Graduate students seeking to strengthen their area expertise are encouraged to earn a certificate in Latin American studies in conjunction with an advanced degree in any university graduate program. Candidates demonstrate expertise in Latin American studies through their graduate or professional field, but are also encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary studies to enhance their professional development.
Students interested in pursuing the certificate should meet with the director of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) to discuss the requirements, which include:
- Successful completion of 9 graduate-level credits (three courses, with a grade B or above in each). Two of the three courses must be outside the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Coursework must be approved in advance by the program director and in consultation with the faculty member teaching the course. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in scheduled seminars to fulfill this requirement. However, in some cases 3 credits may be a directed research/independent study course, supervised by a member of CLAS who is also a member of the graduate faculty.
- Successful completion of a significant research project in Latin American studies. At the master of arts level, this may include a master's thesis, if required by the student's program, or an expanded seminar paper. At the doctor of philosophy level, it is expected that a substantial part of the dissertation will be devoted to Latin American issues. Alternatively, a scholarly article focused on a topic in Latin American studies may also fulfill this component of the certificate.
- Demonstrated language proficiency in a Latin American language. The student should be able to carry out research and to converse with native speakers. Proficiency may be attained through coursework (having completed the second year of language study) or informal education. Proficiency will be determined by completed coursework, examination, or by arrangement with the director of CLAS.
Students satisfying these requirements will be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies upon completion of their degree.