Apr 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 
    
Graduate Catalog | 2016-2017 Previous Edition

Latin American Studies, M.A.


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 designed 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 Business, 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 coursework, an oral interview, a standardized test, and/or life experience is also required. Knowledge of Portuguese is desirable but not required.

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:

  1. UNC Charlotte Graduate School online application form.
  2. Official academic transcripts.
  3. Official GRE score.
  4. Statement of purpose.
  5. Evidence of proficiency in Spanish.
  6. Three letters of recommendation on the UNC Charlotte recommendation form.
  7. 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 above, of at least 30 credit hours in approved graduate courses.  These courses must include at least 18 credit hours which are only open to graduate students.  No more than 12 credit hours may be taken for credit in the degree program at the 5000 level. 

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

Tracks


Students select one of two tracks within the degree program:  (1) a Thesis track or (2) 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.  The Examination track prepares students for employment in the private and public sectors.

Thesis Track Requirements (30 credit hours)


Interdisciplinary Core Courses (12 credit hours)

Note:

*As part of the Master’s Thesis 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. 

Multidisciplinary Elective Courses (18 credit hours)

Humanities Courses (6 credit hours)

Note:

Listed above are acceptable elective courses; however, they are not limited to those listed.  Up to two of the elective courses may be independent studies (LTAM 6800  and/or LTAM 6801 ).

Examination Track Requirements (30 credit hours)


Note:

*Based on an interdisciplinary reading list of at least 40 titles, students 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.

Multidisciplinary Elective Courses (21 credit hours)

Humanities Courses (6 credit hours)

Elective Course (3 credit hours)

Select one additional course from any of the above categories.

Note:

Listed above are acceptable elective courses; however, they are not limited to those listed.  Up to two of the elective courses may be independent studies (LTAM 6800  and/or LTAM 6801 ).

Admission to Candidacy


Students are admitted to candidacy either by defending a thesis or taking a comprehensive examination.

Transfer Credit


A maximum of 6 hours of graduate transfer credit will be accepted.