September 19, 2018

The Catholic University of America is proud to announce a new Master of Arts program in Human Rights, available through the Institute for Human Ecology (IHE). Catholic University will join a handful of select schools that offer this degree and is the only school that has designed such a program to incorporate the rich teachings of the Catholic faith.

To kickoff this new program, IHE will host a talk by Robert George, Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, on Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Heritage Hall of Father O’Connell Hall. The lecture, which will discuss human rights and religious freedom, will also commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

William Saunders, director of the master’s program and the Center for Human Rights in the School of Arts and Sciences, said he believes the new program will provide “a robust Catholic voice” in the field of human rights.

“The term human rights is so widely accepted and ingrained in the way people think. We want to help people think about it clearly, and that can’t be done without the Catholic perspective,” Saunders said. “The Catholic voice should be present so that human rights can develop in a way that is true and in service of the common good and the human person.”

Aaron Dominguez, the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences where the program will be housed, added “I am pleased to be able to support this program; it is an example of the kind of world changing impact we can have with our faithfully Catholic research university.”

An interdisciplinary degree, the master’s in human rights, will draw from five schools at Catholic University: the schools of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Law, Canon Law, and Arts and Sciences. Upon completion of this program, students will be prepared to articulate and advocate for a sound understanding of human rights in both the domestic and international fora, greatly advancing the University’s mission of developing citizen leaders in the light of Christian faith. Their degrees will be issued by the School of Arts and Sciences.

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The kick off event with Robert George is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, visit or contact or 202-319-5892.

Members of the media are invited to attend the event, or watch it via livestream.

MEDIA: For more information about the new master’s program or attend the event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.