Department of
Politics and Human Rights

Foundational beliefs. Transforming knowledge.


Join the conversation and translate theory into action. MMC’s program in Politics and Human Rights is designed to give future leaders the means to change the world.

Our program explores the nature of human rights and political action. Politics and Human Rights majors will learn to approach the development of human rights in the United States and the international community from a variety of practical and theoretical perspectives.

This curriculum prepares students for a wide range of careers in not-for-profit, government, and business sectors. PHR also provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in law, journalism, business and management, and the social sciences.

Courses taught in the Politics and Human Rights major offer a wide range of perspectives on the governmental and cultural forces that shape our lives. As a complement to their work in the classroom, students benefit from our location in one of the largest, most diverse cities in the world through internshipsfield study, and service learning opportunities.

A peaceful protester of the war in Vietnam, late 1960s/1970sA peaceful protester of the war in Vietnam, late 1960s/1970s 

PHR majors have opportunities to:

  • conduct research for philanthropic, news, or arts organizations;
  • help plan city budgets or elect local or national politicians;
  • explore vital community and cultural issues and institutions
  • participate in combined courses with students in Marymount Manhattan College’s Bedford Hills College Program for incarcerated women;
  • gain experience working with international organizations and companies;
  • experience study abroad and faculty-led travel courses.

