COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Human rights contribute, through theory and practice, to people’s struggles to overcome institutional and everyday inequities. They provide legal, social and political tools and strategies for challenging forms of discrimination, subjugation and persecution, such as those based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or political opinion, as well as historical practices of colonialism and exploitation.

Drawing from a wide range of interdisciplinary topics and approaches from the humanities and social sciences, the Human Rights and Social Justice program provides an overview of historical and contemporary human rights issues and their impact on human lives in different cultural contexts.

The program offers students an opportunity to examine and critically assess the various strategies and mechanisms that have been used nationally and internationally to address these issues, including social movements, domestic legislation, international statutes, and human rights declarations and conventions.

As well, the program looks at reporting requirements, treaty-monitoring bodies and human rights committees. You will have opportunities to discuss and evaluate the challenges and prospects for strengthening human rights and for meeting future challenges to advance equality and social justice.

The Carleton Advantage

Carleton’s Human Rights and Social Justice Program enables you to study human rights through five dimensions: Critical Principles; Human Rights Laws and Institutions; Political Repression; Social Justice; and Marginalized Groups. In addition to the BA in Human Rights, this major is also offered as an Honours, and Combined Honours program.

You will study historical and contemporary human rights and social justice issues and their impact on human lives in different contexts.

You will be equipped with legal, political and social strategies for challenging forms of discrimination, subordination and persecution, such as those related to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin, among others.

The courses are taught by a team of dedicated faculty renowned for academic expertise, human rights activism, and passion for supporting students.

The program can lead you to a variety of careers in diverse fields such as government, public or private sector, social services, law, policymaking, education and higher education.

Career paths: Advocacy work; government service; international relations; law; nongovernmental organizations

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$29,022.88 (US$ 23,459) per year
Given tuition fee is for International

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

330 Paterson Hall,

1125 Colonel By Drive,

OTTAWA,

Ontario (ON),

K1S 5B6, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

High school graduation is the normal minimum level of study to be considered for admission to the first year of an undergraduate program at Carleton University. Academic performance in previous studies is the main determining factor for admission to undergraduate degree programs. Applicants must need the full IB diploma (three subsidiary [SL] and three higher level [HL] subjects), with a minimum of 28 points (please note that some programs are more competitive, so will require higher scores). Applicants may have one subject with a grade of 3, provided it is offset by a grade of 5 or better. Prerequisite subjects must have a grade of 4 or better. Early/conditional offers may be available with predicted results. IB students may be awarded advanced standing (transfer) credit for HL subjects with a grade of 5 or better subject to the discretion of the appropriate faculty, to a maximum of 3.0 credits. English language requirement: Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): Minimum score of 70 overall with a minimum score of 60 on each band; Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL: 86 (22 in writing and speaking, 20 reading and listening); IELTS (Academic): 6.5 IELTS (min 6.0 each band); Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: 60 (min 60 in each Communicative Skill); Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85 (min. score of 80 on each section).

For international students

High school graduation is the normal minimum level of study to be considered for admission to the first year of an undergraduate program at Carleton University. Academic performance in previous studies is the main determining factor for admission to undergraduate degree program.

Entry requirements vary country by country.

Students with scores shown in below may be admitted with English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). When they first start in their program, these students will be required to take our ESL Foundation courses along with a limited number of courses from their degree program. This admission with an ESLR allows students to earn academic credits from degree courses taken while completing the English requirements.

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) - Overall score between 40 and 69 (with a minimum score in each band of 30 and a minimum average of 40 over writing, reading, and listening)

Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL - 61-85 (min 15 each section)

IELTS (Academic) - 5.0 – 6.4 (min 4.5 each band and the average of writing plus reading plus listening divided by 3 must be a min. of 5)

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - N/A

TOEFL ITP Plus (*temporary testing solution for China during Covid19) - Minimum score between 543 and 626 overall, with a minimum subtest score of 53

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

Pathways options

Offered by other partners

This university accepts pathways courses from
  • Durham College
  • Fleming College
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About Carleton University

Students at Carleton University experience immersive learning through degree-related work experience, hands-on research, and community engagement.

  • Located in a beautiful green space close to downtown Ottawa
  • Most programs offer co-op (paid work-study experience)
  • 14 per cent of students are international
  • Second most sustainable university in Canada