Degrees & Courses

Graduate Program Overview

The M.A. in Latin American and Iberian studies is designed for students wishing to pursue an interdisciplinary degree at the graduate level. Although there is no doctoral program in Latin American and Iberian Studies, many successful graduates of the M.A. program pursue doctoral study in traditional academic departments such as anthropology, communications, economics, history, literature, or political science, or enter professional schools to study business administration, education, law, or public health. The broad, interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students a great deal of scope to define and develop special interests.
Degree Requirements
A total of 38 units are required for the M.A. program. Students take at least 32 units of upper-division and graduate coursework in Latin American and Iberian Studies (at least 20 of these units must be from graduate coursework, courses numbered between 200-299 or 596) plus 6 additional units of Master’s Thesis Research and Preparation, LAIS 598. A maximum of 8 units of 596, Directed Reading and Research, can be counted towards the Master’s degree. All courses must be passed with a grade of B or better. Graduate students must enroll in and complete 12 units per quarter.
Required Courses
  • One course is required from the following list; this course will count toward one of the areas of concentration; LAIS 200 is the recommended option.
    • LAIS 200- 4 units
    • LAIS 201- 4 units
    • LAIS 202- 4 units
  • LAIS 203, Library Research Requirement- 2 units
  • Major area of concentration- 16 units
  • Second are of concentration- 8 units
  • Third area of concentration- 4 units
  • Fourth area of concentration- 4 units
  • LAIS 598, Master’s Thesis Research and Preparation- 6 units 
In addition to the courses that LAIS offers, students may also take courses in the following departments: History, Film Studies, Music, Dance, Theater and Performance Studies, Religious Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature, Linguistics, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Black Studies, Chicano/a Studies, Feminist Studies, Environmental Studies, Education, Geography, and Global Studies.
A printable checklist of the required courses can be found here
Language Requirement
Students are required to take a written translation exam in any language of the Americas or Iberian Peninsula. Most students will take a Spanish written translation exam. Students will translate two (2) 250-word passages; one from English into the foreign language of choice, and the other from the foreign language of choice into English. Both passages must be translated in full within 1 ½-hour exam time. The use of a dictionary is allowed. Each student can coordinate with the Graduate Program Assistant to take the exam. Students are encouraged to fulfill the language requirement by the end of their first quarter of the program. 
Master’s Thesis
Students begin planning for their thesis while they are still taking coursework, but do not ordinarily register for LAIS 598, Thesis Preparation, until all other required courses are completed. Expect to revise your thesis draft several times. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the thesis in a timely manner so that all of the committee members can read and comment on it and so the student can submit a revised draft. All committee members must approve the final draft. The Master’s Thesis Committee must consist of at least three UC ladder faculty members (Assistant, Associate, and/or Full Professors). Two members must be ladder faculty who are LAIS affiliates, one of whom will be appointed as chair or co-chair.
Graduate Courses

200. Introduction to Latin American and Iberian Studies

(4) Staff
Required for all graduate students in the program.

Designed to acquaint students with current research on the main areas of Latin American and Iberian studies as well as the faculty associated with the program. OFFERED FALL QUARTER ONLY.

201. Interdisciplinary Approaches to the History and Societies of Latin American and Iberia

(4) Staff
Prerequisite: graduate standing.

Issues central to the study of Latin America and Iberia across the social sciences and history. Topics may include nationalism, revolution, politics and the state, economic development and international relations, labor, popular culture, race, gender, religion, migration, environment, imperialism, and colonialism.

202. Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Cultures, Languages, and Literatures of Latin America and Iberia

(4) Staff
Prerequisite: graduate standing.

Issues pertinent to the diverse cultures, languages, and literatures of Latin America and Iberia; disciplines and approaches may include pre-Columbian studies; Spanish and Spanish American literatures; Portuguese and Brazilian literatures; translation studies; cultural, gender, and queer studies; Romance language and linguistics.

203. Library and Archival Resources and Research in Latin American and Iberian Studies

(2) Staff 
Prerequisite: graduate standing.

Introduces students to digital and paper library and archival resources and research. Students will learn effective use of library and online research strategies from the instructor and the LAIS librarian. OFFERED FALL QUARTER ONLY.

590. Teaching Assistant Practicum

(4) Staff
Prerequisite: TA appointment.
Units earned do not apply toward completion of advanced degrees. S/U grading only. Required of TAs in LAIS. Participation in occasional workshops related to the field of teaching is required.

Supervised teaching of LAIS discussion sessions at UCSB.

596. Directed Reading and Research

(2-4) Staff
Prerequisite: graduate standing

Individual independent study which could include work with the Education Abroad Program. A written proposal for each tutorial must be approved by student's program advisor and by the department chair. The number of units that a student may take depends on the nature of the program and the consent of the advisor or the graduate committee.

597. Individual Study for M.A. Comprehensive

(2-8) Staff
Prerequisite: graduate standing.
No unit credit allowed toward advanced degrees.

Individual study for M.A. comprehensive. Instructor should be student's major professor or chair of advisory committee.

598. Master's Thesis Research and Preparation

(1-6) Staff
Prerequisites: fulfillment of all graduate requirements except the thesis.

Only for research and writing of the thesis, under the direction of a faculty member in the program and with the approval of the program director.