Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

Three degree plans are available; one requires a thesis, while the others require two substantial research papers, one in the major field and one in the minor. The major and minor fields may be any academic areas that offer Latin American content coursework, such as anthropology, economics, government, history, sociology, public policy, literature, and art history. Most plans require the completion of at least thirty-three semester hours of coursework, including either the thesis course, Latin American Studies 698, or the primary and secondary report courses, Latin American Studies 397R and 398R. Dual degree programs may require a different number of hours.

Under all of the Master of Arts degree plans, the student must develop a proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese. Examinations are held each academic year, and the student may repeat them until proficiency is indicated. Students are strongly encouraged to study both languages.

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program is dedicated to providing flexible yet rigorous training for a select number of excellent students whose proposed doctoral program requires an interdisciplinary approach. Our doctoral students combine interdisciplinary training with a focus on practical applications, acquiring not only specialist knowledge of their chosen subject, but also a range of skills and expertise in problem solving and connecting ideas. Upon completion of the degree, students frequently enter professions in which they apply theoretical and methodological knowledge to real-world problems. As part of this training, students are required to participate in a professional placement before defending their doctoral dissertation.

Doctoral students must complete at least thirty semester hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree program, excluding hours in the dissertation courses.

During the first year after admission, the student will work to select a supervising professor for his or her dissertation committee. The supervising professor will serve as chair of the dissertation committee and will be responsible for coordinating the program of study with the student and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies graduate adviser. Coursework (interdisciplinary to the extent feasible) and other requirements for the degree are decided upon jointly by the student, the dissertation committee, and the graduate adviser. The student is expected to develop a high level of competence in reading and speaking either Spanish or Portuguese. He or she must also attain reading-level competence in the other language or some alternative language appropriate to the program of study and approved by the dissertation committee and graduate adviser.

In the social science fields, the student is also expected to become proficient in the appropriate methodologies, such as statistics, quantitative data analysis, ethnography, discourse and textual analysis, etc. The student is required to take comprehensive examinations and to defend his or her dissertation prospectus by the end of the third year in residence. These examinations are determined by the dissertation committee in consultation with the student.

Doctoral students in Latin American studies must submit a dissertation of an interdisciplinary nature. A dissertation committee of at least four professors will be selected by the student, and approved by the Graduate School, in order for the student to advance to candidacy.

The student is admitted to candidacy upon passage of written and oral examinations conducted by the dissertation committee. A research proposal for the dissertation should be submitted by the student to the dissertation committee and the graduate adviser. Evaluation of the proposal is in the hands of the dissertation committee, which may, if appropriate, incorporate the proposal into the oral examination. The doctoral dissertation is submitted to a dissertation supervising committee appointed by the graduate dean. The supervising professor must be from the academic area about which the work is being written.

Details on both the master’s and the doctoral degree program are available from the graduate adviser.

Dual Degree Programs

The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies offers the following dual degree programs. More information is available from the graduate adviser.

Field(s) of Study Degree(s)
Business administrationMaster of Business Administration
Communication studiesMaster of Arts
Community and regional planningMaster of Science in Community and Regional Planning
Global policy studiesMaster of Global Policy Studies
Information studiesMaster of Science in Information Studies
JournalismMaster of Arts
LawDoctor of Jurisprudence
Public affairsMaster of Public Affairs
Radio-television-filmMaster of Arts
Social WorkMaster of Science in Social Work