Faces of MMC

  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1027-ingrid-sotelo"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/src_region/150,27,472,349/11481_ingrid.jpg" alt="Ingrid Sotelo" title="Ingrid Sotelo" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “When I was in college I did an internship with State Senator Jose Serrano, which led to a full time job.” Now as Community Liaison at the Office of the Manhattan Borough President for New York City’s East Harlem, Inwood, and Washington Heights neighborhoods. Ingrid Sotelo ’10 is the eyes and ears for the Borough president.</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1027-ingrid-sotelo">Ingrid Sotelo</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2010, Major in <a href="/departments/political-science/">Political Science</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/967-g-claire-mathieson"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11479_mathieson.jpg" alt="G. Claire Mathieson" title="G. Claire Mathieson" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “…I still think about the courses and professors in the Social Sciences. The experience had a profound impact on me… I truly believe I am the social justice advocate I am, from the education and support I received at MMC. I don’t know what is in store for me professionally, but I know have the passion to keep the social justice fire alive. “</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/967-g-claire-mathieson">G. Claire Mathieson</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2006</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1322-matt-corridoni"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11471_matt_corridoni.jpg" alt="Matt Corridoni" title="Matt Corridoni" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “Going to Marymount meant that I was never “just a number.” Class size and relationships with my peers and professors allowed me to excel in ways that students attending other college’s and programs do not. Whether it was presenting at Honor’s Day, attending class at the Bedford Hills Campus, participating in mock trial at Yale, or leading a student government meeting, Marymount allowed for me to be an active member of the community and have a hands-on learning experience. Opportunities, diversity, and lasting relationships set Marymount apart from other college’s and university’s and unlock many doors to the future.”  </p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1322-matt-corridoni">Matt Corridoni</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013, Major in Political Science</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/959-gemma-inguanta"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11475_g_inguanta.jpg" alt="Gemma Inguanta" title="Gemma Inguanta" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “I’ve spent the past year working with children, and although one would not think that a sociology degree and childcare go hand in hand, I can tell you that they absolutely do. My degree has sharpened the way I understand our education system and how to creatively reimagine how to engage little people. I am hoping to move to NYC in the winter, and get some more traveling under my belt by hiking in the West Coast this summer. As for graduate school I am continuing to narrow down my choices, thinking that maybe I’ll attend school in Colorado for a movement based therapy program or in NYC to further my critical thinking skills in the field of feminist/queer/intersectional thought. I’ve grown so much from the day I threw my cap up at Lincoln Center to now, but the basis of my understanding began when I took a seat in the sociology program, and that is what I will always take with me no matter what I do or where I go.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/959-gemma-inguanta">Gemma Inguanta</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1012-bakht-arif"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11469_b_arif.jpg" alt="Bakht Arif" title="Bakht Arif" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> After graduating from Marymount with a double Major in Sociology and International Studies and a minor in social work, Bakht went on for a Masters in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University, Canada. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at The University at Buffalo. </p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1012-bakht-arif">Bakht Arif</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/971-crystal-hall"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11474_c_hall.jpg" alt="Crystal Hall" title="Crystal Hall" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Crystal Hall is a child protective services (CPS) investigator with the Department of Family and Children Services in her home town Calhoun, GA.  Beyond her role as a CPS worker she is an advocate for change within her community reaching out to local politicians as well as writing letters to local papers. She is currently working on a research project that will look at the similarities between nutrition and drug addiction as well as link the two to the vast carpet and farming industries of northwest Georgia post 2008 recession. Since graduating in May of 2012 she has been writing her autobiography titled <em>Pennies & Prodigies</em>. Her book will look at the many ways her upbringing in the rural south led her to a career in social work as well as a journey in self-realization. She has also been accepted to the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and intends to pursue a masters degree.</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/971-crystal-hall">Crystal Hall</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1243-sameera-uddin"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11482_sameera_uddin_ir_pic.jpg" alt="Sameera Uddin" title="Sameera Uddin" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “What excited me most about the IS/PS program at MMC is the dedication of the professors and the students at the department. When I was a freshman at College, I believed that a problem our generation was facing was ‘lack of curiosity.’ The IS program opened my eyes into the world of research and how we can use research to ask questions about the world in which we live in. My current work is a testament to that. The IS program allowed me to incorporate my own culture and ethnic background in my studies and reimagined the ideal culture of an undergraduate experience. The professors who served as mentors prepared me for any kinds of career, I wanted to pursue. The skills and experiences I have gained as a student in this program, enables me to translate what I have learned and share with those that I have left behind.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1243-sameera-uddin">Sameera Uddin</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2014, Major in <a href="/departments/political-science/" target="_blank">Political Science</a> and Minor in <a href="/departments/international-studies/minors/international-studies.php" target="_blank">International Studies</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/964-millie-clarkson"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/src_region/0,0,1356,1856/11470_m_clarkson_-_edit.jpg" alt="Millie Clarkson" title="Millie Clarkson" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “As soon as I took the Introduction to Social Work course at Marymount I knew I wanted to be a social worker. I really liked that there were so many different opportunities in social work and that the therapist provided clients with counseling as well as resources. Part of the minor at MMC involved participating in an internship that students were required to find on their own. This was very helpful in learning how to navigate different systems. My internship was at the Lennox Hill Neighborhood house in a group for elderly people with Alzheimer’s and memory impairments. This was such an amazing experience. The internship helped me better understand strength-based approaches and see how it can be implemented in direct practice.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/964-millie-clarkson">Millie Clarkson</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2008</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1283-molly-ward"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11483_mward.jpg" alt="Molly Ward" title="Molly Ward" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “I’m hyperaware of the advantages that MMC and the Political Science program gave me in pursuing political reporting as a career. My coursework provided the solid foundation in American politics that has helped me stand out in my positions. I was lucky to have professors who pushed me to do the best work possible in every venue from the classroom to the newsroom. I’m extremely grateful for the excellent experiences I had as a student at MMC and the way it has prepared me a great career.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1283-molly-ward">Molly Ward</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2015, Major in <a href="/departments/political-science/">Political Science</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1051-pamela-kirsch"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11476_pam_kirsch.jpg" alt="Pamela Kirsch" title="Pamela Kirsch" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “In my final year at MMC I had the privilege of participating in the “inside out” class, which was offered to MMC students from the Manhattan campus as well as the MMC students enrolled in the Bedford Hills College Program (BHCP). The class took place weekly inside the maximum security prison. This intimate experience in a total institution focused my attention to the school to prison pipeline complex that marginalized communities endure and clarified my commitment to social justice.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1051-pamela-kirsch">Pamela Kirsch</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013, Major in Sociology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1018-kaitlin-nichols"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11480_k_nichols.jpg" alt="Kaitlin Nichols" title="Kaitlin Nichols" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “I began my time at Marymount as an undeclared major and took “Introduction to Social Work” as an elective. I was immediately drawn in by the profession and its potential to serve individuals, groups and communities in an infinite number of ways. The Social Work Minor helped me to apply the theories learned in the Sociology Major to real-world scenarios and to consider the relationship between social science and helping people. The one-on-one attention I received in both departments created an exceptional learning experience where I was able to cultivate my passions and interests and to transition from a curious student without a specific path to a career-oriented individual in a field full of diverse options and possibilities.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1018-kaitlin-nichols">Kaitlin Nichols</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in Sociology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1142-alex-kane"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/src_region/0,12,467,479/13208_alex_kane.jpg" alt="Alex Kane" title="Alex Kane" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “Marymount Manhattan College was wonderful in varied ways. Small class sizes enabled my close relationships with professors and allowed me to dig into political theory and history while connecting it to the issues I am most concerned with. Professors encouraged me to follow my passions, leading me to obtaining the Jeanette K. Watson Fellowship. And then, of course, there was the small matter of living in New York City. I was simultaneously part of a small, vibrant and engaged community at college while also being part of larger communities in New York. <strong>I loved every minute of it</strong>.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1142-alex-kane">Alex Kane</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2011, Major in <a href="/departments/political-science/">Political Science</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/962-ragon-duffy"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11472_r_duffy.jpg" alt="Ragon Duffy" title="Ragon Duffy" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “Social work has been an immensely rewarding experience.  I am continually inspired by the stories our clients bring to us and I’ve been honored to help them on their journey.  I hope to continue to grow in this profession; learning, teaching, training and mentoring.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/962-ragon-duffy">Ragon Duffy</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 1997</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/963-alex-epstein"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11473_a_epstein.jpg" alt="Alex Epstein" title="Alex Epstein" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “I took a job working with Planned Parenthood as a sexual education teacher in Cleveland public schools. After taking David Linton’s course, The Social Construction & Images of Menstruation, I fell in love with the idea of educating and empowering young girls. This job allows me to do just that!”</p><p>  </p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/963-alex-epstein">Alex Epstein</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1266-kaitlin-luongo"><img src="/live/image/gid/177/width/215/11477_k_luongo.jpg" alt="Kaitlin Luongo" title="Kaitlin Luongo" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “I took an Introduction to Social Work course in the fall of my sophomore year at Marymount Manhattan with Dr. Sperling. I connected immediately to the values and ethics of this profession. I knew I wanted to work with more than just an individual person, but also the whole system in which they’re involved. I was able to complete internships through the social work minor, which led me to pursue my Masters in Social Work. My career interests were broadened and I have been able to use my skills learned as a social work minor at Marymount to have a wide variety of jobs in the field of social work.”</p></div> <div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1266-kaitlin-luongo">Kaitlin Luongo</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2009, Minor in <a href="" target="_blank">Social Work</a></p></div>