The Graduate Program in Latin American and Iberian studies at UCSB is unique in the UC system for its Iberian component. The program offers a Masters of Arts degree, with the year 2020 marking the 40th anniversary of the first theses.
The M.A. in LAIS is designed for students wishing to acquire a deeper knowledge on the region from more than one disciplinary angle within the humanities and social sciences. Many successful graduates pursue doctoral studies in traditional academic departments such as history, anthropology, sociology, communications, or literature, and make academic careers. Others work in the education sector, in nonprofit organizations or enter professional schools to study business administration, law, or public health. The broad, interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students a great deal of scope to define and develop special interests.
LAIS Students benefit from a thriving community of nearly 60 faculty affiliated with the program and a diverse student population, almost a third of them of Latin American origin. Every other year the program organizes international conferences where students present their research alongside their peers from other departments and other campuses nationally and internationally. Graduate Students are also active participants in tertulias, or talks and roundtables on issues of pressing political concern in the region today.
UCSB, with its world class faculty, its diverse student population, its rich indigenous heritage and Mission Archives –holding manuscripts dating back to the Spanish and Mexican rule in the region– and its continuous connections with Latin America, particularly, Mexico and Central America, is one of the best places in the country to pursue Latin America and Iberian Studies.