The Master of Arts in Human Rights
Study Human Rights from the Uniquely Catholic Perspective
Articles and News
- September 16, 2021
- July 7, 2021
- June 18, 2021
When you access the application, please note that the M.A. in Human Rights is under the School of Arts and Sciences.
The Master of Arts in Human Rights, developed by the Institute for Human Ecology (IHE), is designed for students who wish to study human rights from a distinctly Catholic perspective. It draws upon existing courses of several schools at The Catholic University of America. The interdisciplinary degree is awarded by the School of Arts and Sciences. The program’s director is William Saunders, J.D.
“[William Saunders] is genuinely a human rights hero, a person who has literally put his body, put his life on the line upholding human rights in very dangerous places…but to stand in solidarity and to support people who were victims of terrible human rights abuses.”
– Robert George, Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Advisor to our M.A. in Human Rights
Be an advocate for human rights
This degree will prepare you to bring the rich Catholic perspective on human rights to a variety of different spheres, including:
International, Federal, State Government
International Aid Organizations
Advocacy and Social Policy
Wherever people are, you will be a voice for human rights.
“To meet today’s human rights challenges, we need students who are rooted in the founding documents of the human rights movement, enriched by a deep philosophical and even theological understanding of the dignity of the human person. This is precisely what the M.A. in human rights at The Catholic University of America provides.”
– Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Emerita, at Harvard Law School and Advisor to the M.A. in Human Rights at Catholic University
“I think part of the project for those of us who do believe in human rights, seriously believe in human rights, who believe in them not because they're popular but because we think they're true, part of the challenge for us and our job is to be more effective in making the case. I don't mean just moral, just rhetorically effective. I mean to make the case better, make the stronger case, the strongest possible case for a meta-ethical view that would provide a solid ground for belief in human rights.”
“I believe that what determines outcomes is people. As long as you have confidence and determination and know that justice is on your side, and the thirst for freedom, you will find the path to overcome your enemies. The quest for freedom is innate within all of us.”
"The M.A. in Human Rights enriched my understanding of human rights by illuminating their Christian origins. As I deepened my study of Catholic Social Doctrine, I developed a new appreciation for the moral clarity it provides for the challenging issues of our day. Experiencing the community of Catholic University was also incredibly rewarding for me as a Catholic. Moving forward, I feel more solidly grounded in Catholic Social Doctrine and prepared to tackle human rights challenges.”
“This program stands at the very core of Catholic University's mission to teach its students the deep meaning and profound value of human rights grounded in the dignity of the human person. At the center of all human rights is its linchpin—without which the others cannot properly defend true human dignity—religious freedom. No one is better qualified to teach its role in all fundamental rights than the director of the Human Rights Program, William Saunders.”
About the IHE
The Institute for Human Ecology (IHE) at The Catholic University of America is the nation’s leading academic institute committed to increasing scientific understanding of the economic, cultural, and social conditions vital for human flourishing.