Social Justice & Human Rights, M.A. - Advising

We are here to help!  E-mail ncgradadvising@asu.edu with questions related to policies and procedures to help you navigate graduate school successfully. 

 Many of your questions may be answered by the information contained on this website.  Please be sure to review the information on this site and in the MA Social Justice & Human Rights handbook carefully. 

Make an Appointment

 Finding your faculty advisor:  

Your faculty advisor plays an important role in supporting your success in graduate school. Each enrolled student is assigned an interim faculty advisor to help them get started in the program. Your interim advisor may or may not become your official advisor/committee chair as listed in your iPOS, but they should help you identify your goals, connect you with resources, and network with other faculty. Advisors and students should both be proactive in communicating and holding regular meetings. 

Our Faculty:

Core Faculty:  

  • SJHR core faculty hold tenure-line positions in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NCIAS. They teach the majority of required and elective courses for the MA SJHR program, advise students, serve on committees, and do other supportive work for the program. 

Tricia Redeker-Hepner, MA Program Director 

Heather Smith-Cannoy, BA Program Director  

Associated Faculty:  

  • SJHR associate faculty are  tenure-line or non-tenure line faculty in SBS or in other Schools and programs. Their courses may satisfy JHR required or elective credit, and they may serve on student committees and occasionally as advisers. 

Dr Barbara Klimek, Social Work, Downtown Campus.  

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Career Paths

Students who earn a Master’s Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights may pursue many different kinds of careers, as well as postgraduate study in a variety of fields. For example, students who excel in research will find that the MA SJHR program is excellent preparation for application to doctoral study in the social sciences (especially Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology), interdisciplinary degree programs (Human Rights, Justice Studies), to law school (JD, LLM), or advanced degree programs in social work, psychology/counseling, education, public health, communications, environmental studies, journalism, and more. Our graduates also use their MA degrees as preparation for a variety of applied fields, such as careers in the non-profit and advocacy sectors, in government, with humanitarian agencies, in the field of policy development and implementation, and in media and the arts. 

What have alumni gone on to do? 

 Whitney Meilan Yang graduated from the Social Justice and Human Rights program in 2019. Upon graduating, she went to work for the US Human Rights Network where she was Communications Director and later led all programming for the organization. Whitney recently left the US Human Rights Network in search of more balance in her life. She currently works as a consultant for various social justice clients including #FreeBillieAllenCampaign, Puente Human Rights Movement (social justice & human rights), and the Jordan Davis Foundation (youth/gun violence).  

Griselda Rivera identifies as a post-traditional college student and earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science (2016), her Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights, and a certificate in Women and Gender Studies (2019) from the Arizona State University West campus. After her Master’s, Griselda became a Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association LSAT Pipeline Fellow in the summer of 2019. Griselda took the LSAT in September of 2019 and began volunteering her time with The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Griselda now serves as the program director for MALDEF and continues to pursue her goal of being admitted into law school to further her passion and involvement for the rights of those less fortunate.  

Orientation PowerPoint 

For new students, access orientation information by downloading the Orientation powerpoint. 

Next Steps Checklist

Letter from the Director: 

Welcome to the MA program in Social Justice and Human Rights (MA SJHR)! It has never been a more important time to study and engage with these urgent issues at home and abroad. As a graduate student in the program, you are embarking on a remarkable journey characterized by intellectual, professional and personal development. Each of you brings valuable knowledge, experience, and perspectives to the table. We strive to create a supportive environment where all are welcomed and valued as members of our academic and social community. 

From labor and migration to education and the environment, MA SJHR students explore key topics and the legal, political, historical, and cultural frameworks that contextualize them. In theoretically and methodologically rigorous courses taught by experienced faculty from various disciplines, students develop understanding of how social justice and human rights issues are defined by multiple and intersecting forms of inequality and social identity, including gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nationality. 

One hallmark of the program is a required internship that may be completed domestically or internationally. Interns typically work alongside other researchers and advocates for social justice to grasp the complexities facing people such as refugees, migrants, workers, and survivors of violence or human trafficking and hone their abilities to work effectively with them in research and/or advocacy contexts. Internships typically form the basis of the Culminating Experience: a traditional MA thesis or an applied project. 

There are currently three tracks from which students can select. The research track prepares students for positions as researchers, analysts and advocates in academic or applied settings. The advocacy track prepares students to be leaders in nonprofit, social movement, governmental and intergovernmental organizations. The critical trauma studies and social work track prepares students for careers involving direct humanitarian assistance to victims and survivors of human rights violations or social injustice. Graduates are also prepared to enter PhD programs. 

