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Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

The program requires completion of 45 graduate units. Upon entering, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who works with the student to develop a customized program of study. Students are required to take three core courses in three fields of specialization, select three more courses in any of the three fields from the related curriculum of approved courses, and select three elective courses in any field from across the university's offerings. The fields of specialization are Culture and Society; Environment, Ecology and Sustainability; and Political Economy.

Core Courses for 2018-2019

(Courses for 2019-2020 will be similar, though not necessarily identical.)

Political Economy:

POLISCI 348S: Latin American Politics (Spring 2019, 5 units)

Culture and Society:

HISTORY 371: Graduate Colloquium: Explorations in Latin American History and Historiography (Winter 2019, 5 units)  

Environment, Ecology and Sustainability:

HISTORY 378: The Historical Ecology of Mexico and Latin America (Spring 2019, 5 units)

Related Courses

Students must take a minimum of 15 units in three courses, selecting one from each of the three fields of specialization in the related curriculum with the consent of their faculty advisor.

Elective Courses

Students select three related elective courses (10-15 units) across the Stanford curriculum, with the agreement of one's faculty advisor, in one field of specialization (Culture and Society; Environment, Ecology and Sustainability; or Political Economy).

Language Requirement

Students must take at least 3 units of coursework in a second Latin American language. Students must take either an advanced third year language course if they are proficient in both Spanish and Portuguese, or take a basic course in the language in which they do not possess competence. Up to 6 units of foreign language coursework may be applied toward the M.A. degree. All foreign language coursework must be taken at the 100-level or higher.

Seminar Requirement

Students enroll each quarter in a one-unit seminar (LATINAM 200) on "Contemporary Issues in Latin American Studies," where invited scholars present lectures on major Latin American themes and topics, followed by questions and discussion.

Unit Requirement

The program requires completion of a minimum of 45 graduate units.  All courses for the M.A. degree must be at the 100-level or higher, with at least half being at the 200-level or higher

Capstone Paper Requirement

Each student will have the opportunity to present a topic of research at the CLAS- sponsored symposium held in early June. A final research paper (i.e. capstone paper) must be submitted to the Student Services Administrator by May 16, 2019. See below for guidelines and timeline.

Capstone Paper Guidelines for 2019

Capstone Paper Templates

  • Suggested First Draft Paper Submission to Faculty Advisor: Week of April 15, 2019 (3rd week of the quarter)*
    (*Please note: this is a suggested deadline, which gives you time to receive feedback from your advisors and incorporate it into your final submission.)
  • Final Paper Submission Deadline to CLAS: Thursday, May 16, 2019, 5:00 p.m.
  • Capstone Presentations: Thursday, June 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Stanford Commencement: Sunday, June 16, 2019, 9:30a.m. – 11:30a.m.
  • CLAS Commencement: Sunday, June 16, 2019, 11:45am-3:00pm

Thesis Option

Students may elect to write a master's thesis; they may register for up to 10 units of thesis research under the guidance of an Academic Council faculty member. Thesis units may be counted toward the elective field unit requirements.

Grade Requirements

All courses to be counted toward the M.A. must be taken for a letter grade and earn a 'B-' or better. M.A. candidates must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The only exceptions are LATINAM 200, Law School Courses, and courses in the Graduate School of Business (GSB).

Latin American Studies students may petition a course for consideration by submitting a LAS Related-Course Petition Form (see attachment below).