BA in Human Rights and International Law
Al-Quds Bard College, Al-Quds University, Palestine
As the first undergraduate program of its type in Palestine, the Human Rights Program at the Al-Quds Bard Honors College seeks to create a cadre of human rights experts to serve not only in Palestinian institutions, but also at the regional and global levels. The program emphasizes integrative historical and conceptual investigations and offers a rigorous background that forges meaningful practical engagement. It aims to orient students in the intellectual tradition of human rights, and to give them the tools to appreciate and criticize its contemporary status. Holders of the Honors College’s human rights degree, who are expected to be fluent in English and Arabic, would be able to work in academia, international, regional and national organizations, governmental and non-governmental, and act as human rights experts and advisors to governments or UN agencies.
This multi-disciplinary program would offer a profound and critical analysis of the historical, philosophical, political, cultural, economic and legal aspects that shape the human rights discourse in a globalizing world. The program is designed to introduce human rights not simply as matters of law and diplomacy, or as a product of western imperialist civilizations. Instead, it engages openly with the history and actuality of the idea of rights, teaching students to explore its trajectory with particular attention to the scope and extent of their influence. The program, taught in Palestine, lays the ground for a contextualized understanding of the human rights situation in the Palestinian-Israeli context, and within the Arab and Muslim world.
The program includes 54 credits, 18 courses, each course counts for 3 credits. Twelve courses are compulsory requirements of all students who choose human rights as their major. Six courses could be chosen from a variety of electives that will be introduced subject to the availability of faculty from one semester to the next. In addition to a rigorous academic program, modeled in large on masters programs in the field, the program engages students in practical experiences through field visits, internships and its summer program, which is organized jointly with the Urban Studies program at the Honors College (see page on Summer Program for further information).
The program is linked and conducts joint work and exchanges with the Human Rights Project, Bard College, NY. Current students on the program include exchange students from Bard exchange universities and colleges, such as Carleton College in Minnesota, and Al-Quds University’s exchange programs with SciencesPo in Paris, France.