As Director, my role is to continually improve the quality and relevance of the MA SJHR program. I aim to support students in their academic training, help connect them with faculty whose courses and expertise align with their interests and goals, foster faculty-student mentorship, and expand opportunities for meaningful, career-shaping experiences. Please feel free to reach out to me, stop by my office hours, or make an appointment. I am here for you. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Tricia Redeker Hepner 
Director, MA Social Justice & Human Rights Tricia.M.Redeker-Hepner@asu.edu 

 

Link to student handbook: 

 

 

Plan of Study 

The Plan of Study (iPOS) functions as a contract between the student, the academic unit, and Graduate College. Students must submit their iPOS by the time they have enrolled for 50 percent of the minimum credit hours required for their degree program.  

As an MASJHR student, the iPOS must contain the following degree requirements and list two faculty advisors: 

Degree Requirements 

33 credit hours and a thesis, or  
33 credit hours including the required applied project course (JHR 593) 

Required Core (15 credit hours) 

JHR 501 Proseminar in Social Justice and Human Rights (3) 
JHR 506 Grant Writing and Development for Social Justice and Human Rights (3) 
JHR 510 Problem-Based Seminar in Social Justice and Human Rights (3) 
JHR 525 Action Research in Social Justice and Human Rights (3) 
JHR 584 Internship (3) 

Track (6 credit hours) 
Electives (3-6 credit hours) 
Research (3 credit hours) 
JHR 500 Research (3) 

Culminating Experience (3-6 credit hours) 
JHR 593 Applied Project (3) or 
JHR 599 Thesis (6) 

Additional Curriculum Information
This program has three tracks: social justice and human rights research, social justice and human rights advocacy, and critical trauma studies and social work. Students select one of the three tracks and select courses for the track and electives requirements in consultation with faculty. 

Students completing an applied project for their culminating experience select an additional electives course for three credit hours to meet the program's 33 credit hour requirement. 

Track Options: 

The structure of the MA SJHR campus immersion program includes three tracks: Research, Advocacy, and Critical Trauma Studies/Social Work. Students choose their track upon application, but may change it at any point in their program of study. Most students who choose the Research track are aiming for doctoral programs or research-intensive careers, and likely choose the Thesis option for their Culminating Experience. Students in the Advocacy track tend to emphasize applied career goals, such as with non-profit agencies or government, and typically choose the Applied Project for their Culminating Experience. Critical Trauma Studies Prepares students for positions working with survivors of trauma through counseling, social work, trauma interventions, refugee and migrant resettlement, health care, and legal assistance. Critical Trauma Studies students may represent either research or applied orientations. Students in all three tracks take the same required/core courses. Faculty advisers should help students identify which track, courses, and Culminating Experience are most appropriate for their goals and interests.  

Individualized Instruction: 

Advanced students in the MASJHR program with specialized and well-developed topics may choose to take JHR 580; Practicum, JHR 590: Reading and Conference, or JHR 592:Research as an individualized instruction course, working with a faculty member independently. Please refer to the MASJHR Program Handbook for additional policies. 

After consulting with the faculty member with whom you want to work, please complete the Online Individualized Instruction Form. After completing the form, it may take several days to receive the line number to register. 

Please submit the request to complete an individualized instruction course two weeks prior to the start of any academic semester. 

Culminating Experience (3-6 Credit Hours) 

Students must choose between the Applied Project or the Thesis for their Culminating Experience. There is no required relationship between tracks and Culminating Experiences, but students should make a decision on their Culminating Experience early on in their graduate training, in consultation with their faculty advisor and/or the Program Director. There is also no necessary relationship between a student’s internship and the Thesis or Applied Project, although certainly the internship experience may relate to the  Culminating Experience. For example, a student may complete an internship at a local organization and then design a thesis or applied project that builds on it. Students should note that all projects involving research with human subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board . Please consult the SJHR Handbook for information on requirements associated with the Thesis option. 

Track Options: 

The structure of the MA SJHR campus immersion program includes three tracks: Research, Advocacy, and Critical Trauma Studies/Social Work. Students choose their track upon application, but may change it at any point in their program of study. Most students who choose the Research track are aiming for doctoral programs or research-intensive careers, and likely choose the Thesis option for their Culminating Experience. Students in the Advocacy track tend to emphasize applied career goals, such as with non-profit agencies or government, and typically choose the Applied Project for their Culminating Experience. Critical Trauma Studies Prepares students for positions working with survivors of trauma through counseling, social work, trauma interventions, refugee and migrant resettlement, health care, and legal assistance. Critical Trauma Studies students may represent either research or applied orientations. Students in all three tracks take the same required/core courses. Faculty advisers should help students identify which track, courses, and Culminating Experience are most appropriate for their goals and interests.  

