Top Latin American Studies Graduate Programs

Jun 20, 2018

This article covers the top-ranked schools for students interested in a graduate degree in Latin American studies. Learn what makes each of these top schools special and get more information about their programs.

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Graduate Latin American Studies programs examine various aspects of life and culture in Latin American countries through the lens of a variety of different disciplines. These programs draw on coursework and methodology from social sciences, political science, economics, gender and ethnic studies and history among other academic fields.

School Overviews

The following are the top four ranked schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2018 list of Best Grad Schools with Latin American History Programs.

1- University of Texas- Austin

School Highlight: Both Master's and PhD programs are available, and Master's students can choose from a variety of concentrations and even dual degree program options.

The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas- Austin offers a master's degree program that embraces the interdisciplinary nature of Latin American Studies, drawing on coursework from over 30 different departments throughout the university. The program seeks to prepare students for a wide range of possible careers beyond academia. A variety of concentration options are available, including geographic concentrations in Mexican or Brazilian studies. There is also a PhD program that is better suited for those specifically seeking a career in academic research.

2 (tie)- University of California- Los Angeles

School Highlight: UCLA offers an expert Latin Americanist faculty, an excellent collection of relevant materials and media, and very strong regional support for the program.

UCLA's Master's of Arts in Latin American Studies allows students to design a personalized program that spans the social and natural sciences, fine arts, humanities and professional schools. Students have several dual degree options including concurrent degrees in urban planning or business administration, and articulated degrees in information studies or public health.

2 (tie)- University of Chicago

School Highlight: The University of Chicago offers a Master of Arts program that is very high quality but can be completed in as little as one year.

The Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago offers both a Master of Arts and a PhD program. There is also a BA to MA program that allows undergraduate students to combine a Bachelor's degree of their choice with a Master of Arts program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. There are additional dual degree possibilities with a Master's in Business Administration or Public Policy.

2 (tie)- University of Wisconsin- Madison

School Highlight: A very flexible Master's program or a PhD minor that allows students to create a course concentration that reflects their particular interests.

The Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin offers a Master of Arts and a PhD minor in Latin American studies. The Master of Arts program has few core courses; students are encouraged to develop their own custom program drawing on a wide range of disciplines throughout the school. The PhD minor program can be taken by students enrolled in any other PhD program at the school and requires a minimum of 12 credits in courses related to the regions of the world covered by the program.

Top Graduate Latin American Studies Programs

Duke University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Yale University tied for fifth in the U.S. News & World Report 2018 list, rounding out the total list of the eight top Latin American Studies graduate programs in the country.

Although the University of Texas- Austin ranks at the top of the current list for Latin American Studies graduate programs, several good options are available. Students who are interested in graduate studies in this field have degree programs ranging from a one-year master's program to doctorates from which they can choose.

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