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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (LAS)

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Master of Arts (M.A.)
CIP Code: 05.0107
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 36

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
Government and International Affairs Department (GIA)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue SOC107
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Rachel May
Phone: 813-974-8140


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

The mission of ISLAC is to promote research and study in and about Latin America and the Caribbean. ISLAC is an academic unit devoted to interdisciplinary research and teaching focused on economic, social, political and cultural formations in Latin America and the Caribbean and among the Hispanic/Latino populations in North America. The Institute fosters greater knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean and Latino issues, through partnerships with community organizations and other USF departments to sponsor lectures and cultural events that are open to the public throughout the year. We also support graduate students and faculty research in the area, and provide opportunities for Latin Americanist scholars at USF to collaborate and disseminate their work.

Faculty Interests Include:
ISLAC's affiliate faculty members are drawn from the social sciences, humanities, arts, and human service fields. We include faculty from the following departments:History, Spanish-American and Caribbean Languages and Literature, Humanities, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Business, Geography, Public Administration, Fine Arts, Public Health, Education, Africana Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and Mental Health.

Research Areas:
Includes, but is not limited to: Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean, transatlantic studies, human rights, citizenship, race and ethnicity, education and public health migration and Diaspora.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: September 15

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements
Same as University but in addition must have:

  • 3.00 GPA
  • three letters of recommendation
  • statement of purpose and resume
  • GRE not required, but suggested for full financial consideration

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

The Curriculum consists of 36 credits divided into three categories:

Core requirements
Major Field Requirements
Thesis or Comprehensive Electives
9 credits—6 seminar, 3 methodology)
12 credits
9 credits

6 credits





Students must take two interdisciplinary core seminars and a methods course upon entering the program. The core seminars, directed by a faculty member from one of the participating departments, will familiarize students with the literature, existing knowledge, and research approaches of the various fields of area studies and invited to acquaint students with faculty and their research. The purposes of the seminars are:

  • to provide an interdisciplinary graduate experience
  • to foster a community of scholars and learners focused on Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino experiences

Students will also take a three (3) hour methodology course that acquaints them with particular research relevant to their major field of study and when possible, Latin America and/or the Caribbean. This includes special approaches to finding documentation from Latin America and the Caribbean; newly-available search tools available on the internet; and an overview of how disciplines utilize different research materials.

With the concurrence of the ISLAC advisor, students will elect major and minor fields during their first semester. These fields will draw heavily on participating departments (e.g., Anthropology, History, Government and International Affairs, Art History). At that time the student will constitute a supervisory committee, made up of two professors from the major field and one from the minor field. The committee members will counsel the student and serve as members of the exam or thesis committees.

A large number of courses are available to fulfill the major and minor field requirements. These are listed separately and change somewhat from year to year. Departments who frequently work with ISLAC are Anthropology, Government and International Affairs, Sociology, Mass Communication, Geography, Social Work, Women's and Gender Studies, Global Health, Philosophy, Economics, History, World Languages, Humanities and American Studies, Art History, Africana Studies and Education. Students may also request to have courses from other departments count toward major or minor fields.



Students can take one elective from outside the major and minor fields, in order to complement their core studies. These might be technical courses, study abroad courses, internships, math and science courses, methodology, or another unrelated field. In all cases, students must justify their elective hours and receive approval from their committees.

In addition, students opting for the non-thesis track must take one more course in each of their major and minor fields (2 courses total). Students considering teaching in community colleges are encouraged to take more classes in their major field.



Graduation Requirements
At the conclusion of their coursework, students who opted for thesis must gain approval of the thesis by the committee.

All candidates for the degree must also demonstrate language proficiency either by examination or by completing a 3000-level course in Spanish or Portuguese with a B or better.

Finally, all non-thesis candidates must pass a six (6) hour comprehensive written exam of three questions, which will be composed and graded by the committee. Students must also meet all College and University Graduation Requirements.



At the conclusion of their coursework, students who opted for thesis must gain approval of the thesis by the committee.






College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

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