MA in Latin American Studies (LAS MA)

The Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (LAS) prepares students for work in the private sector, government, policy and research think tanks, non-governmental organizations, international institutions, and education. It is a versatile and rigorous one-year program that provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the regional context, languages, dynamics, and issues in Latin America today.

The LAS MA program has recently been revised. The curriculum outlined below represents the new program, which will be current for all students entering BU in fall 2016.  However, please note that the Bulletin button below still reflects the old curriculum.

Curriculum

The MA in Latin American Studies requires a total of 32 credits divided among core (8 credits) and  LAS electives (24 credits).

Actual year to year course offerings vary depending on faculty availability.  Most classes are taught once per year, but some may be taught less frequently.

Courses

Core (8 Credits)
  • GRS IR 713 Latin America: Past & Present (4 credits)
  • One 4-credit research methods course chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser
LAS Electives (24 Credits)

Students take six courses related to Latin America, chosen with the approval of the Latin American Studies Program director.  At least one course must come from history or the social sciences, and at least one course must come from literature, culture, or art history.

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate a high level of competence in either Spanish or Portuguese, including the capability to read, write, and speak the language with sufficient proficiency to understand and be understood. Competence in the foreign language of the students’ choosing is determined by examination by BU language instructors. Students must pass this examination in order to complete the degree.

Research Project

Students write a Master’s Paper (commonly referred to as an MA Paper) as the capstone component of their degree. The paper may take one of two forms:  either a traditional research paper or a policy paper. Students are given broad latitude in selecting topics and approaches, in consultation with their advisors.

All MA Papers must be defended orally in front of a panel of three professors, chosen by the Pardee School (one of the three professors will be the student’s adviser). The purpose of the oral examination is to test the student’s knowledge in the area of research related to the MA paper as well as the student’s ability to discuss that knowledge at length in a clear and compelling manner.