Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS)

Georgetown University - SFS - School of Foreign Service

Program Description

Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS)

Georgetown University - SFS - School of Foreign Service

The Master of Arts in Latin American Studies at SFS is designed for students pursuing careers in government, business, and international organizations in the U.S. and abroad as well as those who contemplate additional post-graduate work in the humanities or social sciences. M.A. students typically focus their studies in one of the following disciplines: Government, Political Economy, History, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights, Development, Literature and Cultural Studies, Anthropology or Security Studies.

While most students complete the degree in two years on a full-time basis, part-time and accelerated options are available as well.

In addition to the MA in Latin American Studies, CLAS also offers an undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies, a joint MA/PhD program with the Department of Government, a joint M.A/JD program with the Georgetown University Law Center, and an accelerated BAorBS/MA program. Also, cooperative degree agreements with 16 colleges and universities allow undergraduates from these schools to pursue an accelerated masters degree in Latin American Studies at CLAS.

The Center sponsors three summer graduate programs located in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia and encourages individual summer research throughout the hemisphere.

Learning Goals

Mastery in Latin and inter-American affairs in hemispheric, transatlantic, and/or global context through:

  • Differentiating social, cultural, political, and economic developments in a historical context;
  • Illustrating changing and contested constructions of identities and belief systems among the diverse peoples of the region;
  • Analyzing relations between political and governmental structures and changing social and cultural formations;
  • Synthesizing the interplay between economics and politics, focusing on production, profit, exchange, distribution and welfare, and their relations with political power.
  • Demonstrating oral proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese with a basis of grammar, vocabulary, accent, and fluency.
  • Developing skills of analytical and integrative thinking to communicate effectively for different audiences and purposes through writing and speaking.
  • Illustrating basic and advanced qualitative and quantitative research skills, including fluency with relevant print and virtual bibliographic and research guides.

Degree Requirements

There are three major degree requirements for the MA degree:

  • 42 credit hours of graduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale OR the completion of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework and the successful defense of an MA thesis.
  • Language proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Completion of the written comprehensive examination.

Coursework

Each MA candidate is required to take one Research Methods course relevant to their chosen concentration and take four courses that count toward the core requirements; seven courses in their chosen concentration; and two elective courses. Selection of courses is done in consultation with the Associate Director, the M.A. Program Director, and the student's faculty advisor(s).

Students planning concentrations in Government, Political Economy, or any other course of study requiring work in Economics must have completed introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment. No prerequisite courses (including those in language or economics) can be waived and none will count towards the 42 graduate credits required for completion of the MA.

Core Courses

  • LASP-501 Latin America Origins/Transformation
  • LASP-503 States & Societies: Latin America
  • LASP-603 Quant Methods in Practice

ANTHROPOLOGY

  • ANTH-358 Doing Anthropology Fieldwork
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
  • GOVT-562 Conflict and Democracy
  • GOVT-570 Gender & Conflict Resolution
  • GOVT-573 Human Rights & Conflict Resolution
  • GOVT-581 Intro to Conflict Resolution Skills
  • GOVT-587 Transitional Justice
  • GOVT-647 Global Justice
  • INAF-648 Intl Migration & Development
  • INAF-687 Refugee Law & Policy
  • INAF-698 Intro to Humanitarian Crises
  • LASP-421 Violence & Political Change: Andes
  • LASP-579 Peace Process & Post-Conflict: LA
  • LASP-580 Citizen Security & Democracy: Latin America

DEVELOPMENT

  • INAF-487 Practice/Ethics in Global Dev
  • INAF-648 Intl Migration & Development
  • INAF-687 Refugee Law & Policy
  • INAF-698 Intro to Humanitarian Crises
  • LASP-417 Sustainable Devel in L.A.
  • LASP-424 Brazilian Society
  • LASP-437 Pathway to Food Security: LAC
  • LASP-492 Devel & Brazilian Experience
  • LASP-521 Energy Security: Western Hemisphere
  • LASP-579 Peace Process & Post-Conflict: LA

HISTORY

  • HIST-352 Topic: South American Frontiers

POLITICAL ECONOMY

  • GBUS-461 Political Economy of Cities: LA & Asia
  • GBUS-462 China-Latin America Relations
  • GBUS-493 Ethical Decisions: Glbl Bus&Gov
  • GOVT-551 Comparative Policy Process
  • GOVT-566 Politics of Cuba
  • LASP-521 Energy Security: Western Hemisphere

