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Latin American Studies Program
Minimum Degree Hours: 30
Students must complete 30 credit hours, including eight 3-credit courses (for a total of 24 credits of coursework) and 6 thesis hours.
All students must demonstrate third-year proficiency in one of the two major Latin American languages (Spanish or Portuguese) and first-year proficiency in a second language spoken in Latin America. Language proficiency can be demonstrated by successful completion of relevant language courses with a grade of B or better as indicated by an undergraduate transcript, as part of the program of study for the MA, or by providing other evidence of proficiency that is certified by the Second Language Teaching and Research Center at the University of Utah.
Language courses do not count toward the minimum of 30 credit hours required for the degree unless they are taken at the 6000 level or higher.
- Disciplinary Concentration
Typically students will satisfy the field or disciplinary concentration requirement by taking a minimum of four classes (12 credits) in a specific discipline or an interdisciplinary area of study (e.g. Environmental Studies).
The concentration can be based in any department or academic program at the university including professional programs (e.g. Social Work, Nursing, Urban Planning, Public Administration), or involve creative and practical interdisciplinary combinations of courses that fit with the students’ career goals (e.g. Gender Studies or Environmental Studies).
Students must take at least one core methods course or research seminar appropriate to their discipline or field of concentration. This course should be chosen in consultation with their faculty advisor.
Students will be required to take classes or write a thesis that examines at least two of four broad regions in Latin America. The regions are defined as Mexico and Central America, South America (not Brazil), Brazil, and the Caribbean.
- Latin American Content Requirement
Overall at least 15 credit hours (five courses) must come from the approved list of LAS content courses.
To qualify for the MA, courses must be taken at the 6000-level or higher. 6000-level courses may include advanced undergraduate courses in which students complete appropriate additional assignments and readings for graduate credit.
Students must complete an MA essay and have it approved by their supervisory committee. An MA essay is a substantial research paper on an issue or topic related to Latin America.
Typically, students will register for 6 thesis credits during their second year in the MA program in order to complete their essay. These credits count toward the overall credit requirement. The course is LAS 6975, which the student will set up with the program advisor.
We encourage students to do the MA essay, although a thesis option is also available upon request.