Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificates

MA candidates may participate in three certificate programs for graduate students offered by other academic units of the School of Foreign Service.  To learn more about eligible graduate certificates, follow the links below:

Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies, sponsored and administered by the Institute for the Study of International Migration.

Certificate in International Business Diplomacy, sponsored and administered by the Karl F. Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy.

Certificate in Diplomatic Studies, sponsored and administered by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

Graduate Certificate in latin american studies

Any student already enrolled in a Georgetown University graduate program is eligible to pursue the graduate certificate in Latin American Studies.  Students must declare candidacy for the graduate certificate as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the first year of their graduate program. 

The Graduate Certificate aims to meet the needs of a broad, multi-disciplinary constituency.  Complete the Interest Form to apply!

Earning the graduate certificate requires successful completion of five (5) graduate courses (a total of 15 credits).  Two (2) foundation courses are required, chosen from a set of four offerings:  Origins and Transformations (LASP-501), Culture and Power (LASP-502), States and Societies (LASP-503), and Political Economy (LASP-504).  Three (3) courses are electives.  Demonstration of proficiency in a language from the region (Spanish or Portuguese) is also a requirement for the graduate certificate.

This curricular structure allows students to individualize their study and pursue their specific interests while ensuring that their knowledge of the region is marked by disciplinary and thematic breadth.  Students wishing to pursue the CLAS graduate certificate must work with their home program to determine how courses taken to complete the certificate fit within their graduate program’s required coursework.  The CLAS Associate Director will coordinate closely with the home program and advisor of each student pursuing the graduate certificate to ensure smooth integration.

In choosing elective courses, students should prioritize graduate-level (i.e., 500-, 600-, or 700-level) courses. No more than two elective courses could be over/under courses, and taking such courses requires the approval of the CLAS Associate Director and the student’s graduate program advisor.  Any course with a LASP prefix (at the appropriate level) will be automatically approved as an elective course.  All other elective courses chosen from among the offerings of other departments and programs require the approval of the CLAS Associate Director and the student’s graduate program advisor. 

Please see the CLAS website and your home program website for a partial listing of eligible courses.

Language Proficiency:

All students pursuing the graduate certificate are required to take the oral language proficiency examination in Spanish or Portuguese (administered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese) in the semester in which they begin to pursue the graduate certificate. Students must pass the exam with a grade of good or better (on a rating scale of poor, fair, good, very good, excellent) in order to receive the graduate certificate.

Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies

In addition to its graduate student options, CLAS also offers an undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies to undergraduate students who fulfill the Center’s certificate requirements.

Students are required to meet with the undergraduate certificate director during either pre-registration or the add/drop period of the second semester of their junior year to indicate the topic of their thesis and the name of their advisor and to ensure that they are on track to complete the certificate by graduation.  Complete the Interest Form to apply!

Professor Veronica Salles-Reese 
Director, Undergraduate Certificate
ICC 404 
202-687-5884 
sallesrv@georgetown.edu

Julie Walsh McMurtry
Associate Director, Center for Latin American Studies
ICC 484 
202-687-0144
walshje@georgetown.edu

Certificate Requirements

For the undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies, students must satisfy a language requirement and complete four core courses, one elective, and a senior honors thesis.

Certificate students must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese through successful completion of Georgetown's language proficiency exam (administered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese).

Coursework

Certificate students must receive a B average or better in four core courses, one chosen from each of four categories:

  • Government: LASP 341: Latin American Government and Politics. Offered once each year with preference given to juniors and seniors pursuing the Certificate.
  • History: HIST 158 or HIST 159: Latin American Civilization I or II (Fall, Spring).
  • Economics: LASP 316: Economic Development of Latin America.  Offered once each year with preference given to juniors and seniors pursuing the Certificate. 
  • Literature: SPAN 261, SPAN 262, SPAN 267, or a 400-level survey course in Latin American Literature or Culture.
  • An additional elective course is required for the certificate.  This course must have a Latin America focus and may be chosen from the Culture and Politics, Economics, Government, History, International Affairs, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Portuguese, or Theology course offerings.
Thesis Courses

The sixth requirement for the certificate is the thesis process (comprised of two courses: LASP 494-01 in the fall [1 credit] and LASP 495-01 in the spring [3 credits], in which students research, write, and present a substantial thesis. With the guidance of the certificate coordinator, students should decide on their thesis topic and adviser during the first semester of their senior year and should enroll in LASP 494-01.  Second semester of senior year is when the majority of thesis writing takes place and students should be enrolled in LASP 495-01.

Students are required to meet with the Associate Director of CLAS during either pre-registration or the add/drop period for the second semester of their senior year to indicate the topic of their thesis and the name of their adviser, to take inventory of the classes taken toward the certificate, and to make sure that all paperwork is in order. A formal certificate application (available in the CLAS office) must be submitted at this time.

Students must achieve at least a B+ in the proseminar and thesis in order to receive the certificate. Failure to meet these requirements and deadlines is grounds for dismissal from the certificate program.

Undergraduate Certificate Rules and Regulations

No more than one of the six required certificate courses may be taken at universities other than Georgetown.  This includes coursework completed as part of a Georgetown study-abroad program.  Any non-GU courses  must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Director, Prof. Salles-Reese.

Students are required to meet with the Associate Director during either pre-registration or the add/drop period for the second semester of their senior year to indicate the topic of their thesis and the name of their adviser, to take inventory of the classes taken toward the certificate, and to make sure that all paperwork is in order. A formal certificate application (available in the CLAS office) must be submitted at this time. Students must achieve at least a B+ in the proseminar and thesis in order to receive the certificate. Failure to meet these requirements and deadlines is grounds for dismissal from the certificate program.

Substitutions for any requirement must be pre-approved by the certificate director.  It is much more likely that certificate substitutions will be approved for the elective course than for the core courses.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure that written approval for any substitutions becomes a part of his or her file at CLAS.

Georgetown College students who are pursuing the certificate may NOT double-count courses for their major and the certificate (called a minor in the college). The student and his or her advisor in the Georgetown College bear all responsibility for ensuring that courses are counted properly.  SFS students pursuing the certificate may double-count courses. Students must maintain at least a B average in the five courses and must receive a B+ or higher in the thesis seminar in order to receive the certificate.  Failure to do so will result in a student being dropped from the certificate program.

Undergraduate Certificate Program Learning Goals
  • Having familiarity with social, cultural, political, and economic developments in a historical context;
  • Understanding changing and contested constructions of identities and belief systems among the diverse peoples of the region;
  • Reflecting on relations between political and governmental structures and changing social and cultural formations;
  • Demonstrating oral proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese with a basis of grammar, vocabulary, accent, fluency, together with knowledge of literary and cultural productions.
  • Developing skills of analytical and integrative thinking to communicate effectively for different audiences and purposes by writing and speaking within the context of the Senior seminar.
  • Illustrating basic and advanced qualitative or/and quantitative research skills (depending on the theme of Senior seminar thesis), including fluency with relevant print and virtual bibliographic and research guides.