Master of Arts in the Field of Latin American and Hemispheric Studies

The master of arts in Latin American and hemispheric studies (LAHS) degree program offers an interdisciplinary program designed to provide a broad and deep knowledge of context and place based on sound theory and practice. The program prepares students to develop innovative approaches to the enduring problems and emerging challenges of the hemisphere. This training will allow graduates to grapple with an often contradictory blend of political and economic successes and failures throughout the region.

The internationally recognized faculty, drawn primarily from the Washington, D.C. policy community, provides an insider's perspective on key institutions and policies. The program coordinates a series of events that brings leading policymakers from Washington and the world over to engage with students and faculty on issues facing the hemisphere.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree with background course work related to Latin America and at least two years of study of Spanish or another relevant hemispheric language

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

Interdisciplinary cornerstone (3 credits):
IAFF 6341Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Cornerstone
Core Field (9 credits):
Three of the following:
ANTH 6702Issues in Latin American Anthropology
Or another 6000-level anthropology course approved by the advisor
ECON 6285Economic Development of Latin America
GEOG 6261Geographical Perspectives on Latin America
GEOG 6293Special Topics (Migration and Development)
IAFF 6342Drug Trafficking in the Americas
IAFF 6358Special Topics in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies (Indigenous Social Movements)
HIST 6701Topics in Latin American History
PSC 6383Comparative Politics of Latin America
PSC 6484International Relations of Latin America
Any Spanish course numbered in the 3400s, 3500s, 4400s, or 4500s that focuses on the literature of Latin America
Specialized fields (12 credits):
At least two courses in two of the following fields:
Art History, Literature, and Culture
Economic Development
Global Public Health
International Business
Political Science
Courses taken in the Core Field may not be double-counted in a specialized field. Students must receive permission from the Program Director to apply other courses towards a field.
Electives (12 credits):
Approved in advance by the Program Director. May include up to six credits of language course work in Spanish (other foreign languages spoken in Latin America will be considered on a case-by-case basis). They may also include up to 4 credits of one-credit skills courses. Additional courses may also be taken from any of the specialized fields, or in other areas or disciplines where such course would contribute to the student's professional knowledge and development.
Interdisciplinary capstone (4 credits) :
IAFF 6359Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Capstone (1 credit fall, 3 credits spring)

language proficiency requirement. The ability to communicate across cultures in more than one language is a distinguishing and expected skill of the international affairs professional. Therefore, completion of the M.A. in Latin American Studies requires a demonstrated oral and reading proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese.

graduate-level research methods course applicable to the student's area of specialization. We strongly encourage this course be taken within the first three semesters to help prepare students for their capstone in their fourth and final semester.

All Elliott School master's degree students (except MIPP students) are required to complete the capstone. Those students who wish to complete a thesis must do so in addition to the capstone requirement. Students pursuing a thesis need a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and approval from the faculty member they wish to serve as their thesis director. Thesis students also need to complete at least one research methods course. Thesis credits will be counted as elective or specialization credits with Program Director approval.

For more information including the specialized field course list visit the program website