Dec 10, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies 


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.

Research Areas:
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.

Admission Information

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
  • resume
  • GRE not required, but suggested for full financial consideration

Curriculum Requirements

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.


  • 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.


  • TBA Credit(s): 3 (Elective structured class approved by the Graduate Director)
  • Credit Hours: 1-9 (3 Credits Hours) (Literature Review of approximately 50 pages)

  • Students who choose a non-thesis option will be required to complete an additional six (6) hours of course work at the 6000 level.  The student is required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing a substantial literature review in his or her field of concentration.


Comprehensive Examination

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.