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Academic Program Guide

Human Rights & Social Justice

College: Arts and Sciences
Degree: BA
Limited Access: No

Contact: Jon Bridges
Address: M01 Dodd Hall Tallahassee, FL 32306-1520
Phone: (850) 644-1020

Description of Major

*Please Note: Face-to-face/in-person instruction of this program is available ONLY at the main campus in Tallahassee, FL. This program is NOT available via Online/Distance Learning.*

Anchored in the Religion Department, this major involves faculty from multiple disciplines and departments (anthropology, African American studies, communications & media, criminology, economics, English, entrepreneurship, fine arts, geography, history, international affairs, modern languages, philosophy, political science, social work, sociology, theater, women’s studies, etc.). It offers FSU undergraduates an educational experience that will prepare them to work in a number of arenas related to human rights and social justice.

The study of human rights and social justice has a long history at Florida State University. The central hub since 2000 has been the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (CAHR, Created by funds from an anonymous donor, CAHR has facilitated the development of human rights-related courses at the university for twenty years. It has also established field placements for FSU students in human rights organizations and supported the work of NGOs that engage in human rights advocacy and prevention across the world.

The Religion Department, in turn, established in 1967, is one of the oldest at a public university in the United States. Several of its faculty members, across the department’s five decades of existence, have made human rights and social justice central concerns in their research and teaching.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prospective transfer students should contact (Arts & Sciences Admissions) with specific questions about admission and mapping requirements.

Prerequisite Coursework: None

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the “Student Services” section of


Requirements for Graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences Include:
The College of Arts and Science requires proficiency in a foreign language through the
intermediate (2220 or equivalent) level or sign language through the advanced (2614 or equivalent) level.

Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major:
To be admitted, students must complete at least 52 hours of credit with an adjusted GPA of 2.00 on FSU coursework, and at least half the required hours in General Education, including freshman English composition and mathematics, or an AA degree.

Major Programs of Studies at FSU

Major: (30 hours)
You will need 30 credit hours to complete the Human Rights and Social Justice major. These will include four (4) core courses and six (6) electives, for which you must propose a provisional plan of study by the end of your second semester in the major.

Core Courses (12 credit hours)
The major’s four core courses come from the Departments of Religion and Philosophy:

1. CCJ 4938, “Introduction to the Human Rights Movement”
2. REL (course number TBA*), “Foundations of Human Rights” or PHM 3351, “Philosophy of Human Rights”
3. REL (course number TBA*), “Who Is Human? What Are Rights?”
4. One course in the Religion Department among those that meet the “Issues & Approaches” requirement for the religion major.
(See Appendix A at this link for qualifying courses:

* The advisor(s) for the major will inform majors and prospective majors under which course numbers the asterisked courses will appear.

Elective Courses (18 credit hours)

Six elective courses may come from among those on the following two lists:
(a) “Issues & Approaches” courses in the Religion Department (see Appendix A at the link below) and
(b) courses currently taught at FSU that include a human rights framework or a significant rights-based dimension
(see Appendix B at the following link:

Two (6 credit hours) of these six courses may overlap with another major that the student is pursuing if these courses are also among those approved for the HRSJ major. These courses may include one 3-credit Directed Individual Studies (DIS) course with an affiliated FSU faculty member on a relevant topic, or two such DIS courses in preparation for an honors-in-the-major thesis on human rights.

HRSJ majors may also petition the HRSJ major advisor(s) to allow other elective courses to count toward the major that fail to appear among those mentioned above.

Student Plan of Study

Each student must propose a provisional plan of study, comprised primarily of a list of eligible courses, by the end of their second semester in the major based on the major requirements as listed above and with reference to the lists of approved courses. The undergraduate advisor(s) for the major must approve the plan, understanding that it may change along with department course schedules.

Minor Coursework: Required for Human Rights & Social Justice majors
12 hours from one minor department, 15 hours for an interdisciplinary minor, or requirements as stated by the minor area.

Digital Literacy:
CGS 2060 (3), CGS 2100 (3), or other university approved course.

Oral Communication Competency: (0-3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements – Summary Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Major Coursework 30
Minor Coursework 12
Foreign Language 0-12 (depending on placement)
Digital Literacy 3
Oral Competency 0-3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*NOTE: 3 hours (one course) of major coursework may also be used to partially satisfy General Education (Humanities) requirements.


Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each fall and spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at www.academic-


1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this university.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this university.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this university.

Employment Information

Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: academic, activist, administrator of a human-rights-related institution or non-governmental organization (NGO), anthropologist, bioethicist, business person, community organizer, editor, ethicist, federal government employee, historian, journalist, human rights advocate/campaigner, human rights educator, human resources manager, human rights lawyer, human rights researcher, immigration lawyer, international lawyer, pastor/religious (bishop, brother, chaplain, imam, minister, nun, priest, rabbi, sister, etc.), philosopher, physician, professor, public administrator, social worker, teacher, theologian, Title IX specialist, United Nations or other international organization employee

Please see this link for further ideas:

Representative Employers: academia, benevolent and charitable organizations, civil rights organizations, colleges, community organizations, courts, human resource offices, human-rights-related institutions and/or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international NGOs and other international organizations, law offices and legal organizations, non-profit organizations, US federal government, United Nations, scholarly presses, social work agencies, religious institutions and organizations, research institutes, Title IX offices, universities

View Human Rights & Social Justice Academic Map