Accessibility Navigation:

 

UNC Charlotte Latin American Studies


M.A. in Latin American Studies

Apply NowFor further information, contact  Dr. Jurgen Buchenau, Chair and Professor (jbuchenau@uncc.edu 704-687-4536).

The program in Latin American Studies leading to the Master of Arts degree provides students with the skills and knowledge to understand and analyze the societies of Latin America and the Caribbean—a region of key importance in the age of globalization and mass migration. The program will provide an excellent foundation for advanced graduate study in the humanities, social sciences, and law. It is also design ed to prepare the growing number of students who seek careers in the foreign service and other government agencies as well as those who will seek employment in non-governmental organizations with an international or cross-cultural orientation or in international business. Finally, it will also serve as an important qualification for individuals in education and the social services who work with the burgeoning Hispanic population of North Carolina.

The M.A. program in Latin American Studies has the following educational objectives:

  • to study the culture, geography, history, politics, and society of Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean
  • to provide an understanding of the socio-cultural background of the Latino population in the United States
  • to understand economic development and underdevelopment from a comparative perspective
  • to undertake interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences using a variety of methodologies
  • to instill writing and critical thinking skills by teaching rigorous scholarly inquiry and research methods at a level appropriate for graduate education
  • to develop language competencies in Spanish and/or Portuguese


Additional Admission Requirements
In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School , an undergraduate degree, preferably in Latin American Studies or in a related field such as Anthropology, Architecture, Art, Geography, History, International Studies, Political Science, Portuguese, Sociology, or Spanish, with a GPA of at least 3.0 is required. However, the admissions committee will consider applicants with an average lower than this minimum if the other elements of the application are strong.

Spanish proficiency at the advanced level as demonstrated by undergraduate course work, an oral interview, a standardized test, and/or life experience is also required. Knowledge of Portuguese is desirable but not required.

Lastly, a combined score of at least 1000 on the verbal and math portions of the GRE is required. Again, the admissions committee will consider applicants with a lower score than this minimum if the other elements of the application are strong.

The following documents must be submitted for admission:

  • UNC Charlotte Graduate School online application form.
  • Official academic transcripts.
  • Official GRE score.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Evidence of proficiency in Spanish.
  • Three letters of recommendation on the UNC Charlotte recommendation form.
  • International students only: evidence of proficiency in English as well as the following UNC Charlotte forms: immigration status, statement of financial responsibility, and estimated expenses.


Degree Requirements
The Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies requires completion, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, of at least 30 hours in approved graduate courses. These courses must include at least 18 credit hours which are only open to graduate students. No more than twelve semester hours may be taken for credit in the degree program at the 5000 level.

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in all LTAM graduate courses to remain in the program. As per the academic regulations of the UNC Charlotte Graduate School , one U or more than two grades of C in graduate coursework will lead to suspension in enrollment.

At the end of the program, students will display Spanish proficiency at the advanced level in speaking, reading, and writing.

Most students will complete the program in two to three years. University policy requires that no course listed on a master's student's candidacy form be older than six years at the time of graduation. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to count in a degree program.

Transfer Credit
Early entry students can double count up to 9 credit hours.  In other words, up to 9 hours of graduate work may be "double counted" toward both the baccalaureate and graduate degrees.

Admission to Candidacy Requirements
An Admission to Candidacy form must be submitted during the semester preceding the one in which the student plans to complete the degree requirements, either by defending a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination.

Curriculum
Students will choose one of two tracks within the degree program: a thesis track and an examination track. The thesis track prepares students for graduate work at the doctoral level in Latin American Studies or one of its constituent disciplines, while the examination track prepares students for employment in the private and public sectors.

I. Thesis track (30 hours)

  1. Interdisciplinary core (12 hours)
    • Two sections of LTAM 5600 Seminar in Latin American Studies (6 hours).
    • LTAM 6910 Thesis Tutorial (3 hours).
    • LTAM 6920 Masters Thesis (3 hours). As part of this course, students will prepare and defend a thesis before a committee composed of three faculty members from at least two different disciplines. A satisfactory grade (A or B) on the thesis is required for graduation.
  2. Multidisciplinary work (18 hours)
    • Social Sciences: LTAM 6100 and one other course in the social sciences (6 hours)
    • History: Two courses in Latin American history (6 hours)
    • Humanities: LTAM 6300 and one other humanities course (6 hours)
    • Note: Up to two of these courses may be independent studies (LTAM 6800 and/or 6801)

II. Examination track (30 hours)

  1. Interdisciplinary core (9 hours)
    • Two sections of LTAM 5600 Seminar in Latin American Studies (6 hours) Or one section of LTAM 5600 and 3 hours of LTAM 6400 Internship.
    • LTAM 6950 Comprehensive Examination (3 hours). Based on an interdisciplinary reading list of at least 40 titles, students will take a written and oral comprehensive examination before a committee composed of three faculty members from at least two different disciplines. A satisfactory grade (A or B) on the written examination is required to proceed to the oral examination; in case of an unsatisfactory grade, the written examination may be retaken once. Similarly, a satisfactory grade of A or B on the oral examination is required for graduation, and the student may retake the oral examination once in case of an unsatisfactory grade.
  2. Multidisciplinary work (21 hours)
    • Social Sciences: LTAM 6100 and one other course in the social sciences (6 hours)
    • History: Two courses in Latin American history (6 hours)
    • Humanities: LTAM 6300 and one other humanities course (6 hours)
    • One other course taken in any of the categories above.
      Note: Up to two of these courses may be independent studies (LTAM 6800 and/or 6801)