The mission of ISLAC is to promote research and study in and about Latin America and the Caribbean. ISLAC is an academic unit devoted to interdisciplinary research and teaching focused on economic, social, political and cultural formations in Latin America and the Caribbean and among the Hispanic/Latino populations in North America.
The Institute fosters greater knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean and Latino issues, through partnerships with community organizations and other USF departments to sponsor lectures and cultural events that are open to the public throughout the year. We also support graduate students and faculty research in the area, and provide opportunities for Latin Americanist scholars at USF to collaborate and disseminate their work.
Faculty Interests Include:
ISLAC’s affiliate faculty members are drawn from the social sciences, humanities, arts, and human service fields. We include faculty from the following departments: History, Spanish-American and Caribbean Languages and Literature, Humanities, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Business, Geography, Public Administration, Fine Arts, Public Health, Education, Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies and Mental Health.
Includes, but is not limited to: Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean, transatlantic studies, human rights, citizenship, race and ethnicity, education and public health migration and Diaspora.
Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.
- three letters of recommendation
- statement of purpose
- GRE not required, but suggested for full financial consideration
Total Minimum Hours: 36 Credit Hours
- Core – 6 Credit Hours
- Methods - 3 Credit Hours
- Specialization – 12 Credit Hours
- Electives – 9 Credit Hours
- Thesis/Non-Thesis – 6 Credit Hours
Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)
Methods Requirement (3 Credit Hours)
Major and Minor Fields
With the concurrence of the ISLAC advisor, students will select major and minor fields during their first semester. These fields will draw heavily on participating departments (e.g. Anthropology, History, Government and International Affairs, Art History). At that time the student will constitute a supervisory committee, made up of two professors from the major field and one from the minor field.
Specialization (12 Credit Hours)
Students complete 12 hours of courses in their specialization. Courses may be taken from participating Departments, such as Anthropology, Government and International Affairs, Sociology, Mass Communication, Geography, Social Work, Women’s and Gender Studies, Global Health, Philosophy, Economics, History, World Languages, Humanities and American Studies, Art History, Africana Studies and Education. Students may also request to have courses from other departments count toward major or minor fields.
Electives (9 Credit Hours)
Students can take three electives from outside the major field. Elective courses must be approved by the Graduate Director and must have 50% of the course content focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos. Eligible courses include, but are not limited to those listed under specialization.
Thesis/Non Thesis (6 Credit Hours Minimum)
Students select either the thesis or non-thesis option.
- LAS 6971 Thesis in Latin America and Caribbean Credit Hours: 1-12 (6 credits)
In their thesis, students must provide new insight into a relevant topic in political science or international studies. As students approach the thesis stage, they need to compose a thesis committee consisting of a major professor, who must be a member of the Department of Government and International Affairs, and two readers. One of the two readers can be from another department, but that person must first be approved by the Graduate Director. The thesis committee must approve proposals before students embark on their thesis. Students must prepare a written thesis and defend their work in a formal oral presentation before their committee.
For students in the thesis option, successful completion of the Thesis serves in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam. For students in the non-thesis option, the extensive literature review determines competency and serves as the equivalent of a comprehensive examination.
Foreign Language Requirement
At the time of graduation, students must submit proof of proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or another language spoken in Latin America or the Caribbean.