Brandeis University

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MA in International Law and Human Rights, University for Peace (Costa Rica)/MA-COEX


The Heller School offers a two-year international dual degree program in which students earn an MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from Brandeis University and an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Together, the two degrees provide the breadth of skills and perspectives needed to make a difference at community, regional, national and global levels.

Year 1: MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence

Participants spend their first year in residence at Brandeis University, leading to a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) degree. The COEX program is a 38- to 40-credit, 12-month program divided into three semesters, from August of one year to August of the next. The degree provides the foundations that will enable graduates to design and implement successful interventions that help opposing groups, nations and regions prevent, mitigate and resolve conflicts.

COEX Curriculum

The COEX program is designed for early- and mid-career professionals who already work within governments, international agencies, non-government organizations or related fields such as security and diplomacy, aid and development, human rights, education, civil society and community development. 

Year 2: MA in International Law and Human Rights

The second year of the dual-degree program takes place on the UPeace campus in Costa Rica; the Master’s in International Law and Human Rights (ILHR) program is a 40-credit, ten-month program divided into two semesters, between August of one year and June of the following year. All courses are taught in English.

ILHR Curriculum

The ILHR program complements the COEX curriculum by giving students the opportunity to effectively integrate human rights issues that arise in dispute resolution. Designed for participants from diverse professional and academic backgrounds, the curriculum builds capacities in three core areas: doctrine and practice of international human rights law; theory and philosophy; and practical application of international legal and human rights concepts and norms in concrete situations.

Students can also participate in the UPEACE Model UN Conference at the end of the academic year, before completing their final graduation project, which may either be a research internship or an independent study paper.  

MA COEX/UPEACE Degree Recommended Sequence

Second Year

  • Fall Two UPEACE
  • Foundation Course in Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Foundation Course in Public International Law

  • Legal Research and Writing

  • Foundation Course in the United Nations and Other International Organizations

  • Foundation Course in Human Rights Law

  • Law Related to Armed Conflict

  • Human Rights Law and Gender

  • Human Rights Advocacy

  • In addition participants can choose an elective course (3 credits) offered by the UPEACE Institute or other UPEACE programs.

  • Spring Two UPEACE
  • Global and Regional Human Rights Systems

  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights

  • Human Rights Law and Gender

  • Globalization and Human Rights

  • Human Rights Advocacy

  • Health and Human Rights

  • Independent Studies Project

  • International Refugee Law

  • Research Seminar

  • In addition participants can add elective courses offered by the UPEACE Institute or other UPEACE programs (8 credits), or an Independent Studies Project (8 credits)