College of Law > Academics > Study Abroad > Costa Rica

Heredia, Costa Rica

Dates: tbd

​What is different about the DePaul program?

DePaul’s Human Rights Law in the Americas program in Costa Rica provides a comprehensive, foundational understanding of the key elements of human rights law, including women’s rights, children’s rights and criminal procedure. Upon completing the program, students are better prepared for more specialized areas such as family law, asylum and immigration, public interest law, legal defense and advocacy for the underprivileged.

Study with world-renowned human rights law experts

Professor Victor Rodriguez, one of Latin America’s top human rights lawyers, and a current member of the prestigious United Nations Human Rights Committee—the 18-member UN committee charged with supervising the world’s foremost human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—coordinates DePaul’s Costa Rica program. Professor Rodriguez has chaired the UN Committee against Torture, and directed landmark projects on sexual trafficking, indigenous rights and strengthening the Inter-American human rights system.

DePaul’s Costa Rica program features distinguished hands-on practitioners such as Professor Len Cavise, a leading expert on criminal procedure and public interest law with extensive experience in reforming the criminal procedure codes of Mexico, Guatemala and Haiti.

Professor Alberto R. Coll, director of DePaul’s Latin American Legal Studies, leads the Costa Rica program. Born and raised in Cuba, he has served in senior positions in the Pentagon, advised numerous U.S. agencies and several Latin American governments, and lectured on human rights and security issues throughout Central and South America.

About Costa Rica

Read what noted New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof has to say about Costa Rica in his article, The Happiest People (Jan. 7, 2010).

  • #1 Happiest Country in the World 1
  • #3 Greenest Country in the World 2
  • #1 Destination for Adventure Tourism 3
  • One of the world’s top 8 ecological beaches 4

Costa Rica has set aside 25 percent of its entire surface as protected natural parks, beaches and forests. The country boasts some of the world’s most magnificent beaches, both on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, live volcanoes, rain forests teeming with thousands of rare species of animal and plant life, and rivers famous for their quality among enthusiasts of whitewater rafting. The small country abolished its military in 1948, and has had uninterrupted peaceful, civilian, democratic rule, and the strongest independent judiciary in Latin America since then. Costa Rica has some of the region’s highest indices of social development, literacy, and economic equality, as well as some of the lowest rates of violence and crime. It is also the home of one of the world’s most famous international human rights courts, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.


Applicants are encouraged to apply by April 15, but applications will be accepted on a space-available basis through May 1.


1 World Database of Happiness (2009)
2 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), 2010
3 International Business Times, Mar. 8, 2011
4 Playa Matapalo (Mother Nature Network, CNN) August 2010