There are four major degree requirements for the MA degree:

  1. 36 credit hours of graduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale OR the completion of 33 credit hours of graduate coursework and the successful defense of an MA thesis.
  2. Language proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese.
  3. Completion of an Internship.
  4. Completion of a Capstone Project.


Each MA candidate may be required to take one Research Methods course relevant to their chosen concentration and take four courses that count toward the core requirements; six courses in their chosen concentration; one elective course and one Capstone course. Selection of courses is done in consultation with the Associate Director, the MA Program Director, and the student’s Concentration Advisor(s).

Students planning concentrations in Government, Political Economy, or any other course of study requiring work in Economics must have completed introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment.

To view a list of courses offered at Georgetown, visit the course catalog database. 


Concentrations guide students by shaping their curriculum around a particular area of interest. CLAS students can concentrate in the following:

  • Anthropology
  • Conflict resolution and Human Rights
  • Development
  • Government
  • History
  • Literature and Cultural Studies
  • Political Economy
  • Security Studies


Students may take one elective course. The elective allows for experimentation, diversity, and additional study in fields outside the concentration and is commonly used to strengthen a regional or issue focus.

Independent Study

CLAS students have the opportunity to arrange independent studies for academic credit. Independent study programs must include the development of an original research project on a topic related to the student’s coursework or thesis. Individual mentors must be obtained to oversee the independent study, and the program must be approved by the MA program director.


The Walsh School of Foreign Service offers a variety of graduate certificates that allow students to focus on a particular region or topic throughout their studies. Certificates, unlike concentrations, show up in your transcript. The certificates listed below are offered by departments and centers across the SFS and have their own requirements in addition to the requirements of the M.A. in Latin American Studies. 

Students must work with the academic advising staff at both CLAS and the department offering the certificate to accommodate the requirements of a certificate program and the M.A.

The Thesis Option

Students who wish to complete a thesis must identify a research topic and a thesis adviser by the end of their first semester. Students choose two faculty members to guide their thesis process: a thesis advisor and a second reader. It is strongly suggested that the thesis adviser be a member of the CLAS faculty. Second readers may be either full-time Georgetown University professors or adjunct faculty.