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Graduate Programs

The Latin American Studies Program offers interdisciplinary graduate work leading to the degree of:

MA in Latin American Studies
MA/MBA
MA/MPA
Masters in Latin American Studies and Survey Research
Doctor of Philosophy

Financial Support
MA Student Forms

The program's overall objective is to instruct students, at an advanced level, in Latin America and the Caribbean's rich and varied societies and cultures, and to prepare them for careers in public and private organizations, government, and business with a Latin American and Caribbean dimension, and for additional advanced study of the region.

To find out more, please see our Graduate Program Brochure

 

MA in Latin American Studies

Concentrations
All students specialize in the interdisciplinary study of Latin America and the Caribbean while concentrating on one of the following core disciplines: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Spanish, or Art History. Alternatively, students may choose one of the following interdisciplinary research concentrations: Latin American Area Studies; Hemispheric Migrations, Diasporas, and U.S. Latina/os; Health, Ecology and the Environment; Human Rights; Political Economy, Development, and Society; Culture, Power, and Race/Ethnicity; Gender, Reproduction and Sexuality; Latin American Public Opinion Research; Latin American Business; or Public Affairs

The minimum number of credit hours for the MA is 30. Students may complete the requirements under Plan A (thesis option) or Plan B (course work plus research paper and final project presentation). Course work must be distributed over three academic disciplines (e.g.,  Latin American and Caribbean Studies, History, and Political Science)

 

Plan A: Course Work and Thesis
Students selecting Plan A will complete the following courses, which total a minimum of 21 course credits and 9 thesis credits:

  • 3 credit LAMS 5000 seminar in Latin American Studies
  • 3 credit theory/methodology course in the core discipline of choice (Anthropology, History, Political Science, Language and Literature, or Art History)
  • 15 credits of related interdisciplinary course work
  • 9 credit thesis completed under the supervision of an advisory committee

Plan B: Course Work, Paper, and Presentation (*recommended plan of study)

In addition to course work and a final presentation, students electing the Plan B, non-thesis option, complete an independent study paper. This paper is completed under the direction of a first reader, a faculty member who may also (but need not be) the student's major advisor; two additional faculty members (one of whom can be non-UConn faculty) will serve as second and third readers of the Plan B paper. Students receive 3 credits for this paper, enrolling in LAMS 5890 with the first reader as the instructor of record. Plan B papers generally range in length from 40 to 60 pages. Consistent with the phrasing in the Graduate Catalog concerning Plan B Master’s degrees, the paper should demonstrate “comprehensive understanding of a more general character” of the paper topic.


Students choosing Plan B will complete the following courses, which total 27 credits for coursework and 3 credits for the final project:

  • 3 credit LAMS 5000 seminar in Latin American Studies
  • 3 credit theory/methodology course in the core discipline of choice (Anthropology, History, Political Science, Spanish Language and Literature, or Art History; or course selected with advisor approval)
  • 15 credits of related interdisciplinary course work
  • 6 credits of electives
  • 3 credit LAMS 5890 (Latin American Studies Final Project). Developed by the student under the supervision of an advisory committee, this independent, interdisciplinary research project culminates in a written paper and oral presentation. This course is intended to be the capstone course for the master’s degree, to be completed during the student’s final semester.

 Language Proficiency

Candidates for the MA in Latin American Studies must demonstrate advanced proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese to complete the degree requirements. Except in the case of native speakers of Spanish or Portuguese, all MA candidates must take the language proficiency examination administered by the department of Modern and Classical Languages. Students must pass the language exam before presentation of the thesis or final project. MA candidates are encouraged to pursue study abroad in Latin America and the Caribbean during the summer or winter breaks to improve their language proficiency.

*Recommended Plan of Study (Plan B)

A recommended plan of study consists of 30 credits divided as follows:

First Year: 2 courses plus LAMS 5000 first term; 3 courses second term; (18 credits)

Second Year: 2 courses first term; 1 course plus MA Project (LAMS 5890) second term (12 credits)

 

GRE
The GRE is highly recommended but not required for entrance to the MA program in Latin American Studies.

