The Institute for Human Ecology is pleased to announce the launch of a new Master of Arts in Human Rights, designed for graduate students from the United States as well as abroad, with diverse academic interests and backgrounds, who wish to study human rights from a distinctly Catholic perspective. The innovative, interdisciplinary Master of Arts curriculum will draw upon diverse academic offerings throughout Catholic University and it will be awarded by the School of Arts and Sciences through a new Center for Human Rights associated with the IHE.

Through this program graduates will:

  1. Become knowledgeable about the international legal structure of human rights;
  2. Understand the Catholic anthropology of the human person;
  3. Understand the natural law of rights and the place of rights in the political order;
  4. Be able to analyze and discuss whether claimed “rights” are defensible as such;
  5. Understand the intersection of human rights concepts and Catholic Social Thought;
  6. Be prepared to contribute to the building of a culture of human rights that advances the good of the human person in community.

Following an introductory orientation week before the semester begins, the program consists of 30 semester hours of post-baccalaureate coursework, including a capstone course designed to bring together the insights from the other courses and which looks at the Church’s work at the United Nations and other international bodies. The capstone course will consist of a seminar, and requires completion of a research paper. The degree, which could be completed in one year, may include one or two summer courses.

For more information, please contact IHE fellow William Saunders, director of the Master of Arts in Human Rights program and director of the Center for Human Rights at


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