Policymakers, adjudicators and practitioners in international organizations, governments, NGOs, and private firms must be prepared to address the challenging human rights and humanitarian issues that face the international community today. To help achieve this goal, Georgetown University offers a certificate program for students who have a career interest in human rights and humanitarian issues, with special focus on refugees and post-conflict situations. J.D. and LL.M. students at the Law Center are eligible to enroll in the Certificate program, as well as Master level students at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Public Policy Institute.
All law students admitted into the Certificate program are advised to take a course that introduces them to the humanitarian field. Law Center students may take Refugee Law and Policy, for example, which focuses on the development of forced migration laws and policies with a particular emphasis on U.S. asylum law. Main Campus students generally take Introduction to Humanitarian Crises, which provides an overview of major principles, legal frameworks, theories, operational concerns and public policy issues.
In consultation with their faculty advisor, students choose a total of six courses that qualify for certificate credit. To ensure broad coverage of the field, each student generally must take at least one course on:
1) refugees, migration or humanitarian emergencies/disaster relief;
2) human rights; and
3) conflict/post-conflict related issues, rule of law, or development.
At the law school, such courses include, but are not limited to: Refugee Law and Policy; Immigration Law and Policy; Borders and Banishment Seminar; Asylum Clinic (CALS); International Human Rights Law; International Women’s Human Rights Clinic; Human Rights Advocacy Seminar; Human Rights and Children; Human Rights Enforcement Seminar; International and Comparative Law on the Rights of Women; International Human Rights Workshop; Business and Human Rights; International Law, National Security and Human Rights; International Trade and Human Rights Seminar; Human Rights Institute Advocacy in Action Practicum; Health and Human Rights; International Law of Armed Conflict; International Criminal Law; Contemporary Peacemaking; Establishing the Rule of Law after Conflict; International Law: Use of Force and Conflict Resolution; Rule-of-law Reform in Latin America Seminar; Development Law and Policy; International Mediation; International Negotiation; Negotiations and Mediation Seminar; Negotiations Seminar; and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Students may request approval of potentially relevant courses for certificate credit at any time.
Georgetown Law’s Registrar recognizes those who have completed the Refugee Certificate on transcripts and at graduation. The Refugee Certificate program also holds our own graduation ceremony where the Certificate is formally awarded.
Internships & Career Opportunities
Law students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies are encouraged to meet with Prof. Andrew Schoenholtz, who directs the program at GULC. To arrange a meeting, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to an academically rigorous program of study, the Refugee Certificate offers career guidance to students in the program. Professor Schoenholtz is happy to discuss internship and job opportunities and provide contacts to students interested in careers related to refugees, immigration, human rights and the protection of forced migrants.