Admission
A completed application should be sent in one package to the Graduate School and include:

  • University of Connecticut graduate application, available on-line at www.grad.uconn.edu.
  • Personal statement (3-5 pages, double spaced). Statement should include information on the applicant's background related to his/her interest in Latin America and the Caribbean. The statement should also explain how the applicant's long term goals will be served by earning an MA, MA/MBA or MA/MPA in Latin American Studies, as well as a statement of what the applicant has to offer to fellow students and the program as a whole.
  • Three letters of recommendation from former teachers and advisors that can attest to the applicant’s past academic achievement and promise in the program.
  • Official transcripts of all past post-secondary academic course work.
  • Review of applicant’s proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese or plans for meeting the language proficiency requirement.

Competitive applicants are expected to have survey knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean history and a minimum 3.0 g.p.a in undergraduate course work related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Students lacking this background may be admitted provisionally and required to complete nine credits of appropriate undergraduate course work, which will not count towards the MA, before being granted regular status.

MA/MBA
The MA/MBA program combines course work from both Business Administration and Latin American Studies. If the student chooses to complete the MA portion under Plan A, a minimum of 66 credits are required. Most often, however, students working toward the MA/MBA choose Plan B and complete 72 credit hours. Either way, completion of the dual degree usually requires 3 years. The MBA portion of the program comprises 42 credits in business, plus 15 credits of electives chosen from the Latin American Studies graduate course offerings. The MA portion of the program consists of 30 credits (under Plan B). Up to 12 credits of graduate business course work may be counted towards the MA in Latin American Studies.

Students opting for the dual MA/MBA degree program must apply and be admitted to both the School of Business Administration MBA program and the MA program in International Studies. Once accepted, they must meet all the requirements of both graduate programs. Students generally take business administration courses during the initial year of study, courses from business and Latin American Studies during the second year, and courses from Latin American Studies during the third year.

Only one application for admission needs to be submitted. However, all of the admission requirements for both the MBA and the MA programs must be fulfilled: scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT); undergraduate transcript(s); three letters of recommendation; and a personal statement from the applicant are required. Application materials can be obtained by going to www.grad.uconn.edu.

MA/MPA
Students wishing to earn the concurrent MA/MPA must apply and be admitted to both graduate programs, and meet all the requirements of each program. Because students generally opt to complete the MA portion under Plan B, the dual MA/MPA generally requires three years to complete and consists of 60 credits of course work. To satisfy the requirements of the MA degree in Latin American Studies, students complete 30 credits, 6 of which may be earned in MPA courses. To complete the MPA portion of the degree, students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of MPA courses, plus a 12-credit hour concentration in Latin American Studies.
Please check the MPA website for the exact curriculum. Students generally concentrate on courses in one program during the initial year of study and on courses in the other program during the second year. Courses from both programs are taken during the third year.

Masters in Latin American Studies and Survey Research
This concurrent degree program is appropriate for students who wish to combine the Master of Arts in Survey Research theory and skill-based courses with in-depth knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Students wishing to earn the concurrent MA in Latin American Studies and Survey Research must apply and be admitted to both graduate programs, and, once accepted meet all the requirements of each program. The dual MA requires a minimum of 48 graduate credits. To satisfy the requirements of the MA degree in Latin American  Studies, students complete a minimum of 30 credits, 6 credits of which may be earned in Survey Research courses. The MSR portion of the degree requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of courses. For information about the MSR program, visit their website.

Doctor of Philosophy
Students may specialize in Latin America and the Caribbean at the doctoral level while enrolled in Ph.D. programs in individual departments. Several UConn departments offer doctoral programs where significant expertise exists in Latin American and the Caribbean. Outstanding doctoral programs at UConn which provide significant expertise in Latin American and Caribbean Studies include History, Spanish, Political Science, Anthropology, and Education. Additional opportunities for focused study in Latin America and the Caribbean are found in Ecology, Agricultural & Resource Economics, and Natural Resources Management & Engineering.

For information on applying to these doctoral programs visit the specific department or graduate school sites.

Deadlines

Deadlines for admission to MA program and financial aid differ. For admission to the MA program, which is only for the fall semester, the deadline for complete applications is August 1st. If you also wish to be considered for financial aid, submit your materials to the Graduate School by February 1st. Financial aid is awarded by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies for the full academic year only.

Financial Support

Grad School Fellowships - includes a tuition waiver and a stipend

Nathan Whetten Latin American Research and Conference Travel Fellowships - awarded by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Robert G. Mead, Jr. Fellowship - awarded by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies to the outstanding first year MA student specializing in Latin America.

Nathan Whetten Fellowship - awarded by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies to the outstanding doctoral candidate preparing a dissertation on Latin America.