JHR 593 Applied Project (3 Credit Hours) 

The Applied Project represents an integration and application of theory, research, and practice on a specific topic, problem, event, or issue. Applied Projects can take a variety of forms, from short films or curricular design and implementation, to needs assessments and policy recommendations rooted in evidence-based analysis. However, there must also be a written paper component to the project, and all Applied Projects require elements similar to a thesis (e.g. articulation of a problem or question, literature review, etc). Applied Projects must be designed and carried out within the expectations of a one-semester 3-credit course, under the guidance of the faculty advisor, but may also require more time for research and preparation in advance. In addition to the faculty advisor as the primary evaluator, students must secure a second reader for their Applied Project, and are encouraged to hold a final presentation. Please consult the SJHR Handbook for more extensive information about the Applied Project.  

JHR 599 Thesis (6 Credit Hours) 

A thesis is a formal research undertaking, anchored by an intellectually significant question or a problem, and consists of an appropriate methodological design for answering the question through original data collection and/or academic engagement with theoretical debates and literature. A thesis requires a proposal, developed in close consultation with the student’s faculty advisor; a committee of three faculty (a chair and two members); and a formal presentation or defense. Theses are subject to deadlines and formatting requirements set by the Graduate College and students must proactively identify and conform to these rules. Theses are also published by ProQuest and accessible via the library database. 

Applied Project or Thesis Proposal Registration 

In the semester prior to beginning Applied Project or Thesis, students must submit an applied project/thesis proposal, which must be approved by the entire committee, as well as the Program Director. 

To be eligible for enroll in JHR 593 Applied Project or JHR 599 Thesis, a student must: 

  • Have an up-to-date and approved iPOS on file; 

  • Have completed the Core Course Requirements of 18 credit hours (JHR 500, JHR 501, JHR 506, JHR 510, JHR 525, and JHR 584) 

  • Complete the online SJHR Proposal Registration Form BEFORE the deadline 

  • Accept invitation to enter the Canvas JHR Thesis/Applied Project Proposal course (the Canvas invite will be sent upon completion of above SJHR Proposal registration form) 

  • Submit a completed JHR Thesis/Applied Project Proposal to the Canvas course before the deadline  

Deadline to register for AND to submit the proposal is 2 weeks prior to the start of the Thesis or Applied Project semester.  

 

Graduate Mentoring Information  

What is an SJHR Graduate Mentor?  

SJHR Graduate Mentors are returning MA SJHR students who volunteer to help their peers navigate ASU, the Program, and grad school in general. SJHR Graduate Mentors are also willing to help BA JHR students who are considering graduate studies. 

Who can be an SJHR Graduate Mentor?  

Current MA SJHR students in good academic standing, who have successfully completed at least one year in the Program, can become Mentors.  

What kind of commitment am I making?  

As an SJHR Graduate Mentor, you are committing to making yourself available to your peers (especially new students), and/or to JHR undergrads, to answer their questions, encourage their success, and help build our community. You must be able to respond to emails in a timely fashion and be open and available to others. We ask that you commit to at least one full semester. Additional training and preparation will be offered for those who sign up to become SJHR Graduate Mentors.  

Why should I consider serving as an SJHR Graduate Mentor?  

Mentoring experiences contribute to your own skills and development, helping you excel in graduate school and beyond. Peer mentoring helps create and sustain community and solidarity, making our program a more welcoming and supportive place for all. Serving as a mentor encourages you to build better relationships with faculty and advising staff as you find ways to help your peers. Mentoring can enhance your own academic, research, professional, and social networks. Finally, mentoring helps build your CV/resume and gives your professors more to say about you in their letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, PhD programs, award nominations, and more!  

How do I sign up and get involved?  

Visit the Advising page for MASJHR and fill in this form: https://newcollege.asu.edu/advising/sjhr-mentoring. 

For additional resources and information on peer mentoring (and other kinds of mentoring relationships in graduate school)please visit this link.  

Internships: 

There are three options to securing the required JHR 584 internship for the master’s degree.  The steps to enrolling in the internship depend on which type of internship experience you are interested in completing.  See below: 

Option 1: Travel Abroad/ Enroll in a course  

Are you interested in traveling abroad?  If so, dependent on availability, scheduling, and travel restrictions, ASU offers study abroad courses that fulfill the JHR 584 internship requirement: 

 JHR 584 Human Trafficking (Ghana)   

  • Contact Study Abroad Office and complete the application – be aware of deadlines for study abroad application 

  • Contact the instructor of the course with your intent to enroll and receive further information 

  • Once an organization has agreed to provide the internship and signed the grad studies internship packet and SPA*(if needed),  you must send completed document(s) to NCGradAdvising@asu.edu at least one month before the course begins to receive a course permission override to enroll in the class. 

