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Master of Arts (M.A.) Program in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

The Masters program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to students with interests in academia, the private sector, government service, and international development agencies. The program nurtures analytical, multicultural and problem-solving skills through exposure to perspectives, methodologies and theories of several disciplines. Each student’s degree, tailored to individual needs and interests, prepares graduates for professions that require an understanding and appreciation of multicultural and Latin American and Caribbean settings. The University of South Florida, with faculty in fields with research, teaching and professional Latin American and Caribbean related experience, is uniquely positioned to offer an interdisciplinary graduate degree that develops the skills required to be a knowledgeable global citizen. With a vibrant Latino population, rich cultural heritage and commercial ties to Latin America and the Caribbean, the Tampa Bay area is a fertile setting in which to study Latin American and Caribbean cultures.

To Apply

The university's application for admission is available online at


Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admissions Requirements

Same as university plus:

  • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores, when applicable
  • A resume that includes professional, volunteer, and academic information
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably by academics
  • Statement of Purpose, two-page, typed and double-spaced that describes education experience, interest in attending graduate school, and career goals. Professional, volunteer and travel experience related to Latin American and the Caribbean are also of interest to be included.
  • Official transcripts (unofficial transcripts may be reviewed by the Committee)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

International students: Transcripts/documents that are issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by a literal English translation. In addition, transfer applicants who completed any postsecondary work (college or university) at an institution not in the U.S. are required to submit an evaluation of that academic work. The evaluation must include a course-by-course assessment, with grades or marks and credits or hours equated to the U.S. system. Click here for a list of evaluation services.

Application Deadlines:
1. Fall Semester: Domestic - June 1st ; International – May 1st
2. Spring Semester: Domestic - October 15th; International – September 15th
3. No summer admissions

Further questions can be address to:
Mrs. Linda Boyette (Academic Program Specialist)
(813) 974-0790

Bernd Reiter, Ph.D. (Associate Professor and Graduate Director)
(813) 974-3583


The curriculum consists of 36 credits divided into four categories:
• Core course 9 credits (6 cr. LAS seminar + 3 cr. methodology)
• Major Field of Specialization (12 credits)
• Background/Electives (9 credits)
• Thesis or Supervised Study (6 credits)

Graduation Requirements
All candidates for the degree must demonstrate language proficiency either by examination or by completing a 3000-level course or higher in Spanish or Portuguese with a B or better. Finally, all non-thesis candidates must pass a six (6) hour comprehensive written exam which consists of three (3) questions. The latter will be composed and graded by the committee.

Core Courses
Students must take two core (LAS) seminars and one methods course. It is very important to take the methodology class early in the program, since it will provide an important foundation for student research as well as the MA thesis. Even those students choosing the non-Thesis option need to have good methodological training to conduct research in the context of required coursework.

Students will elect a major or concentration during their first semester. The major and elective course requirements draw heavily on participating departments (e.g. Anthropology, History, Government and International Affairs, Art History). Courses offered by affiliated departments are listed separately and change somewhat from year to year. Departments who closely work with ISLAC are Anthropology, Government and International Affairs, Sociology, Geography, Social Work, Education, Women’s and Gender Studies, History, World Languages, Humanities and Cultural Studies, Art History, Africana Studies, and Global Health and Mental Health.
Students that chose Global Health, Education, International Relations or World Languages have the possibility to complete an additional graduate certificate in those fields. Please seek advice from ISLAC academic advisor before enrolling in these course work options.

Background in Latin American Studies and Electives
Students should take nine credits of background and elective course work outside the major and required course work to complement their core studies. These credits might include technical, study abroad courses or internships. In all cases, students must discuss their elective credit hours with ISLAC academic advisor.
In addition, students opting for the non-thesis track must take one more course, one in their major, and one of the background/electives courses.
Students considering teaching in community colleges are encouraged to take more classes in their major field.

Requirements for MA

MA Course Tracking Sheet