Social Justice and Human Rights Concentration

Students in the Social Justice and Human Rights programs examine a wide variety of oppressions such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, anti-immigrant oppression, ableism, economic injustice, animal exploitation, environmental injustice, as well as related denials of human rights, such as human trafficking, settler colonialism, mass incarceration, use of sweatshop and child labor, unequal access to education, and voter disenfranchisement.

This concentration is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and competencies necessary for vocations or further study related to social, political, and economic equality; human rights education, advocacy, and law; and domestic and global justice. Students examine local, societal, and global issues through both a human rights lens, focusing on the fundamental rights of human beings and how they are secured or denied, and a social justice lens, focusing on societal inequalities and how they are sustained or alleviated. By doing so they develop nuanced understandings of the relationships between individual experience in a local context and global systems of privilege and oppression. These understandings are applied to the study of a variety of forms of exploitation ranging from racism, sexism, and heterosexism to environmental degradation and animal abuse; violations of fundamental human rights such as human trafficking and denial of access to education; and the theory and practice behind movements fomented in response. Graduates are well prepared for local or international work in legal, non-profit, educational, and community change organizations and governmental agencies.

Mason offers many Accelerated Master's Programs that allow students to earn a bachelor's and master's degrees in as little as 5 years. Click here to learn more about the different degree programs. 


All students have opportunities to

  • conduct independent research
  • engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language study at Mason and abroad
  • participate in many forms of public service
  • prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities


Human Rights Social Justice