Starting with the 2020-2021 academic year application, the GRE general test scores are optional and no longer a requirement. Please visit the How to Apply webpage dor detailed information regarding application materials.
There is no minimum grade point average required for admission to the M.A. in Latin American Studies, though strong applications usually include strong GPAs as well.
If you have completed an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree either at a U.S.-accredited institution or at a foreign institution in which the primary language of instruction was English, you do not need to take the TOEFL.
If your previous degree is from an institution outside the U.S. where the primary language of instruction was not English, you must take the TOEFL.
Please consult the Graduate Admissions website for additional information about the TOEFL requirement.
Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions are:
Internet-based TOEFL: 100
A complete application includes the following:
Online application (accessed via the Grad Admissions website)
Statement of Purpose (2-3 page double-spaced; submitted online)
Resume or CV (submitted online)
Academic writing sample in English (10-15 pages double-spaced; submitted online)
Three letters of recommendation (submitted online)
Official transcripts (2 official copies of each from all institutions attended must be mailed to CLAS. 1 unofficial copy of each must be scanned and submitted online.)
Official GRE General Test scores (optional; sent directly from ETS)
Official TOEFL scores (if applicable; sent directly from ETS)
Students do not need to be native speakers but should have a proficient knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese so that they are fairly confident in being able to both converse and read in Spanish and/or Portuguese. All required courses are taught in English (except for language courses), however, some content (readings, films, lectures) may be in Spanish or Portuguese on occasion (most often Spanish when this occurs).
While there is no set standard for the type of connection a student has with Latin America or Iberia, consideration will be given for those students with a history of having worked, lived, and/or studied in Latin America or Iberia.
Stanford is no longer accepting paper supplementary materials. Applicants are expected to upload scanned copies of all their materials, including unofficial copies of transcripts, to their online applications.
Official hard copies of transcripts are also required, and should be mailed directly to:
Latin American Studies
582 Alvarado Row
Stanford, CA 94305-8545
Current Stanford undergrads: your statement of purpose and letters of recommendation should be submitted along with the rest of your online application.
Applicants who are U.S. citizens or Registered U.S. Permanent Residents may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee.
DO NOT access the standard online application for Stanford graduate programs. Instead, you will submit your application online at https://www.applyweb.com/stanterm/
All supplementary materials listed under the application requirements above are also required for Coterm applicants. Completed applications will be accepted online only.
For more information and resources about Coterminal degree programs at Stanford, consult the Coterm section of the Stanford Undergrad Advising and Research website.
No, the Latin American Studies admissions committee will only accept writing samples in English.
The sample should be an academic essay written in English (i.e. a final term paper, a chapter from an undergraduate thesis, undergraduate capstone paper, a paper submitted for publishing, etc.) and the content does not need to be related to Latin America. Applicants who no longer have access to materials from their undergraduate career, will need to write one that meets the application requirement.
Yes, the Latin American Studies admissions committee accepts letters of recommendation written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
Who should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
CLAS strongly recommends that at least two of the letters of recommendation be from former or current professors who can speak about your academic strengths. However, letters from professional contacts will also be considered.
Yes, if an institution you attended issues transcripts in a language other than English, originals must be submitted along with official translations.
Please consult the Graduate Admissions website for more information about transcript requirements.
Stanford Graduate Admissions requires that applicants have completed (or expect to complete before enrollment) a bachelor’s degree (or the foreign equivalent). The Center for Latin American Studies welcomes applicants with degrees in any discipline. Previously admitted students have entered with degrees in fields including but not limited to International Relations, Art, Spanish, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Anthropology.
Please note that applicants with undergraduate degrees in Latin American Studies are generally not encouraged to apply, since the M.A. in Latin American Studies at Stanford is designed as an introduction to the discipline. Exceptions may occasionally be made for applicants to joint (J.D.-M.A.) or dual (M.D.-M.A. or M.B.A.-M.A.) degree programs.
Applicants are required to be proficient in Spanish or Portuguese and have some experience studying, working, or otherwise living in Latin America or Iberia prior to admission.
In general, applicants who have already completed an advanced degree are not encouraged to apply to the M.A. in Latin American Studies. However, the program may be appropriate for an applicant whose previous advanced degree is in a very different field, such as business, engineering, or fine art.
All students take the same three core courses: one each in Culture and Society; Environment, Ecology, and Sustainability; and Political Economy. Core courses may vary slightly from year to year but can be expected to be very similar (if not identical). Click here to see the Core Courses offered in the current school year.
Students must take three related courses, one in each of the three areas listed above or, if a concentration is desired, take the three related courses in one of those areas, from an approved related course list. Course offerings vary somewhat from year to year but can be expected to be similar. Click here to see approved Related Courses offered in the current school year.
Beyond the core courses, related courses, and weekly guest-speaker seminar, students are free to choose elective courses from across the university’s offerings. Elective courses must be approved by Latin American Studies but need not be included on the official related course list. Students may opt to write a masters thesis in lieu of some or all of their elective course units.
Most M.A. students in Latin American Studies receive some form of financial aid. Forms of aid vary from full fellowships to half-tuition scholarships to course assistnatships (a non-teaching position assisting the Tinker Visiting Professors, providing a stipend and partial tuition offset). All applicants are considered for financial aid during the admissions review process. If you wish to be considered for financial aid, simply indicate this when prompted on the online application for graduate study.
U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and permanent residents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands are eligible to apply for a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowship. Please see the FLAS Fellowships page for information and application instructions (a separate application is required). Note that the FLAS fellowships are contingent upon funding from the US Department of Education.
For general questions about Stanford graduate admissions, contact Graduate Admissions.
For issues regarding the application system ( i.e. login issues, changing a recommender), please visit the ApplyWeb FAQ page.
For further questions about the M.A. in Latin American Studies, please contact CLAS Academic and Student Services at email@example.com.