MA_Header 1.jpg

Our individualized programs foster the regional expertise vital to creating smarter policy, deeper knowledge, and more just global communities.

MA students with a strong interest in Latin America and the Caribbean can complete the Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) graduate certificate. Students in any graduate program at the University can pursue the LACS certificate—and can benefit from CLAS courses, events, and community.

CLAS has worked closely with MAPSS and MAPH (due to the structure of MAPH, students in that program pursue a LACS option) to create information tailored to those programs and to serve students pursuing research in the social sciences and humanities.

Through this program we closely mentor a diverse range of students, helping them to make the most of our rich curriculum in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, forge close ties with faculty, participate in our many conferences and events, and plan their research in the region. Students’ interests span a broad spectrum, but they all share the conviction that our individualized training will give them a strong, balanced foundation in Latin America and the Caribbean that will enhance their work in everything from public policy to NGOs to education, business, research, or the arts.

A few benefits of pursuing LACS at UChicago

  • Personalized Advising Upon entering their MA program, students work with CLAS to develop a personalized program of study, cultivate their research interests, and identify a faculty adviser for their master's thesis. Certificate students receive ongoing guidance from CLAS so as to be able to connect to the wider community of CLAS faculty and students.

  • Travel Opportunities LACS certificate students are eligible to apply for funding to help subsidize two or more weeks of field research in their country of study. The CLAS Tinker Field Research Grant supports preliminaryfieldwork in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the Latin America and the Caribbean, excluding Puerto Rico. Applications for the competition open during the Winter Quarter and students are expected to conduct field research during the Summer Quarter.

  • Community The University of Chicago is a place devoted to intellectual engagement, which students and visitors infuse with creativity and ambition. LACS students are strongly encouraged to participate in CLAS-sponsored events and one of the two Latin America-focused workshops, which regularly bring students and faculty together in lively discussions of ongoing research and writing. Beyond the workshops, CLAS brings dozens of Latin American scholars, activists, writers, and policymakers to campus each year.

  • Library The University of Chicago Library is the ninth largest academic library in North America, boasting 12.6 million volumes in print and electronic form. The library has distinctive collections in a number of disciplines and area studies, and 45% of its collections are non-English, supporting research with a global impact. Beyond the library’s extensive circulating holdings on Latin America, with notable strengths on the colonial era, Mexico, and US foreign relations with Central America, the library holds some of the world’s richest resources on the indigenous cultures and languages of Mesoamerica, including the Chicago Archive of Indigenous Literatures of Latin America. Other specialized collections include a Latin American music collection with over 320 scores and 250 recordings not commercially available, and an archive of Brazilian television and cinema, housing more than 300 movies and television series. A dedicated Latin American and Caribbean Studies Librarian works closely with LACS students on their research interests. Learn more about Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the UChicago Library.

Questions? MA students who are interested in pursuing the certificate or option should contact CLAS Assistant Instructional Professor Diana Schwartz Francisco.