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Human Rights & Equity Studies Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Honours

Our program prepares you for the growing field of equity and social justice scholarship. As a HREQ student, you will examine the principles of human rights, the causes and impact of human rights violations and efforts to redress them. Other areas include problems of physical, social and economic security, cultural autonomy, and political rights and fundamental freedoms. Students can pursue a BA, Honours BA, Specialized Honours BA, Honours Double Major BA, Honours Major/Minor BA or an Honours Minor BA. Students wishing to pursue graduate studies can combine Human Rights and Equity Studies with a second major in another discipline.

What you’ll learn 


  • In order to understand human rights violations, we examine questions of equity, including ways in which race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, abilities and sexuality can make individuals more vulnerable.
  • We acknowledge that human rights are not simply about the rights of individuals. The collective rights of minority and Indigenous groups – to practice self-determination on their traditional lands, to speak their Indigenous languages and resist genocide are also central issues in human rights. 
  • Program instructors explore critical theories and real-life practices in the areas of human rights and anti-Black racism.

Hands-on experiences 


  • Students see their own diversity reflected in our faculty, as well as the issues and experiences addressed in course material.
  • Offering both in-classroom and community-focused educational opportunities, faculty bring in outside agencies and speakers.
  • Students write letters to MPPs for advocacy work, and in fourth year, a research course allows engagement in the community.

Gender equality depends on social justice, economic justice, political justice, we need to have a huge reform, maybe even a revolution, to change the existing culture. What we have is a band aid solution on a very deep wound.

— Minoo Derayeh
Professor, Human Rights and Equity Studies

Questions?

Contact us by email at deqs@yorku.ca.