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Academics: Current: Graduate M.A. in Latin American Studies

The M.A. in Latin American Studies (MALAS) encourages students to design broad-based programs of study in the humanities and social sciences that reflect their particular interests.

The MALAS is used by some students to prepare for graduate training in a specific discipline at the Ph.D. level or in a professional school. Other students use the MALAS as an entry-level degree for careers in government service, teaching, business, travel and tourism, advocacy, or inter-American organizations.

Degree Requirements

Plan I (thesis option): 36 credit hours. Students must select two areas of concentration within the MALAS program. Students have the option of completing 15 credit hours in one concentration and 9 credit hours in the other concentration or completing 12 credit hours in each concentration. The remaining 12 credit hours are divided between LTAM 510 (Pro-Seminar in Latin American Studies), 3 hours of program electives and 6 hours of thesis credits.

Students under the Plan I option must complete a minimum of 12 credits in graduate seminars numbered 500 or above (excluding 551 or 552 Problems courses) and 6 hours of thesis credits numbered 599. Students should consult with the Associate Director to determine which courses are considered seminars. Students are required to present an oral defense of the thesis before a thesis committee composed of at least two faculty members in one area of concentration and one faculty member from the second area of concentration. Students also are required to sit for the comprehensive examination in the second area of concentration, administered by two faculty members from that concentration.

Plan II (non-thesis option): 36 credit hours. Students must select two areas of concentration within the MALAS program. Students have the option of completing 15 credit hours in one concentration and 9 credit hours in the other concentration or completing 12 credit hours in each concentration. The remaining 12 credit hours are divided between LTAM 510 (Pro-Seminar in Latin American Studies) and 9 hours of electives. Students are required to sit for the comprehensive examinations in both areas of concentration. The examinations are administered by a Committee on Studies composed of two faculty members from each concentration.

Under the Plan II option, students must complete a minimum of 12 credits in graduate seminars numbered 500 or above (excluding 551 or 552 Problems courses). Students should consult with the Associate Director to determine which courses are considered seminars.

To maintain and improve language proficiency during graduate studies, students under both Plan I and II who are not concentrating in Brazilian Literature and Culture, Brazilian Studies, Spanish American Literature, or Spanish Linguistics will be required to take an upper division language course: Spanish 307 or above; Portuguese 276 or above; or a course in one of Latin American's indigenous languages. If the course is available for graduate credit, it can count as one of the student's elective courses. Students may take appropriate upper division language courses that are not available for graduate credit with the understanding that such courses will not apply towards the credit hours required for the degree.

Concentration/Emphasis Requirements

Students concentrate in two areas chosen from the list below. The combination of concentrations must ensure that the program is interdisciplinary. For example, students selecting a concentration in Art History with an emphasis in Colonial may not also select Art History with an emphasis in Modern. Students are also required to have no more than one interdisciplinary concentration. For example, a student may not choose both Human Rights and Gender Studies as concentrations.

Variations may occur from year to year in the availability of faculty members to support concentrations. Such changes in faculty availability are beyond the control of the LAS program. Thus, it may occasionally be impossible for students to obtain sufficient coursework and advisement in one or more concentrations below. Therefore students must obtain prior approval from the LAS program before selecting a concentration.