Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



Degree Requirements for the Master's Degree

Minimum Requirements
The Master’s degree (M.A.) in Latin American and Latino Studies requires at least 30 credits. A “B” average (3.0 GPA) must be maintained in courses taken for the Master’s degree.

Required Courses
Distribution Requirements
Capstone Requirement
Language Competency


Required Courses

Three courses, comprising 11 credits, are required for the degree:
  • LALS 5001 Latin American & Latino Cultures should be taken early in the student’s career, preferably in the first semester of graduate work. It is designed to introduce students to major themes and debates in the field. (4.00 credits)
  • LALS 5020 Latin American and Latino Studies Research Seminar focuses on the writing of the M.A. capstone and the presentation of the capstone to a peer audience. (4.00 credits)
  • LALS 5021 Latin American and Latino Studies Seminar for Service Learning/ Internship/Research includes field experience; all students must complete hands-on practical experience as part of their graduate training. To meet the field experience requirement, students, in consultation with their advisor, will be required to complete either a service learning project, an internship, or guided research project in New York or in Latin America. (3.00 credits)
Distribution Requirements
Electives must include courses from at least three of the disciplines represented by the program; these disciplines include History, Sociology and Anthropology, Political Science, Economics, Theology, African and African American Studies, Art History, Spanish, and Psychology. The electives must also be distributed so that at least three courses have a U.S. Latino focus, and at least three courses have a Latin American focus. For example, a course such as History of Brazil would meet two distribution requirements, as a history course and as a course with a Latin American focus. Students will consult with their program advisor about specific electives for their individual program of study.

One course in cultural or social theory, such as theory of postcolonial literature, or a course in methodology, such as historiography, or a skills course such as statistics, can count as one of the courses needed to complete the degree.

Capstone Requirement
A capstone paper is required for the M.A. degree in Latin American and Latino Studies. The overall standard that the paper should meet is that it should be based on primary sources, and meet professional standards of documentation and argument. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to analyze a Latin American or Latino issue from the perspective of more than one discipline. Students must prepare their paper to conform to the appropriate style manual for their topic (Chicago Manual of Style, MLA Style Manual, etc). The paper requires one mentor and one additional reader. Normally a student will select his or her mentor during his or her first or second semester, take an advanced course from that mentor during his or her second semester, and use that course paper as a first draft for the capstone paper which will be completed in LLGA 5020. LALSI students will present two copies of the paper to the Latin American and Latino Studies Office. They will be kept on file for assessment purposes.

Language Competency
A fundamental requirement of the program is proficiency in one of the spoken languages (other than English) of Latin America and the Caribbean. The language requirement may be met by taking a competency exam or successfully passing an approved language course in Spanish, Portuguese or French. Placement examinations will be administered following admission. Students are encouraged to consult the Director or Associate Director about the language requirement.


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