GOVERNMENT

  • GOVT-542 Civil Society: Emerging Democracy
  • GOVT-550 Democracy Promotion
  • GOVT-551 Comparative Policy Process
  • GOVT-555 Post Communist Politics
  • GOVT-562 Conflict and Democracy
  • GOVT-570 Gender & Conflict Resolution
  • GOVT-577 Corruption Conflict & Security
  • GOVT-587 Transitional Justice
  • GOVT-629 Executive Branch Policy/Policymaking
  • GOVT-647 Global Justice
  • GOVT-780 Fundamentals Pol Theory
  • LASP-421 Violence & Political Change: Andes
  • LASP-521 Energy Security: Western Hemisphere
  • LASP-560 Journalism & Politics: Americas
  • LASP-577 International Organizations LA
  • LASP-579 Peace Process & Post-Conflict: LA
  • LASP-580 Citizen Security & Democracy: Latin America

LITERATURE AND CULTURAL STUDIES

  • LASP-424 Brazilian Society
  • LASP-492 Devel & Brazilian Experience
  • LASP-560 Journalism & Politics: Americas
  • SPAN-421 Brazilian Cinema: An Introduction
  • SPAN-427 History of Spanish Language
  • SPAN-436 Colonial/Post Colonial Visions

SECURITY

  • GOVT-562 Conflict and Democracy
  • GOVT-577 Corruption Conflict & Security
  • GOVT-587 Transitional Justice
  • LASP-421 Violence & Polit Change: Andes
  • LASP-437 Pathway to Food Security: LAC
  • LASP-521 Energy Security: Western Hemisphere
  • LASP-579 Peace Process & Post-Conflict: LA
  • LASP-580 Citizen Security & Democracy: Latin America
  • SEST-587 Security Lessons in Latin America
  • SEST-594 Energy & Security
  • SEST-602 Violent Non-St Acts: World Policy

Electives

Students must take two elective courses unless they pursue a bi-disciplinary concentration, in which case they must only complete one elective course. Electives allow for experimentation, diversity, and additional study in fields outside the concentration and are commonly used to strengthen a regional or issue focus.

  • LASP-417 Sustainable Devel in L.A.
  • LASP-421 Violence & Political Change: Andes
  • LASP-424 Brazilian Society
  • LASP-437 Pathway to Food Security: LAC
  • LASP-492 Development & Brazilian Experience
  • LASP-512 Economy for Latin American Studies
  • LASP-521 Energy Security: Western Hemisphere
  • LASP-560 Journalism & Politics: Americas
  • LASP-577 International Organizations LA
  • LASP-579 Peace Process & Post-Conflict: LA
  • LASP-580 Citizen Security & Democracy: Latin America
  • LASP-603 Quantitative Methods in Practice

Independent Study

CLAS students have the opportunity to arrange independent studies for academic credit. Independent study programs must include the development of an original research project on a topic related to the student’s coursework or thesis. Individual mentors must be obtained to oversee the independent study, and the program must be approved by the MA program director.

Research Modules

CLAS offers not-for-credit ‘research modules’ designed to offer research, writing and methods training to graduate students pursuing the MA program.

The Thesis Option

Students who wish to complete a thesis must identify a research topic and a thesis adviser by the end of their first semester. Students choose two faculty members to guide their thesis process: a thesis advisor and a second reader. It is strongly suggested that the thesis adviser be a member of the CLAS faculty. Second readers may be either full-time Georgetown University professors or adjunct faculty.

The Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is offered two times each year (in November and March). The purpose of the exam is to allow students to demonstrate their mastery of general subject matter related to Latin America and their particular area of concentration as well as a broad familiarity with the literature of their field of study. All students must pass the comprehensive exam in order to complete the Master's degree.

Information for Incoming Students

We look forward to welcoming all of you to Georgetown on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 for GSFS orientation (location in your email), and Thursday, 24 August 2017 for CLAS MA program orientation. We ask you to please be on campus at 11:45 am on the 24th for the distribution of orientation materials (and lunch!). We will officially begin CLAS orientation at 12:00 pm that day.

Orientation will continue the following week with the Concentration Fair on Monday, 28 August, and the Graduate School Orientation on Tuesday, 29 August. See Graduate School Orientation website for more information.

International students are required to attend the Office of Global Services orientation beginning on Monday, 21 August 2017. You will not be able to register for classes if you do not attend their orientation. For more information check their website.

First Day of Classes

Classes begin on Wednesday, 30 August 2017. On that day we will follow a Monday class schedule, so please plan to attend classes whose normal meeting time is Monday.

NetID Distribution

Hopefully, you have received your NetID (the portion of your Georgetown email address that is prior to the “@”) and your password.

At Georgetown, your NetID is very valuable as it allows you to access your student account, to register for courses, etc. You should activate your NetID as soon as you receive it. If you have not yet received any information regarding the NetID, please let me know so that I can follow up appropriately.

Once you have received and activated your NetID, please send it to clas@georgetown.edu so that you can be added to our mailing list(s) for CLAS newsletters, job/internship opportunities, communications about housing in DC, updates on orientation, etc.

GOCards

Your GOCard (Georgetown One Card) is your student ID. If you have not received a message from the GOCard office with instructions on how to activate your GOCard, please visit http://gocard.georgetown.edu/managing/first/ to get more information. It is best to activate the GOCard before you arrive in August, as the lines to do so once you arrive on campus will be long!

