Graduate Certificate Program


The Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies is available to graduate students in any Boston University school or department who fulfill the following requirements within an existing degree program. In addition to the Pardee School of Global Studies and the College of Arts & Sciences, schools for which the certificate would also be appropriate include Communications, Education, Fine Arts, Law, Management, Medicine, Public Health, and the School of Theology. Participating departments include Romance Studies, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Geography and Environment, Philosophy, and Political Science.


Ideally, students will consult with the CLAS Director at the beginning of their studies in order to ensure that their planned courses will fulfill the goals of the Certificate Program. However, if you have completed some or all of your coursework and believe you are eligible based on the requirements below, you are welcome to apply.


    • Students must successfully complete at least 16 credits of coursework (4 standard courses) in courses primarily focused on Latin America, with a minimum grade of B in each course.
    • At least three of the four courses must focus on a subregional or substantive area (e.g. Brazil, Mexico, comparative government, cultural/archeological preservation, Latin American literature and the arts; Latin American film).
    • Courses must be chosen from at least two schools or departments.
    • No more than 4 credits can be in directed study or research, except with written permission of the CLAS Director.


    • 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 Boston University language instructors. Students must pass a language examination in order to be eligible for the certificate.
    • For students concentrating in subregions or topics where other languages are spoken (French, Haitian creole, Maya, Nahuatl, etc.), we will arrange an assessment of reading proficiency based on a dictionary-aided, timed translation of a professionally-relevant scholarly (or equivalent) document. With the approval of the CLAS director, a student may instead demonstrate oral proficiency as appropriate to the student’s program of study.


    • Students must complete a piece of significant research such as an MA or MFA thesis or doctoral dissertation or two substantial research papers in graduate-level seminars.

Approval of Completion

    • Students need to receive approval of completion from the CLAS Director as well as from their faculty advisor.