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Human Rights and Migration Minor

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331 Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
(858) 534-9864

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Human Rights and Migration Minor

The purpose of the human rights and migration minor is to encourage students to treat human rights and migration as both intellectual and practical questions. Students address critical questions: What sorts of rights do citizens, migrants, and refugees deserve? Where do rights come from—from political communities like the nation-state or from universal understandings of humanity? Who counts as a human deserving of rights? How are human rights different from citizenship rights? Students will engage openly with the history and the implementation of human rights, explore its origins and trajectory, the discourses and institutions that make up the international human rights framework today, and the range of its influences and effects. In many cases, migrants and refugees face complex political and legal barriers to the exercise of their rights. Students will learn about the economic, cultural, demographic, and political impacts of immigration; laws and government policies for addressing immigration and refugee flows; ethnic, gender, citizenship, and transnational dimensions of immigration; the integration of immigrant minorities in receiving societies; and immigrant history and literature. Many of the courses in the minor have a clear international context, and a good portion have a US or comparative approach.

This program helps to prepare students for a career in research and teaching, public policy, working in NGOs that advocate for and monitor human rights compliance, immigrant service-providing organizations, government agencies, or law. The unique research and writing opportunities offered by this minor also make it an excellent preparation for graduate school. 

To receive a minor in human rights and migration, a student must complete twenty-eight units, including two required courses (either HMNR 100 or HMNR 101 and one of the following: POLI 150A, SOCI 125, or POLI 140D), and twenty additional units. The additional twenty units may be satisfied either by a) five additional four-unit classes from the list of approved electives, or b) internships through AIP or field research in the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP). Additional courses may be approved by special petition to the program directors.

Since the human rights and migration minor is an interdisciplinary program, students are allowed to take no more than three courses in any one department. All courses (except internships) must be taken for letter grade.

Required Courses:

One of the following human rights focused courses:

HMNR 100/SOCI 174/HITO 119. Human Rights I: Introduction to Human Rights and Global Justice

HMNR 101/ANSC 140. Human Rights II: Contemporary Issues or COMM 114A

and one of the following migration-focused courses:

POLI 150A. The Politics of Immigration

SOCI 125. Sociology of Immigration

POLI 140D. International Human Rights Law: Migrant Populations

Track A: Additional Course Work

(Choose any five four-unit courses from the following list, or petition for other courses to be accepted)

ANTH 21. Race and Racisms

ANTH 23. Debating Multiculturalism: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in American Societies

ANSC 131. Language, Law, and Social Justice

ANSC 144. Immigrant and Refugee Health

ANSC 151. US-Mexico Border Ethnographies

ANSC 153. War in Lived Experience

ANSC 155. Humanitarian Aid: What Is It Good For?

ANSC 158. Comparative Anthropology of Crisis

ANSC 176. The Meaning of Political Violence

ANSC 185. #BlackLivesMatter

ANSC 186. Gender and Incarceration

ANSC 196. The Human Rights Advocacy Seminar

CGS 106. Gender Equality and the Law

COMM 108D. POB: Disability

COMM 111B. Global Borders Communication and Conflict

COMM 114F. Law, Communication, and Freedom of Expression

COMM 131. Communication, Dissent, and the Formation of Social Movements

COMM 158. Representations of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

COMM 163. Concepts of Freedom

COMM 166. Surveillance, Media, and the Risk Society

COMM 183. Global Economy and Consumer Culture

ETHN 103. Environmental Racism

ETHN 109. Race and Social Movements

ETHN 152. Law and Civil Rights

HITO 134. International Law—War Crimes and Genocide

HIUS 136. Citizenship and Civil Rights in the Twentieth Century

LATI 10. Reading North by South: Latin America Studies and the US Liberation Movements

LAWS 101. Contemporary Legal Issues

LTCS 125. Cultural Perspectives on Immigration and Citizenship

PHIL 167. Contemporary Political Philosophy

PHIL 168. Philosophy of Law

POLI 104I. Law and Politics—Courts and Political Controversy

POLI 104M. Law and Sex

POLI 104B. Civil Liberties—Fundamental Rights

POLI 104C. Civil Liberties—The Rights of Criminals and Minorities

POLI 108. Politics of Multiculturalism

POLI 111B. Global Justice/Theory and Action

POLI 122. Politics of Human Rights

POLI 122D. Abuse of Power

POLI 131. Muslim Integration and Exclusion

POLI 135. Comparative LGBT Politics

POLI 140A. International Law and Organizations

POLI 140D. International Human Rights Law: Migrant Populations

SOCI 127. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity

SOCI 163. Migration and the Law

SOCI 140F. Law and the Workplace

SOCI 175. Nationality and Citizenship

SOCI 177. International Terrorism

Track B: Internships or Field Research

After completing Requirements 1 and 2 (see “Required Courses” for the minor above), students may choose to complete their minor by doing independent research or internships. Students choosing this track will receive intensive training through academic internships in a local immigrant/refugee service-providing organization or conduct independent research in the area. Students are required to take one upper-division research methods course from the following:

  • ANSC 138. The Cultural Design Practicum: Using Anthropology to Solve Human Problems
  • ANSC 173. Ethnography in Practice
  • COMM 101A. Media Activism
  • COMM 101E. MPL: Ethnographic Methods for Media Production
  • COMM 102C. MMPP: Practicum in New Media and Community Life
  • COMM 114K. CSI: Community Fieldwork (can be repeated)
  • ETHN 190. Research Methods: Studying Racial and Ethnic Communities (cross-listed as USP 129)
  • POLI 160AA and AB. Introduction to Policy Analysis
  • POLI 168. Policy Assessment
  • POLI 170A. Applied Data Analysis for Political Science
  • POLI 171. Making Policy with Data
  • SOCI 104. Field Research: Methods of Participant Observation (prerequisite: SOCI 60, SOCI majors only)
  • SOCI 108. Survey Research Design (prerequisite: SOCI 60)
  • SOCI 109M. Research Reporting
  • SOCI 110. Qualitative Research in Educational Settings
  • SOCI 188. Fieldwork in Migrant Communities

Complete the remaining sixteen units for this track through a combination of:

  • Courses from the list under Track A and:
  • 199: Independent Studies courses (four units each) in order to pursue a field research project with a faculty member (this includes the Mexican Migration Field Research Program, or MMFRP);


  • Completing an internship in a non-governmental organization/agency that services immigrants or refugees in the San Diego area. Internships for up to eight units will be arranged by the Academic Internship Program (AIP).

Students choosing to satisfy their units requirements in Track B through field research focused on migration, like the MMFRP (SOCI 125, SOCI 109M, SOCI 188), must complete HMNR 100 and 101 (and not one of the three migration-focused required courses).

*Note: Students choosing this option must be eligible for and follow AIP deadlines and guidelines. AIP courses and 199 courses may be taken for P/NP for this minor.