Jul 23, 2021  
University Catalog 2020-2021 
University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Latin American Studies, M.A.

The master’s degree in Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that highlights the histories, econ-omies, politics, societies, and cultural diversity of Latin America as well as its relations to other parts of the world and to Latin American populations in diaspora. The program allows students to tailor their studies to their interests and professional needs, and provides training in research skills and opportunities to work with community organizations. The degree affords students a wide range of career opportunities in the U.S. and abroad,  including in policy-making and advocacy, the nonprofit sector, research, teaching in community colleges, or pursuing Ph.D. study.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must complete the application process for both the university and the program. Visit https://www2.calstate.edu/apply for admission requirements and materials for the university. Applicants must adhere to all deadlines for the application to the university and submit one copy of official transcripts to the university admissions office. Contact the Latin American Studies Program for program application materials or go to www.calstatela.edu/academic/las for more information. All applications to the department must include program application form, statement of purpose (1-2 pages), two letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 15 semester units in upper-division Latin American content courses is prerequisites to the program; LAS 4970  and LAS 4971  are corequisites for students who do not have a BA in Latin American Studies. Students who have not met these requirements through courses taken as an undergraduate must take courses in post-baccalaureate standing as corequisites to program requirements.

A minimum of 30 units is required for students taking the comprehensive exam and completing the thesis with at least 18 in 5000-level courses. Courses may be chosen from a wide range of disciplines in consultation with the adviser. Students have the option of passing a comprehensive examination or writing a thesis as the final phase culminating experience of the degree program.

Degree Requirements (30 units)

Required Core Courses (18 units)

Electives (6-9 units)

Students completing the thesis or project will take a minimum of 6 units of electives; students completing the comprehensive examination will take a minimum of 9 units of electives. Electives may be chosen from the following 4000-level and 5000 level courses.

Comprehensive Examinations or Thesis or Project (0 or 3 units)

Students must successfully complete either the comprehensive examinations, a thesis, or a project.

Comprehensive Examinations (0 units)

Comprehensive written examinations about Latin America must be passed successfully in two fields approved by the graduate advisor or program director.

Students should expect to take the comprehensive examinations ( LAS 5960  ) no earlier than the semester they complete all course work on their program and must comply with college and program requirements. Students must submit a comprehensive examination form to the Director of Latin American Studies.

Immediately following completion of the comprehensive examinations, students must pass an oral examination conducted by a two member faculty committee.

Thesis or Project (3 units)

Instead of the comprehensive examinations, students may choose to write an interdisciplinary thesis under the guidance of a three-member faculty committee selected in consultation with a thesis adviser. Students who make this choice must enroll in LAS 5990 , for 3 units. An oral defense of the thesis is required.

Instead of the comprehensive examinations, students may choose to produce an interdisciplinary project and project report under the guidance of a three-member faculty committee selected in consultation with a project advisor, who will serve as chair of the committee. Students who choose the project must enroll in LAS 5995   for 3 units. All students must submit an electronic copy of the thesis or project report according to the university guidelines and deadlines as indicated on the Office of Graduate Studies Office website - http://www.calstatela.edu/graduatestudies

Students will write their thesis under the guidance of a three-member faculty committee selected in consultation with a thesis adviser, who will serve as chair of the committee. The thesis will be a systematic study of a significant problem. It will identify the problem, state the major assumptions, explain the significance of the undertaking, set forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyze data, and offer a conclusion or recommendation. The finished product will evidence originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. An oral defense of the thesis will be required.
Students will develop their project under the guidance of a three-member faculty committee selected in consultation with a project advisor, who will serve as chair of the committee. It will be a significant undertaking (portfolio, exhibition, performance, documentary, or other format) appropriate to a relevant professional field or the fine and applied arts. It must have a specific focus, have appropriate form and organization, show a high level of original thought, and require in-depth research. Prior to the project’s undertaking, students will develop a project proposal with bibliography that specifies why the art form, media, or other chosen format is appropriate to the project’s goals, and how the project relates to the area of Latin American Studies. The final project must include a written report that states the project’s significance, objectives, methodology and conclusion(s), and addresses any changes from the initial proposal. It may also include visual documentation (CD, DVD, USB Flash drive).  An oral defense of the project will be required.