seminar on children’s rights, students could work with the International Rescue Committee, the Florence Project for Immigration and Refugee Rights, Foster Angels of Arizona, Foster Care Review Board, and/or CPS. Such a placement would bring much-needed applied knowledge to the seminar classroom and also benefit the community.
Grant Writing and Development for Social Justice: Due to the present indispensability of these skills for both researchers and those employed in NGOs, all students in this program are required to successfully complete a course in grant writing and development usually in their second year. Experts in grant-writing, such as program officers from national funding agencies and major private donors, can be brought in as guest-lecturers to provide invaluable practical instruction. By taking this course in their second year, students will be prepared with the requisite research and/or management skills to write successful proposals.
Ready to begin? Contact SJHR to learn more about the Social Justice & Human Rights Degree (M.A.)