Jul 15, 2024  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

International Human Rights Law (M.A.)

International Human Rights Law considers protection of the individual as developed through organs of the United Nations, other international institutions, and at regional and domestic levels in the North and in the South.  The program seeks to give students a thorough grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of human rights law and in the methods of solid multidisciplinary research that are required for investigating legal issues pertaining to human rights. It is intended for those presently working, or desiring to work, in humanitarian organizations, in government departments and agencies concerned with humanitarian issues, or in other public, private and international sectors where there is increasingly a need for persons who have an understanding of the law and legal consequences of human rights within an international framework.

It is possible to work towards the MA in International Human Rights Law and the Diploma in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies (FMRS) simultaneously or sequentially, and to cross count 4 courses (12 credits) with the advice and consent of the department for a total of eleven courses (see Dual Graduate Degrees under Academic Requirements and Regulations section).


The applicant for admission to the MA program should have an acceptable bachelor’s degree in law, political science or a closely related social science (preferably with a minor in political science or law studies) with a grade of gayyid giddan (very good) or a grade point average of 3.0. Applicants with deficiencies in their preparation may be required to take appropriate courses at the undergraduate level. English language proficiency is required as per general AUC graduate admission requirements. Admitted degree candidates should normally start their course sequence in the fall semester. Students enrolled in the AUC English Language Institute must complete all ELI Courses and modules before being allowed to enroll in Law Classes. For these students, spring enrollment is allowed.

Course Requirements

The International Human Rights Law  MA degree requires a total of 27 credits hours.

The remaining four courses are electives, two of which have to be Law courses.
Department approval is required for electives offered by other departments.

Thesis Requirements

The research requirement for the MA in International Human Right Law is satisfied by writing a thesis of sufficient depth and length for the topic addressed therein and prepared under the supervision of a faculty member of the department. Students are required to register for the following course while fulfilling their thesis requirement.

Degree Time Framework

Fulfilling the M.A. in International Human Rights Law normally calls for two years of study.

Dual Degree Option in Political Science (B.A.) and International Human Rights Law (M.A.)

The Dual Degree option combines a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Human Rights Law. It is a dual degree, creating a synergy between the existing BA in Political Science and the existing MA in International Human Rights Law.

The dual degree option enables good students to prepare for a postgraduate degree while completing the requirements for the BA in Political Science. Non-law students who achieve a MA Degree under the auspices of the Law Department at AUC qualify for better jobs in Egypt or abroad, or pursue a legal education at prestigious law schools in the United States and elsewhere. The MA degree also provides students with the necessary expertise in international human rights law and with the intellectual, analytical and communication tools needed to intervene critically and effectively in the global policy debates confronting their societies as policy makers, academics, activists and international civil servants.

Interested students have the option of starting the Dual Degree in the sixth semester of the political science BA at AUC. During the fifth semester (i.e., before the semester in which s/he enrolls in POLS 4371  ) the student has to declare her/his intention to pursue the Dual Degree by submitting a graduate admission application. The student should follow the application procedures for graduate studies. Admission decisions will be made by the Law Department’s Admission Committee. Successful applicants will be admitted pending the fulfillment of two conditions: i) finishing the requirements of their undergraduate degrees with at least B (GPA 3); and ii) obtaining an average of at least a B+ (GPA of at least 3.3) across the three cross-listed ‘Dual Degree’ Law courses. Places are limited.

Under this structure, dual-degree students will be required to take three 400-level courses that are cross-listed under LAW and POLS. These three “Dual Degree” cross-listed courses (see below) will count for credit towards both the BA in Political Science and under the MA in International Human Rights Law.

The three ‘Dual Degree’ Law courses to be offered to undergraduates in the Political Science Department are the following: (a)

  (b)   and (c)  The curriculum for the MA IHRL requires the completion of nine courses and a thesis, as indicated in the tentative plan below: 3 POLS/LAW undergraduate courses, 2 graduate regional human rights courses, 3 graduate elective courses,    , and the thesis.

Tentative Plan for Full-time Students

SEMESTER VI (POLS undergraduate program)


  (counts towards both concentrations in POLS for all students) (and MA IHRL credits)
[4 POLS courses or other courses as required to complete POLS BA degree]

SEMESTER VII (POLS undergraduate program)


  (counts towards both BA POLS and MA IHRL credits)
[4 POLS courses or other core courses as required to complete POLS BA degree]

SEMESTER VIII (POLS undergraduate program)


  (counts towards both BA POLS and MA IHRL credits)
[4 POLS courses or other core courses as required to complete POLS BA degree]


  * (2 out of 3 starred courses required)
  * (2 out of 3 starred courses required)
  * (2 out of 3 starred courses required)
LAW Electives**


LAW Electives**
LAW Electives**




** Lists of LAW elective courses will be provided to students in the program prior to registration for each semester.