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Human Rights and Humanitarianism

To study human rights and humanitarianism, you need an interdisciplinary perspective.

Pair a major with our five-course concentration to get an in-depth focus on human rights and humanitarian issues. Through the concentration—which includes classes in social sciences, humanities, and even fine arts—our students gain a nuanced understanding of the history of human rights and humanitarianism, and the institutional frameworks that govern them, as well as the theoretical and philosophical debates over the meanings of human rights and humanitarianism. Students grapple with a range of current and past global human rights problems and evaluate debates over the methods, motivations, and consequences of human rights and humanitarian action.

You’ll learn from your classmates and faculty, who infuse classroom discussions with a wide range of academic perspectives. You’ll see how a complex global challenge doesn’t fit neatly into one academic department. And thanks to our location, you can partner with world-class human rights and humanitarian organizations well before you graduate, without even leaving the Twin Cities.

Recent courses include

  • Literature and Human Rights
  • Transitional Justice
  • Humanitarianism in World Politics
  • War Crimes and Memory in East Asia

Life after Macalester

Recent Employers

  • Dexis Consulting Group
  • Fulbright Scholar Program
  • Bottom Line
  • Bridge International Academies
  • Carl & Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Center for Court Innovation
  • Connections Media LLC
  • EDC – Exploring Infection Diseases
  • Fredrikson & Byron Immigration
  • Fusion Hill
  • Georgetown University
  • Global Health Corps/Days for Girls
  • Healthy Kids/Brighter Future–Princeton in Africa Fellowship
  • Hispanic Advocacy for Community Empowerment through Research
  • International Rescue Committee UK
  • Law Office of Cheryl David
  • Mission Asset Fund
  • New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
  • Obama Foundation
  • Office of Governor Mark Dayton
  • Office of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan
  • Paschal Nwokocha & Chukwu Law Offices
  • Pritzker Hageman, P.A
  • Public Counsel
  • Schafer Cullen Capital Management, Inc.
  • Spark MicroGrants
  • Swedish Committee for Afghanistan
  • Teaching Assistant Program in France
  • The Wildlife Society
  • U.S. Department of State
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • US Government Accountability Office
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • Yspaniola

Recent Graduate Schools

  • London School of Economics
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Miami U
  • New York University
  • Stockholm University
  • University of London
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin

Learning in the Cities


Frequent guest speakers visit class from global human rights organizations, located right in the Twin Cities


Number of internship sites within 8 miles of campus


Students regularly intern at Advocates for Human Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, and Alight (formerly the American Refugee Committee)