MA in International Studies with a Concentration in Latino & Latin American Studies
In the Master’s program in Latino & Latin American studies at El Instituto, students engage in interdisciplinary study and research related to Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American worlds. El Instituto has nine core faculty and is supported by over 90 affiliated research faculty in departments throughout the university. El Instituto’s courses and faculty research examine a wide array of local, hemispheric, and global dimensions of the Latinx, Caribbean, and/or Latin American condition. Our graduates go on to work in education, administration, cultural, business, government, and not-for-profit organizations, and many go on to pursue a Ph.D. and other advanced degree.
In picking a methodological and theoretical orientation for their thesis papers, students may choose any discipline (e.g. Anthropology, Economics, Sociology, Spanish, among others) while also taking courses in at least two additional disciplines. Our students are also free to elect to do coursework and research in either Latinx or Latin American/Caribbean studies, or may choose to devise a transnational frame of study that crosses the conventional regional/ethnic studies divide.
General Plan of Study
A plan of study consists of 30 credits divided as follows.
First Year (18 credits)
First term: two courses plus LLAS 5000 (Introductory Seminar in Latin American Studies)
Second term: two 2 courses plus LLAS 5100 (Transnational and Comparative Latin(o) American Studies)
Summer or Winter Intersession (Optional 3 credits)
Second Year (12 credits)
First term: two courses
Second term: one course plus LLAS 5890 (Writing Credits)
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis in accordance with Graduate School guidelines.
Applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid must submit their completed applications by January 15.
Completed application with the following materials should be sent to the Graduate School:
- UConn graduate application, available on-line at
- Personal statement (5 pages, double spaced). Statement should include:
- Description of the applicant's background related to his/her interest in Latino, Latin American and/or Caribbean Studies.
- Explanation of how the applicant's long-term goals will be served by earning an MA in Latino and Latin American Studies.
- Applicants are encouraged to identify core or affiliated faculty member(s) of El Instituto with whom they wish to work and explain why they would like to work with this faculty member.
- Indication of level of proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese or other Latin American or Caribbean official language. (Candidates who wish to do a transnational or Latin American and Caribbean Studies concentration must pass a language proficiency examination before graduation.)
- Academic writing sample (not to exceed 30 pages).
- Three letters of recommendation from former teachers and/or advisors that attest to the applicant's past academic achievement and promise in the program.
- Official transcripts of all past post-secondary academic course work.
- If applicable, the TOEFL examination (minimum overall score of 550 for the paper-based test or 79 for the internet-based test) or the IELTS (minimum overall band score of 6.5)
- The GRE is not required for entrance to the MA program in Latina/o and Latin American Studies.
Competitive applicants are expected to have survey knowledge of Latina/o, Latin American and/or Caribbean history and a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate course work related to Latina/o, Latin America or Caribbean studies.
Due dates for admission to MA program and financial aid differ. For fall admission to the MA program, the deadline for complete applications is July 28th. Priority consideration for Graduate Assistantships (with tuition waivers) awarded through El Instituto will be given to applications submitted by January 15.
Financial Aid/Research Funding
Graduate Assistantships are normally only awarded by El Instituto for the full academic year. Information about other financial aid options is also available on the Financial Aid website.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires UConn – and all other institutions that participate in federal student financial aid programs - to disclose certain information to current and prospective students, parents, and employees. The University has gathered this Consumer Information on a single website.
Students are also competitively eligible for travel and research fellowships to support the research they need to do for their thesis papers. These funding competitions include:
$100 to $2,000 to support pre-doctoral graduate student research or creative projects related to Latina/o and/or Latin American Studies.
Applications can be submitted by any full-time pre-doctoral candidate enrolled in a graduate program at UConn. Students enrolled in a terminal masters program are not eligible.
Funds may be used for any purpose that furthers students’ academic progress including but not limited to direct research, publication costs, travel to archival or ethnographic research sites; supplies, services, and equipment; conference attendance or educational travel.
The Pre-Doctoral award application deadline is in the early Fall.
Whetten Fund (Travel)
The Whetten Fund provides financial assistance on a rolling basis to graduate students for research. This fund was established to honor the memory of Nathan Whetten, first Dean of the Graduate School at the University and eminent rural sociologist, who published extensively on Latin America.
Application process: for both the Pre-Doctoral and Whetten competitions, applicants should submit a one page proposal summarizing the nature of research, or how funds will enhance progress in area of study, along with a detailed proposed budget and a brief letter of support from applicant’s academic advisor. Please include full name, PeopleSoft ID number and NET ID, advisor’s name, and area of study. Email completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whetten Fellowship (Award)
A fellowship may be awarded annually to a graduate students specializing in Latin American Studies.
Robert G. Mead Fellowship (Award)
Awarded to a graduate student in any discipline specializing in Latin America
Related Graduate Programs
El Instituto also offers joint MA/MPP, MA/MPA, and MA/MBA programs of study:
MA/MPP or MPA
Both regional expertise and functional administrative/analytic skills are combined in the joint Master in Latina/o and Latin American Studies + Masters in Public Administration or Masters in Public Policy program. Students wishing to earn the concurrent MA/MPA or MPP must apply and be admitted to the graduate programs of both El Instituto and the Department of Public Policy (DPP) and fulfill the requirements of each program. The dual MA/MPA(MPP) requires three years to complete and consists of 61 credits of coursework. Students are eligible for a graduate assistantship with tuition waiver from El Instituto during their first two years of study and qualify for similar financial aid from Public Policy in their third year. During this time, they complete an extensive internship with an organization as well as researching and writing a thesis paper with El Instituto. For more details, please look under “Joint Degree Program Options” on the MPA Webpage or the MPP Webpage.
The MA/MBA program combines course work from both Business Administration and Latino & Latin American Studies. This dual degree program consists of 72 credits of coursework distributed between Business Administration (42 credits) and International Studies (30 credits). Students must complete all requirements for the M.A. degree and must demonstrate proficiency sufficient for ordinary conversation and to carry on research in at least one language in addition to English. Students must also complete all of the required core courses for the M.B.A. The dual program allows up to 15 of the course credits taken as part of the M.A. to also count as elective credits for the M.B.A.
Students opting for the dual MA/MBA degree program must apply and be admitted to both the School of Business Administration MBA program and the MA program in International Studies (concentration in Latina/o and Latin American Studies). Once accepted, they must meet all the requirements of both graduate programs. Students generally take business administration courses during the initial year of study, courses from business and Latino & Latin American Studies during the second year, and courses from Latino & Latin American Studies during the third year.
For both joint programs, applicants have to fill out two applications, one for each program, since the programs review the applications separately.