May 19, 2022  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Rights Pathway Guide

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Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

Preparation for Transfer as a Human Rights Major

The following sequences are suggested courses to take in your semesters prior to transferring to SMU as a human rights major. For students attending a Texas public community college or university, Texas Common Course Numbers (TCCNS) are listed. If you are transferring from a college or university outside of Texas, click on the SMU course for a course description which may be used to select/compare courses at your current institution.

UC listings refer to SMU’s University Curriculum, which all undergraduates are required to complete. Refer to the University Curriculum Transfer Guide for a list of courses satisfying UC components. Interactive equivalency guides organized by transfer institution are available on the Transfer and Transition Services’ website.

Save all of your course syllabi! 

B.A. in Human Rights - Gender and Human Rights Track

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV

  • Human Rights Elective - course in contemporary issues in sociology OR an advanced humanities course OR a course covering religious philosophy OR a course examining social psychology
  • UC Breadth Course - Science w/ Lab  
  • UC Breadth Course  
  • UC Breadth Course  
  • Second major, minor or elective course
  • 1 hr PE course transfers as PRW 20XX

B.A. in Human Rights - Public Policy and Human Rights Track

Semester I

Semester II

Semester III

Semester IV

  • Human Rights Elective - course in contemporary issues in sociology OR an advanced humanities course OR a course covering religious philosophy OR a course examining social psychology
  • UC Breadth Course - Science w/ Lab  
  • UC Breadth Course  
  • Second major, minor or elective course
  • 1 hr PE course transfers as PRW 20XX


*The second language requirement may be satisfied by 1) transferring two terms of college courses in the same world language, 2) placing out of four terms of a world language by taking an SMU placement test or through AP or IB credit, or 3) being literate in a native language other than English.

The Embrey Human Rights Program

SMU is the first university in the South and the fifth in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in human rights. Students study the topics of social justice and human rights and are offered opportunities for engaged learning abroad and at home, community service, and art interactivity. Students explore local and world problems related to militarism, political violence and repression; social, gender and racial equality; human rights violations and conflict resolution; and environmental destruction, poverty and hunger.

The Embrey Human Rights Program educates and trains human rights advocates and responsible citizens. Providing an interdisciplinary curriculum for students, the program supports human rights research and travel by offering human rights-related internships, seminars and conferences.

Research and Travel Opportunities

Research and travel opportunities are available to students through a variety of travel programs offered over winter and spring breaks as well as during the summer.  These trips provide stark reminders of the importance of human rights and include a two-week Holocaust trip to Poland (an annual trip by SMU groups since 1983), a spring civil rights pilgrimage across the deep south, and other experiential trips to destinations such as Rwanda, China, Latvia, Germany, Nigeria, Israel, Belarus, and more.

Students who participate in these travel programs complete research papers on relevant topics studied while abroad.

Student Leadership Initiative

The Embrey Human Rights Program’s Student Leadership Initiative (SLI) gives exceptionally-motivated students the opportunity to address human rights abuses through long-term service learning projects that combine academic study and activism.

SLI is a student-led initiative focused on providing interesting and engaging opportunities to the SMU student body while perpetuating universal human rights and enriching the educational quality of SMU. Through participation in SLI, future leaders are equipped with the skills to understand global and local human rights violations as well as empower, inspire and affect sustainable global change through human rights service.

Human Rights Graduates

Recent graduates from the human rights department have entered the Peace Corps, broadcast journalism, public sector/non-profit work, medical school, and careers in the U.S. military.  Graduates also enter law school; some have become practicing human rights attorneys in the areas of women’s rights, children’s rights, and asylum rights.

Majoring in Human Rights

The Human Rights Department offers two degree tracks from which to choose:

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the study of human rights, students are required to complete a second major or minor in a related field.  Common second majors or minors include history, international business, journalism, psychology, public policy, women and gender studies, and world languages.

Minoring in Human Rights

A Human Rights Minor  is available and consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours.

Human Rights Courses for a Major or Minor

Transfer courses may be used to satisfy core requirements for the two tracks of the human rights major.  Look for courses in the following areas:

Gender and Human Rights Track

  • Sociology - course on race, ethnicity and community

Public Policy and Human Rights Track (choose one)

  • Anthropology - course exploring global cultures        
  • Philosophy - ethics course

Elective courses for either track (choose one)

  • Sociology - course on contemporary issues
  • Philosophy - course covering religious philosophy
  • Humanities - advanced-level coursePsychology - course examining social psychology

Preparing for a Smooth Transition

A seamless transfer to SMU and the Human Rights program requires planning. Transfer students who take time to prepare for their move to SMU are some of our most successful students. The following are a few important points to remember:

  • To enter SMU as a declared human rights major, transfer students must have 24 or more hours of transfer credit and complete English Composition I and II, either through coursework or AP, IB or other test credit.
  • SMU accepts AP scores of 4 or 5.
  • Work on the University Curriculum  prior to transfer is highly encouraged.
  • The human rights major requires at least 11 hours in any one World Language . Students may also demonstrate proficiency in a world language through testing or other approved means.
  • Compare Course Descriptions   found in SMU’s University Catalog to course descriptions at your current institution to maximize your awarded transfer credits. 
  • For additional information on the Human Rights major, visit our department hompage or call 214-768-3284.
  • For more information about transferring to SMU, click here or call 214-768-3417.

SMU Degree

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 122 hours, 60 of which must be completed through SMU, 42 of which must be in courses at the 3000 and higher levels. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major
  • Courses required for the University Curriculum (UC)  
  • Elective courses.  These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor. 

The University Curriculum (UC)

The University Curriculum is required of all undergraduate students and consists of three main components: 

  1. Foundations - 6 hours of Discernment and Discourse courses, 3 hours of Quantitative Foundation courses, 2 hours of Personal Responsibility and Wellness courses, proficiency in a second language and 3 hours of a Ways of Knowing course (offered only at SMU)
  2. Breadth and Depth - 7 Breadth and 3 Depth courses which may double count with majors and minors
  3. Proficiencies and Experiences - 6 Proficiencies and Experiences requirements, met through Breadth and Depth coursework or approved, noncredit activities.

Apply Now!

Click here for more information about transferring to SMU.

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