University at Albany

 

 

 

Master of Arts Degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS)

(Application code #015103)

UAlbany Graduate Admissions

Requirements: 30 credits.

ABOUT THE LACS M.A.

The MA Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in an interdisciplinary area and ethnic studies program with major strengths in the following areas: globalization studies, development studies, cultural studies, Mesoamerican anthropology, women's studies, migration studies, U.S. Latino Studies, and Caribbean studies.

When compared to other U.S. programs of its kind, the Department's programs provide a unique integration of area studies and ethnic studies. Beyond that, LACS’ multidisciplinary approaches are integral to its impressive applied research and service outreach activities to institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean and in local, national, and international multicultural communities.

The Master of Arts Program will provide students who want to work in fields involving the Latin American or the Caribbean regions and U.S. Latino populations with a broad humanistic and social scientific knowledge. There is an emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean culture and social processes, and problem-related or area-focused training to prepare students for professional research and policy-oriented careers in federal and state government, international organizations, foreign service, the private sector, and in areas such as education, business, journalism, social work, translation, law and many other employment opportunities that require knowledge of the Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino populations.

Comprehensive knowledge of these areas will be achieved through core interdisciplinary courses. In addition to the core courses offered by the Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, students will choose from related courses offered by the departments of Anthropology, History, Geography and Planning, Hispanic Studies (Spanish and Portuguese language and literature), Political Science, Sociology, Economics, English, Education, Music, Africana Studies, and Women's Studies. Instruction will also cover research methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, and issues in cross-cultural communication. The program will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in the form of a written master's project that addresses specific issues and problems related to these regions. Students choosing the MA terminal degree option are not required to do a Master's project, but must take a comprehensive exam.

Of all the State University of New York Research Centers, the University at Albany has the strongest interdisciplinary faculty with expertise in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Latino population.

Core Courses: 15 credits (See Course Descriptions)

    LCS 502 (3 credits) Latin American Cultures and Societies I
    LCS 503 (3 credits) Latin American Cultures and Societies II
    LCS 504 (3 credits) Seminar: Latin America
    LCS 505 (3 credits) Seminar: The Caribbean
    LCS 506 (3 credits) Reading Seminar on U.S. Latinos

    Supporting Courses: From specialty tracks (9 credits)
    At least one 3-credit course from each of these three specialty tracts. Additional course offerings by track are listed in the Supporting Courses section below.

A. Culture, History, and Society:

LCS 507 Three Island Revolutions
LCS 585 Land and Labor in Latin America
LCS 512 Tourism, Culture, and Identities
LCS 592 Transnationalism, Culture, and Power
LCS 696 Selected Topics in LACS (requires approval; see Guidelines)
HIS 665 Readings in Latin American History
HIS 571 Topics in Latin American and Caribbean History
HIS 572 History of Brazil
HIS 573 The United States and Latin Americna
NT 641 Seminar in Mesoamerican Ethnology
ANT 508 Proseminar in Ethnology

B. Public Policy and International Relations:

LCS 509 International Migration;
LCS 510 Workers and Globalization;
LCS (WSS, HIS) 551 Gender and Class in Latin American Development;
LCS 565 Latina/os and the New Political Economy
LCS 696 Selected Topics in LACS (requires approval; see Guidelines)
POS 553 Politics of Developing Countries
APS 603 The Political Economy of Educational Planning and Development

C. Language and Literature:

LCS (SPN 531) 514 Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean;
LCS (SPN) 515 Los Latinos en EE.UU.: Historia, Cultura, y Literatura
LCS 696 Selected Topics in LACS (requires approval; see Guidelines)
Other appropriate courses in Spanish or Portuguese.

Application of skill requirement: 6 credits to include Lcs 691 and Lcs 697 for students choosing the MA Project option.

LCS 691 Directed Readings Annotated Bibliography Filed (3 credits)
LCS 697 Directed Master’s Project approved for Degree Clearance (3 credits) - (see guidelines) or
MA Comprehensive Exam (This option is only available to students who are getting an MA as a terminal degree.) Students choosing this option must complete 3 additional elective credits in LACS.

Language Requirement

This requirement can be satisfied by graduate level courses in Spanish or a language proficiency examination in Spanish, Portuguese, French, or whenever possible, any language (other than English) widely used in Latin American and/or the Caribbean, must be successfully completed. A grade of B or better at the third year undergraduate level in any of these languages can be substituted for the proficiency examination.

