Master of Arts


  • A total of 30 credit hours from graduate courses related to Latin America and the Caribbean. All courses must come from the CLACS Graduate Course List or students must gain prior approval for the course to count towards the MA degree using the Course Approval Form.
  • A major concentration of at least 12 credit hours and a minor concentration of at least 9 credit hours. Examples of major and minor concentrations (which students choose in consultation with the CLACS Director):
    • Thematic Fields: Anthropology, Critical Race Studies, Cultural Studies, Education Policy, Ethnomusicology, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Indigenous Studies, Social Movements, Political Ecology and Development.
    • Geographic Fields: Andes, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Southern Cone.
  • 3 credit hours of LTAM-L501, Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Graduate Studies.
  • The remaining 6 credit hours from Latin American and Caribbean studies courses or related courses in other departments.

Language Proficiency Requirements

Certification of reading knowledge in one foreign language is required for the M.A. degree. The language required will be determined by the student’s major field of study; students should consult the Director of Graduate Studies for guidance if needed. Students may demonstrate proficiency in the following languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Quechua, Haitian Creole, Maya, or others appropriate to the student’s program of study, if approved by the DGS. Native speakers or those who are Associate Instructors for the respective language may contact the DGS to see if a waiver may be obtained. Entering students should obtain certification of reading knowledge or begin appropriate language study in the first term of enrollment.

Proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese may be demonstrated following the requirements of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Graduate students (whether CLACS graduate students or students from other departments) who wish to meet their language requirement with Haitian Creole, Maya, or Quechua have two options to demonstrate proficiency.

1. They may take two language courses during the first year, Elementary I and II. Students should receive a B or better in both courses.

2. They may pass a reading examination prepared by CLACS. The examination includes two texts of approximately 400 words each, one drawn from primary sources and the other drawn from secondary sources. A student will be expected to translate the first text and answer critical questions about the second.


G.P.A. - B (3.0) average or above must be maintained in all courses counted towards the M.A. degree. In addition, any students who fall below a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.4 may be placed on academic probation.

Final Requirement

All students must choose between the following three options as a final degree requirement in order to complete their M.A. degree: two final exam essays, a final research paper, or a thesis. Read more about the final requirements and download the proposal forms for the thesis, research paper, and exams.