Human Rights Certificate (JD)

The Graduate Certificate in Human Rights, operated in conjunction with the UConn Human Rights Institute and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), enables JD students and CLAS graduate students to pursue a concentration in the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of international human rights. To be eligible for this certificate, students must make formal application to, and be accepted in, the program. Courses may be taken at the School of Law and on the Storrs campus. Relevant courses taken abroad while pursuing a JD at the Law School may be counted toward satisfaction of this certificate subject to the approval of the law school's director of the certificate program and the associate dean of academic affairs.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the JD Certificate in Human Rights, students will be able to:

  • Identify the substantive law and legal theories central to international human rights litigation and advocacy;
  • Apply relevant domestic and international law to modern civil rights and human rights problems; and
  • Effectively employ strategies for identifying, analyzing, and solving specific human rights problems in the manner expected of a lawyer in this field.
Contact Information

JD students should contact Professor Molly Land, professor of law and the Law School's director of the graduate certificate in human rights via e-mail. The LLM Certificate of Specialization in Human Rights is a separate program administered by the Graduate Programs Office. Interested U.S. Legal Studies LLM students should visit the LLM certificates page.


The Certificate in Human Rights requires a minimum total of twelve credits, consisting of one core course and three electives. It is recommended that students take core courses first before moving on to elective courses. Core courses cover the main historical, philosophical and legal questions in human rights. Elective courses allow students to branch out into the various subfields of human rights such as indigenous and cultural rights, economic rights, human rights in Latin America and Europe and post-conflict justice. Certificate courses do not require pre-requisites, except for Advanced Constitutional Law as indicated.

JD students may apply at any time but are encouraged to apply in their second year to facilitate course planning and communication about human rights programming and professional opportunities. 

Forms and instructions for applying to the H.R. certificate program are available here:


Law School courses approved for the certificate are listed below. For a full listing of approved certificate courses available at the UConn Storrs campus, please visit UConn's Human Rights Institute, Graduate Certificate in Human Rights website.

Core Required Course:
Elective Courses:

(Note: The most suitable courses at the Law School for students from CLAS at Storrs are LAW 7653, LAW 7679, LAW 7695, LAW 7759, LAW 7878, and LAW 7883. LAW 7609 is open only to Law School students, only the 4 credit classroom component counts towards Certificate.)

Students may also petition for other courses with a significant human rights component to be counted toward the certificate on an individual basis by submitting a request for course substitution form.


Professor Molly Land