THE LACS MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION OR MASTERS PROJECT OPTIONS

Students enrolling in the LACS Master of Arts degree are expected to complete 30 credits of course work within two years.  Some students may choose to fulfill the degree requirements sooner by completing more than 9 credits per semester, or taking courses offered during the summer that are approved by the student’s advisor.  
Students may choose to complete the requirements for a Masters Degree by either passing a comprehensive examination or completing a substantial project.  Students who intend to apply to the doctoral program must take the project option.  Students who do not intend to enroll in the LACS Ph.D. program may chose the comprehensive examination option.

All Masters degree students must complete LCS 691: Directed Readings. Students can enroll in Lcs 691 only after completing the five core course sequence. This course allows students to develop and demonstrate to the Department they have attained the requisite knowledge of the academic field and understanding of research methods to undertake either an independent project or qualify for the comprehensive examination.

 

MASTERS DEGREE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION OPTION

This option is for students who desire to take the MA as a terminal degree.
Students choosing the MA Comprehensive Exam option are required to complete LCS 691: Directed Readings and an additional 27 credits from among LCS or Advisor approved elective courses in order to complete the 30 credits required for the MA degree.

Students should begin to think about a comprehensive examination topic no later than the end of the first academic year.  The topic will form the basis for the comprehensive examination.

LCS 691: DIRECTED READINGS

By the end of the second semester of full time study, the student should have selected an Advisor who will supervise LCS 691: Directed Readings. In consultation with the advisor, the student will select a Second Reader. The Advisor and the Second Reader shall comprise the comprehensive examination committee.

The student will be required to submit a five-page topic statement. The statement will describe the topic in detail, explain the reasons for selecting the topic, and briefly explain how the topic is related to the student’s professional or career aspirations, and/ or intellectual interests. 

The student will develop a reading list of no less that 30-40 entries comprised primarily of scholarly books and journal articles, or other relevant primary, secondary and creative sources that are germane to the topic. The student will be granted permission to enroll in LCS 691 once the topic statement, including the reading list, have been approved by the comprehensive examination committee.

To successfully complete LCS 691 students must prepare an annotated bibliography of the sources in the original reading list, as amended by the comprehensive examination committee. Each annotation should be between 250 and 500 words in length.  Students are expected to consult with their advisors for guidance on writing annotations.
The annotated bibliography will be divided into three sections:

  1. Items directly related to the topic
  2. Items that provide background or context for the topic
  3. Items that illuminate the theoretical or conceptual dimensions of the topic

Students will have successfully completed LCS 691 when the annotated bibliography has been approved by the comprehensive examination committee. 
The student is required to request in writing that the Advisor schedule the comprehensive examination. The request must be made by October 15 for a Spring term examination, or April 15 for a Fall term examination. Consequently, students are encouraged to submit their annotated bibliography at the beginning of the semester preceding the semester in which the examination will be scheduled. Under extraordinary circumstances and upon the recommendation of the advisor, these deadlines can be waived.

MASTERS DEGREE PROJECT OPTION

Students choosing the Masters Degree Project option are required to complete LCS 691: Directed Readings and LCS 697: Masters Degree Project, and an additional 24 credits. Successful completion of LCS 697 is required for admission to the Ph.D. Program.
Students choosing the Master Project option should identify the project topic no later than after completion of the first two semesters of coursework.  

LCS 691:  DIRECTED READINGS 

By the end of the second semester of full time study, the student should have selected an Advisor who will supervise LCS 691: Directed Readings and serve as the Project Director. In consultation with the advisor, the student will select a Second Reader. The Advisor and the Second Reader shall comprise the project committee.

Students enrolled in the Masters Degree project option are required to submit a 10-15 page proposal, including an extensive reading list, to the Project Director. 
The student will develop a reading list of no less that 50 entries comprised primarily of scholarly books and journal articles, or other relevant primary, secondary and creative sources that are germane to the topic.

THE PROJECT PROPOSAL

The proposal will include a brief description of the project, the importance of the project, the methods to be employed and or relevant theoretical or conceptual issues.
These components of the project proposal correspond to the three sections that will comprise the required reading 

1. Items related directly to the project;
2. Items related to the background areas around the project;
3. Items about theory and method necessary for research on the project.
In consultation with the Project Director, the student will also select a Second Reader for the project at this time and submit the proposal to the Second Reader

THE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Once the proposal, including the reading list, has been approved by the project committee the student will be permitted to enroll in LCS 691: Directed Readings. For successful completion of LCS 691, the student will prepare an annotated bibliography of the approved reading list.
The student will be required to prepare an annotated bibliography. Each annotation should be between 250 and 500 words.  Students are expected to consult with their advisors for guidance on writing annotations. Annotations will demonstrate that the student has studied each item on the reading list and will explain briefly (in one paragraph) how each item on the reading list will be used for the preparation of the project.

