Global Human Rights Certificate

The University of Pennsylvania Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Human Rights is designed to provide enriched perspectives on human rights. Through this certificate, students will gain a working knowledge of the core international human rights documents, treaties, and mechanisms.

By taking a cross-disciplinary approach, students are challenged to look at similar topics or questions from different approaches. Access to diverse coursework gives students the opportunity to shape this certificate around their own specific interests within human rights.

This Certificate accords with the United Nations Second Phase of the World Program for Human Rights Education (WPHRE) that began in 2010 and focuses on institutions of higher education.

This interdisciplinary certificate is open to students in graduate programs across Penn’s campus. Students do not need to apply to this certificate program. Instead, students fill out a Completion Form when they have finished the course requirements, in order to document their completion of the certificate.

It is not always possible for MSW students to complete the Global Human Rights certificate within the 16 courses that are taken for the MSW degree (or 10 courses, in the case of Advanced Standing). In these instances, students who wish to complete the certificate will need to take an additional course or courses and pay the associated tuition and fees.

The charts below indicate sample of courses of study for MSW students who wish to complete the Global Human Rights certificate. These grids are intended to serve as an example only; any student considering the certificate should meet with the Associate Director of Academic Affairs as early as possible to outline a course of study.

Detailed information about current certificate requirements, including required courses, approved courses, policies and procedures can be found on the Global Human Rights certificate website.

Sample Grid for Full-time Clinical Students

First Year

Fall Semester

  • SWRK 601: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare
  • SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice
  • SWRK 604: Foundations of Social Work Practice I

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 614: Foundations of Social Work Practice I
  • SWRK 615: Introduction to Social Work Research
  • SWRK 763: Global Human Rights and U.S. Immigration (Policy Option; GHR Course #1)
  • SWRK 760: Mental Health Diagnostics (MSW Elective #1)

Second Year

Fall Semester  

  • SWRK 704: Advanced Clinical Practice I
  • SWRK 7xx: Research Option
  • SWRK 755: International Social Work: Practicing in the Global South (GHR Course #2; MSW Elective #2)
  • XXXX: Choose a non-SP2 elective from the list of approved courses on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR course #3; MSW Elective #3)

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 714: Advanced Clinical Practice II
  • SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
  • SWRK 7xx: Choose an SP2 elective from the list of approved courses on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR course #4; MSW Elective #4)* Note: Students often fulfill this requirement with SWRK 772: International Social Welfare in India, taken abroad during the summer. Students who do not take SWRK 772 may need to petition to have one of their other SP2 classes counted towards the GHR certificate.
  • XXXX: Pre-approved required course outside of SP2 from the list on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR Course #5; MSW Elective #5)*

*Course may be offered in a different term and students will need to adjust their schedules accordingly.

Note: If course options or scheduling prevent students from taking the courses suggested above, clinical students may have to take an extra (17th) course in order to meet the certificate requirements. The per-course tuition rate will apply for any additional courses.

Sample Grid for Full-time Macro Students

First Year

Fall Semester

  • SWRK 601: History and Philosophy of Social Work and Social Welfare
  • SWRK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice
  • SWRK 604: Foundations of Social Work Practice I

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 614: Foundations of Social Work Practice II
  • SWRK 615: Introduction to Social Work Research
  • SWRK 7xx: Policy Option
  • XXXX: Pre-approved required course outside of SP2 from the list on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (MSW Elective #1; GHR Course #1)*

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • SWRK 708: Advanced Macro Social Work Practice I
  • SWRK 7xx: Research Option
  • SWRK 755: International Social Work Practicing in the Global South (GHR Course #2; MSW Elective #2)
  • SWRK 7xx: Choose an SP2 elective from the list of approved courses on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR course #3; MSW Elective #3)* Note: Students often fulfill this requirement with SWRK 772: International Social Welfare in India, taken abroad during the summer. Students who do not take SWRK 772 may need to petition to have one of their other SP2 classes counted towards the certificate.

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 718: Advanced Macro Social Work Practice II
  • SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
  • SWRK 763: Immigration: Implications for Policy and Practice (GHR Course #4; MSW Elective #4; fulfills Macro Practice elective)
  • XXXX: Choose a non-SP2 elective from the list of approved courses on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR course #5; MSW Elective #5)

*Course may be offered in a different term and students will need to adjust their schedules accordingly.

Sample Grid for Advanced Standing Clinical Students

Summer Session

  • SWRK 711: Contemporary Social Policy
  • SWRK 620: Integrative Seminar
  • SWRK 7xx: Research Option

Fall Semester

  • SWRK 704: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice I
  • SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice
  • SWRK 760: Mental Health Diagnostics (MSW Elective #1)
  • SWRK 755: International Social Work: Practicing in the Global South (GHR course #1; MSW Elective #2)

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 714: Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice II
  • SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
  • SWRK 763: Immigration: Implications for Policy & Practice (GHR Course #2; MSW Elective #3)
  • XXXX: Pre-approved required course outside of SP2 from the list on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR Course #3; MSW Elective #4)*

*Course may be offered in a different term and students will need to adjust their schedules accordingly.

Note: Advanced Standing Clinical Students will need two more Global Human Rights certificate courses. If one required MSW course is petitioned and approved, students will still have to take an extra (11th) course in order to meet the certificate requirements. The per-course tuition rate will apply for any additional courses.

Sample Grid for Advanced Standing Macro Students

Summer Session

  • SWRK 711: Contemporary Social Policy
  • SWRK 620: Integrative Seminar
  • SWRK 7xx: Research Option

Fall Semester

  • SWRK 708: Advanced Macro Social Work Practice I
  • SWRK 603: American Racism and Social Work Practice
  • SWRK 755: International Social Work: Practicing in the Global South (GHR Course #1; MSW Elective #1)
  • XXXX: Choose a non-SP2 elective from the list of approved courses on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR course #2; MSW Elective #2)

Spring Semester

  • SWRK 718: Advanced Macro Social Work Practice II
  • SWRK 713: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
  • SWRK 763: Immigration: Implications for Policy & Practice (GHR Course #3; MSW Elective #3; fulfills macro practice elective)
  • XXXX: Pre-approved required course outside of SP2 from the list on the Global Human Rights certificate website. (GHR Course #4; MSW Elective #4)*

Note: A fifth Global Human Rights course is required; Advanced Standing macro students will have to take an extra course or petition and get approved one of their required courses. The per-course tuition rate will apply for any additional courses.