Immunization Requirements

Each of you should have received notice of what kind of immunization(s) you need to enroll at Georgetown and to go to school in the Washington, DC area. In case you have any doubts, please read the Student Health Center website and, in particular, make sure you fill out the 2017-2018 Immunization Certificate by 1 July 2017.

ALL STUDENTS, without exception, need to submit the 2017-2018 Immunization Certificate before enrolling at Georgetown. If you do not do so or do not meet the immunization requirements, you will not be allowed to register.

If you have questions about this, please call the Student Health Center directly at 202.687.2200.

Financial Information

If you have any financial questions, please contact the Office of Billing and Payment Services (http://studentaccounts.georgetown.edu or 202.687.7100) or the Office of Student Financial Services (http://finaid.georgetown.edu/ or 202.687.4547). If you are having trouble getting in touch with anyone or finding the answers you need, please let me know.

Advising and Registration

All first-year MA students will speak with Julie McMurtry for academic advising. She will be available on Skype, Google Hangout, phone, or in-person meetings. After these meetings, you will be able to register for fall classes using an internet-based system (for which you will need your NetID).

We will send instructions on how to use the system when we contact you to coordinate these advising sessions.

The system will open for new graduate students on Monday, 26 June 2017, so you cannot register before then. This registration is “live,” which means that classes may fill up quickly, so you should register as soon as registration opens.

Generally, we recommend that full-time students take four courses per semester. For most first-year students, these should be two core classes plus two courses in a field that you are considering for your concentration. If you later change your concentration plans, those additional courses may become electives. Deviations from this standard plan can be discussed with me or a faculty member during your advising appointments. The latest fall schedule can be found online (choose Fall 2017 Class Schedule - Main Campus).

Cost & Fees

Enrollment Fall 2017 (Credit Hours) 12 9 6 9
Tuition & Mandatory Fees $51,041 $39,071 $23,971 $32,876

Entry Requirements

Successful candidates for admission to the MA in Latin American Studies at SFS will have completed at least six semesters of lower-division Spanish or Portuguese with a C or better, or the equivalent of Georgetown’s Advanced II level in either language. Native speakers of Spanish or Portuguese must meet Georgetown’s standards for English language proficiency. CLAS places great value on such skills as the ability to adapt to new cultures, develop and manage projects, work independently, overcome language barriers, and leverage limited resources. Accordingly, CLAS strongly encourages the application of Returned Peace Corps volunteers, Jesuit Volunteers, and Fulbright Scholars to its MA program. CLAS considers all elements of a candidate’s application when making admissions decisions. GRE scores and college grades are considered alongside the candidate’s experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. CLAS’ evaluation of an applicant is based on the combined strength of all elements of the application. Applicants to the MA program must submit:

  • The GSAS online application
  • Official transcripts from every undergraduate and graduate institution in which the applicant has been enrolled (hard copies; submitted by mail to GSAS)
  • A 500-word personal statement describing the applicant’s academic interests and future goals
  • Three letters of recommendation, a minimum of two of which are from professors or others who can speak to the applicant’s academic strengths. If necessary, the third letter may be from a professional contact. Any problems obtaining letters from academic references should be addressed in an applicant’s personal statement.
  • Test scores (GRE or TOEFL as appropriate)
  • The CLAS supplementary data form

The GRE is required of all applicants who completed their undergraduate degree in an English-speaking environment, regardless of nationality or native language. Those applicants who completed undergraduate work in a non-English speaking environment must achieve a satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS score. All application materials must be submitted online, with the exception of the applicant’s official transcripts, which must be submitted in hard copy to the Graduate School. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

International Applicants

English language proficiency is required of all candidates for the MA in Latin American Studies. Information about Georgetown University’s standards of English language proficiency for graduate students is available on the website of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. International applicants can also find important information about Scholarships and Financial Aid as well as Visas and Financial Certification on the Graduate School's website. Immigration and travel questions, as well as any other issues faced by an international applicant, can be addressed by Georgetown’s Office of International Programs (OIP). The International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) at OIP exists to help international students through the application process and assist them with anything they may need once on campus.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated October 12, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Duration
Duration
2 years
Part time
Full time
Price
Price
2,065 USD
per credit hour.
Information
Deadline
Jan. 15, 2019
The application deadline for the fall semester (prioritized consideration for scholarships). Final deadline is April 1st. The application deadline for the spring semester is November 1st.
Locations
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Jan. 15, 2019
The application deadline for the fall semester (prioritized consideration for scholarships). Final deadline is April 1st. The application deadline for the spring semester is November 1st.
End date Request Info
Dates
Sept. 2019
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Application deadline Jan. 15, 2019
The application deadline for the fall semester (prioritized consideration for scholarships). Final deadline is April 1st. The application deadline for the spring semester is November 1st.
End date Request Info