Human Rights & Comparative Constitutional Law


The Human Rights & Comparative Constitutional Law Concentration provides students with a comparative, critical, and robust foundation in both human rights and constitutional law. It offers students a comprehensive understanding of contemporary human rights practices, including uses of constitutional law, in both domestic and international settings.

Each student can design an individual course of study tailored to their academic and professional interests, taking advantage of extensive curricular and clinical offerings and devoted interdisciplinary faculty. Clinics specializing in Capital PunishmentCivil RightsHuman RightsImmigration, and Transnational Worker Rights give students the opportunity to learn firsthand through cases and projects how to integrate theory, skills, strategy, and law.

This concentration is open to students with a foreign law degree and students with a J.D.

Additionally, students have access to the Law School’s Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights & Justice and the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights. The internationally recognized Bernard & Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights & Justice serves as a focal point at the University for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights and social justice. The Rapoport Center includes more than 100 affiliated faculty members from across campus. LL.M. students can take advantage of the ongoing research projects and working groups of the Rapoport Center.

The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights began in 1992 at the University of Texas School of Law and is one of the premier civil liberties and civil rights journals in the country. The Journal is published twice a year by law students and is overseen by an Advisory Board consisting of leading practitioners and academics throughout the State of Texas. The Journal also hosts an annual conference featuring scholars and practitioners from around the nation.

The Texas International Law Journal is dedicated to providing its readership with cutting edge legal analysis of recent developments in international law. TILJ is the fourth oldest international law journal in the country. It has been publishing important scholarly articles and promoting international symposia since 1965, currently publishing three issues per year. TILJ also hosts an annual symposium, which brings together preeminent scholars to discuss timely topics confronting international business, human rights litigation, U.S. litigation with international implications, and other areas of international significance.

General Requirements

  • A total of 24 credit hours that must be completed in one academic year (fall and spring semesters).
  • 12 concentration-specific credit hours (see below).
  • A three-credit writing seminar or a two-credit directed research project (with a 30-page paper involving research and analysis).
  • Introduction to U.S. Law (This course is required for students with a foreign law degree. Foreign students with a background of common law study can request a waiver of this requirement.).
  • Students interested in taking a U.S. state bar exam will also have to take certain bar-required courses to be eligible to sit for the bar exam.

Concentration Requirements

International Human Rights: At least 3 credits must be completed in international human rights law, including one course deemed to offer a basic background in the subject. Below are examples of courses offered in this area (asterisks indicate basic background courses).

Comparative Constitutional Law: At least 3 credits must be completed in comparative constitutional law, including one course deemed to offer a basic background in the subject. Below are examples courses offered in this area (asterisks indicate basic background courses).

U.S. Human Rights, U.S. Constitutional Law & Clinics: The remaining required credits for the concentration may come from any international human rights or comparative constitutional law course listed below or from courses in U.S. human rights or constitutional law listed below.

Sample Courses

International Human Rights

  • International Human Rights Law*
  • Public International Law
  • Seminar: Human Rights & Inequality: Law & the Production of Inequality
  • Seminar: International Humanitarian Law*
  • Seminar: International Human Rights, Anti-Impunity & Criminal Law
  • Seminar: Refugee Law & Policy

Comparative Constitutional Law

  • Seminar: Comparative Judicial Politics*

U.S. Human Rights, U.S. Constitutional Law & Clinics

U.S. Human Rights

  • American with Disabilities
  • Capital Punishment
  • Capital Punishment, Advanced Topics
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Domestic Violence & the Law
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Employment Law
  • Health Law & Policy
  • Immigration
  • National Security Law & Terrorism: Detention, Targeting, Interrogation & Prosecution
  • National Security Law & the Intelligence Community
  • Law & Social Movements
  • Seminar: Antidiscrimination Law
  • Seminar: Arts & Cultural Property Law
  • Seminar: Citizenship
  • Seminar: Equal Opportunity Law
  • Seminar: International Human Rights, Anti-Impunity & Criminal Law
  • Seminar: International Humanitarian Law
  • Seminar: Law of the United States-Mexico Border
  • Seminar: Legal/Medical Services for Vulnerable Populations
  • Special Education Law
  • Topics in Reentry: The Spectrum of the Criminal Justice System

U.S. Constitutional Law

  • Capital Punishment
  • Const Law II: Civil Rights
  • Con Law II: Constitutional History
  • Cons Law II: Constitutional Interpretation
  • Con Law II: Constitutional Litigation
  • Con Law II: Due Process/Equal Protection
  • Const Law II: Election Law
  • Const Law II: Equality & Liberty
  • Const Law II: First Amendment
  • Const Law II: Free Speech
  • Const Law II: Jurisprudence & Constitutional Law
  • Const Law II: Rights-Based Litigation
  • Cutting-Edge Constitutional Litigation – Trial Court to Supreme Courts
  • Federal Courts
  • Terror/Consent: Constitutional/International Law
  • Seminar: Homeland Security


  • Capital Punishment Clinic
  • Civil Rights Clinic
  • Human Rights Clinic
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Supreme Court Clinic
  • Transnational Worker Rights Clinic

Note: The sample courses listed above are sample course offerings only and are not necessarily offered every semester. Past, current, and future courses can be accessed on the Law School’s Interactive Course Schedule.