Master of Arts in Latin American Studies

The Master of Arts in Latin American Studies is designed for students who seek to integrate a broad range of disciplinary approaches to a world region of growing international significance.

Upon graduation, most students pursue advanced degrees in academic or professional fields, while others move into careers in the private sector or in government.

Latin American Studies Degree Requirements

  1. Demonstrate foreign language competency in Spanish or Portuguese.
    - Letter from Professor of upper division LTSP course
    - Successfully complete Foreign Service Exam (2+ or better)
    - Native fluency (educated to at least high school level in Spanish/Portuguese high school)
  2. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in 40 units of course work (ten courses). Twelve units (three classes) must be taken in the Latin American Studies Core Curriculum (LATI 200, methodology seminar, and theory seminar). The remaining 28 units (seven courses) are electives from the approved list of Latin American Studies Courses.  They may include a LATI 298 (Directed Reading) and LATI 299 (Independent Research). A student must take courses from at least three different departments, with no more than 16 units (four courses) in any one department.
  3. Successfully complete a master's thesis.
Completion of the degree is normally expected within two academic years of three quarters full-time academic work plus one summer session. Those individuals needing (a) intensive language instruction,( b) part-time employment, or (c) extensive field research for the thesis may require longer. While there is no maximum amount of time students can take to complete the program, students are only eligible to recieve University financial support for a maximum of 7 quarters.

Concentrations in Latin American Studies

M.A. students in Latin American studies who are interested in specific disciplines or research topics may apply for a disciplinary or thematic concentration. Currently students may choose from the following concentrations:

Please Note: The History and Sociology Concentrations are primarily designed for students who see the Master's program as an opportunity to receive training for a subsequent academic career in History or Sociology. Following graduation, most of these students will apply for admission to Ph.D. programs in History, Sociology, or related areas of study. Other students will proceed to private sector or government careers in which their general knowledge about Latin America and the specific skills they gain through the concentrations will be important assets.

The Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and International Migration Concentrations are intended for students who seek interdisciplinary training and are particularly interested in gender studies, culture or migratory movements involving Latin American populations. Upon graduation, some of these students will pursue more advanced degrees in academic or professional fields. Others will move on to private sector or government careers in which their general knowledge about Latin America and background in international migration or gender issues may be particularly useful.

Degree Checks

Graduate students are encouraged to use the following degree checks in conjunction with regularly meeting with the graduate program coordinator. 

General Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies with a concentration in:







  • Apply and submit all documents online via GradApply.
  • A Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution; upload offical copies of transcripts from all universities attended
  • GRE scores; GRE code for UCSD is 4836 and GRE code for Latin American Studies Program is "Area Studies-2201".
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • TOEFL scores from international applicants whose native language is not English 
  • Writing sample of 20 pages or less
  • All documents should be submitted to the online application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For frequently asked questions, please click here.  For additional questions regarding the M.A. program, please contact us at 858-534-7967.

Additional Resources

Here is a list of other resources that are available to our Latin American Studies Graduate Students:

Financial Information

UCSD-SDSU Graduate Exchange Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions? Check out our frequently asked questions about the Latin American Studies Program.