Graduate Certificate

The Latin American Studies Program offers an inter-disciplinary Graduate Certificate in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies. The Graduate Certificate is offered only in conjunction with a disciplinary master’s or doctoral degree program and is overseen by the CLACLS Executive Committee. It is intended to certify competency in area and language studies. The Graduate Certificate encourages graduate students to enhance their professional development by taking courses outside their discipline which contribute to training in internationalism, multiculturalism and foreign language competence.


1. Students must be enrolled in a regular M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. or Ed.D. program.

2. Four area study courses at the 500 to 800 level in three disciplines from a listing of “core” courses. Core courses are defined as those containing at least 25 percent Latin American, Caribbean or Latino studies content.*

One of the four courses may be “support” course if the student writes a research paper on Latin American, Caribbean or Latina/o studies theme.

One of the four courses may be an independent study.

Up to two undergraduate courses may be taken as graduate independent studies if the student writes an additional research paper on Latin American, Caribbean or Latina/o studies theme for the course. This option is subject to the instructor’s permission.

Two undergraduate courses at the 300 or 400 level may be substituted for one graduate level course.

A grade of B or better must be obtained in all courses; only one course may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

3. All course work must be above and beyond that completed as an undergraduate, with the exception of language proficiency (see 4 below).

4. Language Proficiency: demonstrated reading knowledge and conversational ability in Spanish or Portuguese. This may be met by having completed language studies through the third year (Spanish 301 and 310, 311 or 312; or Portuguese 301 and 302 at UMass or their equivalent at other institutions) or by examination.

5. Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation on a Latin American, Caribbean or Latina/o studies theme. In departments where qualifying exams are offered in the field of Latin American, Caribbean or Latina/o studies, these may be substituted for the Master’s thesis. In departments that offer Master’s degree without a thesis requirement or a comprehensive exam in Latin American, Caribbean or Latina/o Studies, students will complete a special Master’s Project, of at least three credits, by permission of the CLACLS Executive Committee. Credits toward the Master’s Project will be above and beyond the credits required in number 2 above.

*A list of available courses that may be applied to the requirements is compiled every semester, and may be obtained at the Center