Human Rights (MS)

Program Overview

The Master of Science (MS) in Human Rights at Binghamton University is a rigorous, innovative graduate program that offers professional training for interdisciplinary, applied research and practice in human rights, with a focus on community-level engagement.

The promise of human rights is to guide public action, hold governments accountable and empower communities. Binghamton's Master of Science in Human Rights will immerse you in the theory and practice of human rights, addressing issues such as education, health, violence, children, family, poverty, incarceration and immigration, evaluated critically through the lenses of race, gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, place, community and/or nationality.

Degrees Offered

  • MS in Human Rights

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

Driven by a critical interdisciplinary spirit, the MS in Human Rights offers professional training for applied research and practice. Students learn to analyze the world around them through the lens of human rights and develop skills for working in local, regional, national and international organizations.

The program offers human rights approaches to a variety of issues including education, health, violence, children, family, poverty, incarceration, immigration and the political economy. Students will develop

  • competencies in community organizing, social innovation and program evaluation.
  • professional skills for working in human rights organizations at the local, regional, national and international levels.

After You Graduate

Graduates seek careers in many different human rights-related fields including:

  • local, regional, national and international human rights and social justice organizations
  • government
  • academia
  • human resources

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
    • The admissions committee looks for evidence of community involvement and a commitment to human rights principles and practice.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample
    • The writing sample should be on a relevant topic and may be a paper submitted for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course, a piece of professional writing or an essay.
  • GRE scores are not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admissions Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • Human Rights MS minimum TOEFL score: 100 on the iBT
    • Human Rights MS minimum IELTS score: 7.0
    • Human Rights MS minimum PTE Academic score: 68
    • Human Rights MS minimum Duolingo score: 120
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.


Degree Fall Spring
Human Rights (MS)Rolling (January 1 Priority / February 1 Funding)N/A

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!

For more information, visit the Human Rights website.