  • Once the override is in place, the graduate academic advisor will email the student with the JHR 584 class line number to use to enroll for the course. 

Option 2: Securing your own internship  

Do you already know where you want to intern?   

  • Identify the semester you intend to complete the required JHR 584 internship for the master’s degree and download the graduate studies internship packet.  This can be used as a general outline of the internship requirements to provide to organizations. 

  • At least three months before that semester, meet with the graduate academic advisor.  Go to https://advising.newcollege.asu.edu to secure an advising appointment date and time that work for you. 

  • Begin contacting the organization for availability 

  • Once an organization has agreed to provide the internship and signed the grad studies internship packet and SPA*(if needed),  you must send completed document(s) to NCGradAdvising@asu.edu at least one month before the course begins to receive a course permission override to enroll in the class. 

  • Once the override is in place, the graduate academic advisor will email you with the JHR 584 class line number to use to enroll for the course. 

Option 3: Work with an organization that is already partnered with SJHR.  

Do you need assistance in finding an internship?  

  • Identify the semester you intend to complete the required JHR 584 internship for the master’s degree and download the graduate studies internship packet.  This can be used as a general outline of the internship requirements to provide to organizations. 

  • At least three months before that semester, meet with a graduate academic advisor.  Go to https://advising.newcollege.asu.edu to secure an advising appointment date and time that works for you. 

  • Begin investigating organizations to contact for the internship, 

    1. Complete the webform to receive a current list of JHR graduate partnerships 

    2. and/or contact Handshake Handshake provides a platform for employers to advertise and students to locate internships nationally. 

    3. And/or download the Community Partnerships Catalog 

  • Once an organization has agreed to provide the internship and signed the grad studies internship packet and SPA*(if needed), you must send the completed document(s) to NCGradAdvising@asu.edu at least one month before the course begins to receive a course permission override to enroll in the class. Once the override is in place, the graduate academic advisor will email you with the JHR 584 class line number to use to enroll for the course. 

*Each and every internship must have a current student placement agreement (SPA) on file before the intern can begin work with the organization.  During the required academic advisor meeting, the academic advisor will confirm if the SPA will be required for your internship.  If so, the SPA will be provided to you by the graduate academic advisor so the document can be completed with the internship organization you have secured an internship placement with. 

*Do you need more information as to how you can prepare to contact organizations?  View the presentation at https://canvas.asu.edu/enroll/CX4GEF 

 

Monthly Justice Briefings  

SJHR Justice Briefings are regularly occurring, informal brown bags for students, faculty, and invited guests affiliated with the MA Program in Social Justice and Human Rights. Justice Briefings provide opportunities to share works-in-progress, research findings, and internship or advocacy experiences in a supportive, collegial environment as we build communities of solidarity and collaboration.  

News

Theses Resources

Check out previous SJHR MA specific events! 

11/20/20 Justice Briefing  

If you are curious about how the thesis defense works, check out the schedule of graduate defenses and attend one yourself! 

Please be on the lookout for SJHR specific events that will be notified via email to all graduate students!  

 

 

Global Human Rights Hub

The Global Human Rights Hub is an interdisciplinary research initiative examining  strategies deployed by diverse actors to impact human rights.  Visit the Hub for events, working groups, publications, newsletters, and much more to stay current in all things Graduate SJHR. 
 

Poster Print Funding Form

Graduate and Professional Student Association 

 

Student Travel 

The New College may provide up to $300 to support graduate student travel to academic and professional conferences. Students may also receive up to $950 for travel from GPSA. 

Apply for Graduate College Airfare Funding 

How to Receive Your Travel Research Funds 

Program Matching Conference Travel Funds Request Form

Student suggestion box

Please feel free to submit a response here if you would like to provide us with any feedback, suggestions, comments or concerns relating to the SJHR MA program. Thank you for your participation! 

Course assistant (CA) and other graduate student positions

A limited number of Course Assistant (CA) positions are available on a semester-by-semester basis for larger enrollment courses, and may be appointed for up to 20/hours a week. Remuneration comes in the form of a stipend (no tuition remission). Students must apply for advertised positions on a semester-by-semester basis and meet all eligibility criteria to be considered. Announcements and applications will be distributed via email. Students may also contact the program director for further information.

Social Justice Student Organization

If you are interested in getting more involved, please check out our student run Social Justice club website for more information.

Graduate academic support services

UASP's academic support for graduate students offers a dynamic, supportive learning environment and programs for ASU students enrolled in any graduate certificate or graduate degree program.  Please refer to the website here for more information or to schedule a tutoring appointment.