Latin American History Graduate School Programs

This article provides a description of Latin American history graduate programs and includes information on common entrance requirements and some common courses students could study. Schools offering Culture & Media Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Latin American History Graduate Program Description

The study of Latin American history is a key element in a Master of Arts (MA) or graduate certificate in Latin American studies and to apply, applicants must hold a B.A. and be able to demonstrate proficiency in one of the modern languages spoken in Latin America. Graduate certificates and masters programs can take between 1 and 3 years, although there may be flexible part-time options available, whereas Ph.D. programs must be completed in eight years or less. Regardless of the path students chose, most programs offer courses ranging from pre-colonial times to colonialism to contemporary Latin American studies.

Common Courses in Latin American History Graduate Studies Programs

History of Colonialism

A graduate course in the history of Latin American colonialism will focus on the major political, social and economic trends throughout the history of Latin America from the indigenous empires in the 15th century to the wars of independence in the 18th century. It also may delve deeper into subtopics such as religion, economy and the environment. Students should come away with a deep understanding of how European contact influenced both Latin American history and culture.

Effects of Colonialism in Latin America

While studying the effects of colonialism in Latin America, students will focus on the institutions of colonialism and how the subsequent post-colonial systems put into place after European contact affected the indigenous peoples of Latin America. A course on colonialism also may explore sub-themes such as race, gender, and religion. Students should come away with a holistic understanding of how European colonialism has had a lasting impact on Latin American society that is still visible today.

Contemporary Latin America

Throughout a course on contemporary Latin America, students will examine the social, cultural and political issues facing Latin America and the Caribbean today. It may also examine Latin America's potential for economic growth along with its leadership in regional institutions. Students should come away with a deep understanding of Latin America's social, cultural and political events in the context of today's globalized society.

Latin American Cultural Identity

A course on Latin American cultural identity will examine how European culture and indigenous cultures both to Latin American culture. The course may delve deeper into topics such as religion, language, race relations, nationalism, and art. Students should come away with a multi-faceted understanding of how Latin America's culture in a unique blend of cross-continental cultures that continues to change.

Modern Languages

Though many Latin American History graduate programs require students to demonstrate proficiency in at least one of the modern languages spoken in Latin America, all programs require students to either continue their language studies or deepen their research by studying in that language. Students can deepen their mastery of a Latin language such as Spanish or Portuguese or in an indigenous language such as Quechua and Nahuatl. Alternatively, students can complete academic or field research in one of the modern languages.

Common Entrance Requirements

Regardless of the program, students should hold a B.A. degree from an accredited university. Along with an application form, applicants are generally required to submit GRE results and transcripts of all previous higher education. Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one of the modern languages spoken in Latin America, such as Spanish or Portuguese. Additionally, most Ph.D. programs will require candidates to submit multiple letters of recommendation and a personal statement of academic or research interest.

Students have access to graduate programs that study Latin American history as a graduate certificate, Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, or further as a Ph.D. The majority of graduate programs are interdisciplinary and will build on existing secondary language knowledge as well as deepening students knowledge of the history, culture and current contemporary Latin American life.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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