Global & International Studies Master’s Degree

Core Knowledge and Skills (9 Hours):

Topic Specialization Cluster (9 Hours):

Students choose 3 courses that enable them to specialize in a topic or issue, in a geographical area, in a particular discipline, etc. This focus must be approved by the student’s advisor. Specific courses must be selected in consultation with an advisor. These courses will prepare the student for the thesis/comparative research paper.

Other Electives Cluster (6-9 Hours):

Elective hours can include 2 semesters of a 3rd language that is a less commonly taught language in LAC. These courses must be 500 level or above to count toward the 30 hours of required graduate courses.

Please note, for the 2 clusters above:

  • 12 hours of the electives must be at the 700-level or above. GIST 702 is strongly recommended.
  • 9 hours must be LAC or cross-listed courses
  • At least 50% Latin American/Caribbean content.

Thesis (6 Hours) or Comparative Research Paper (3 Hours):

GIST 898 is strongly recommended for students opting to complete a thesis and counts toward the thesis hour requirement.


The language requirements should be satisfied as early as possible.

  • Spanish OR Portuguese: Students must demonstrate comprehensive proficiency (aural, speaking, reading, writing ability) in either language.
    • Proficiency in Spanish requires completion of SPAN 424 and SPAN 428 or a higher-level course.
    • Proficiency in Portuguese requires completion of a 500-level or higher literature course.
  • Second language: Students also must complete two semesters in a second language (SPAN 104 and SPAN 108; PORT 104 and PORT 108), or the equivalent (e.g. PORT 611). Quichua, Kaqchikel Maya, or Haitian Creole may be substituted as the language of reading proficiency with approval of the director.

Thesis/Research Paper and Oral Defense:

  • Prepare thesis or comparative research paper.
  • Successfully pass an oral defense of that paper to the satisfaction of an M.A. examination committee.
  • Submit your paper to an academic journal(s) to be considered for publication.

Connect with Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Learn about faculty who specialize in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as funding opportunities, special lectures, and events by connecting with Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS). CLACS was established in 1961 and is a federally funded National Resource Center. Contact Robert Schwaller, Associate Director if you have questions about faculty and scholarships.