Cornell University

Human Rights and Social Justice

MPA Fellows concentrating in Human Rights and Social Justice focus on human rights, which, although often assumed to be universal, remain controversial in domestic and world politics. Students study policies that support the expansion of human rights and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, such as those based on gender, race, class, religion, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation, disability or marital status both domestically and internationally, and work toward ensuring equal opportunities before the law and in society-at-large. Students pursuing this concentration also analyze the political and economic constraints that stand in the way of the full realization of human rights and learn to serve as advocates for alleviating political, economic, and social inequality.

Representative Human Rights and Social Justice Coursework:

CRP 6011: Ethics, Development, and Globalization

GOV 6132: The Politics of Inequality

GOVT 6867: International Law, War, and Human Rights

HD 3840: Gender and Sexual Minorities

NS 4570: Health, Poverty, and Inequality

PAM 3370: Race and Public Policy

*Consult the Course Guide for a more comprehensive list of course offerings.

Representative Human Rights and Social Justice Employers (Full Time and Internships):



Amnesty International

China Labor Watch

Community Foundations

Human Rights Watch

National Organization for Women

New York State Department of Labor

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and of the High Commissioner for Refugees

US Department of Justice

Representative Human Rights and Social Justice Occupational Titles:

Foundation Fellow


Project Coordinator

Program Examiner

Public Policy Associate

Research Fellow

For more information on opportunities through our Human Rights and Social Justice concentration:

Katelyn Purporo, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Capstone Project: AFL-CIO