LCS 697: DIRECTED MASTER'S PROJECT

The student should anticipate that it may require up to one academic year to complete their research, and they should allocate a minimum of one semester for writing. Students should also allow up to five weeks for the Project Director and the Second Reader to study a written version and suggest changes. To expedite the process, students should remember to submit, with all revised versions, all draft copies with the marginal and other comments of the Readers intact, so that the Reader might see how changes recommended in a prior version of the project have been incorporated in the most recent version.

Master’s Projects should demonstrate writing skills as well as a command of theoretical and methodological skills in a particular discipline or area of study. They should also provide convincing evidence of the student’s ability to conduct independent research creatively, or they may attest to a special skill in a particular area (for example, creative writing, computer programming, photography, etc.). The M.A. Project is not necessarily the equivalent of a thesis.
Creative writing projects and those that make use of multimedia or computer programs are acceptable only if they are accompanied by a written text that demonstrates extensive research and the appropriate application of analytical skills. All bibliographic references should follow a consistent format using a style sheet published by professional organizations like the MLA Handbook, the Chicago Manual of Style, or any of the style sheets published by the disciplinary organizations in the social sciences. Projects should be written in English. However with the approval of the Project Director and the Director of Graduate Studies, the master’s project may be written in other Latin American and Caribbean languages. Depending on the nature of the project, the length of the text may vary from at least 50 to 75 typed, double-spaced pages.

PROJECT COMMITTEE

To avoid conflicts of interest, the Project Director and the Second Reader should not be related to each other as spouses or partners. If the Graduate Studies Committee (which includes the Chair of LACS) determines that there is a potential for conflict of interest in the composition of any project committee, it will appoint a new project committee in consultation with the Project Director and the candidate.

DEGREE CLEARANCE

To receive grade credits and satisfy the requirements for LCS 697, Directed Master’s Project must submit two identical copies of the final corrected typescript of the project incorporating all corrections and revisions must be submitted by the student for approval in writing by the Project Director and the Second Reader;  

CLARIFICATION OF PROCEDURES

Students should seek clarification of these procedures first from their Faculty Advisor. Further clarification can also be sought from the Director of Graduate Studies or from the Department Chair.

Students are strongly advised to read and become acquainted with: The LACS MA: Expectations, Actions and Gateways. This online resource can be accessed through the LACS Departmental website.

Regulations and Requirements Governing the Master's Degree (Graduate Bulletin)

Supporting Courses For Specialty Tracts:

 

Culture, History, and Society

  • Ant 508 Proseminar in Ethnology
  • Lcs 509 (Soc 576) International Mig ration: History, Theory, Methodology
  • Lcs 511 Introduction to Latin American Cultural Studies
  • Lcs 572 (Gog 572) Issues in Latin American Geography
  • Lcs 599 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Spn 512 Cultural Foundations of Latin American Literature: Colonial Age
  • Spn 513 Cultural Foundations of Latin American Literature: Since Independence
  • Ant 533 Mesoamerican Archeology
  • Ant 633 Seminar in Mesoamerican Archeology
  • Ant 641 Seminar in Mesoamerican Ethnology
  • Ant 666 Seminar in Ethnohistory *
  • Ant 667 (Pln 672) Housing Problems and Policies in Third World Cities
  • His 569 History of Mexico
  • His 570 History of the West Indies and Central America
  • His 572 History of Brazil
  • His 665 Readings in Latin American History
  • His 667 Seminar in Latin American History

Public Policy and International Relations

  • His 573 The United States and Latin America
  • His 568 Latin America in Conflict
  • Eco 541 Theory and Problems of Economic Development *
  • Eco 741 Economics of Development *
  • Pos 556 Political Authoritarianism in Latin America
  • Pos 593 International Relations of Latin America
  • Lcs 599 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Lcs 550 Minorities in U.S. Schools
  • Lcs 565 Latina/os and the New Political Economy
  • Aas 612 Race Theory and Social Thought
  • Gog 526 (Pln 502) Regional Planning *
  • Gog 540 Political Geography *
  • Gog 617 Energy Resources *
  • Pln 573 Comparative Metropolitan Planning *
  • Pln 671 (Lcs 671) Urban Poverty an Labor in the Americas
  • Pln 672 (Ant 667) Housing Problems and Policies in Third World Cities
  • Soc 575 Ethnicity and Race *
  • Soc 640 Gender Inequality *
  • Tbi 627 Perspectives in Education: Bilingual Education
  • Wss 590 Research Seminar in Women's Studies *
  • Wss 599 Topics in Women's Studies *
  • Aps 766 Education and Social Change in Developing Nations *
  • E Soc 700 Seminar on the Impact of Immigration and Education *

Language

  • Spn 500 Intensive Introduction in Spanish
  • Spn 502 Spanish Syntax and Morphology
  • Spn 505 History of the Spanish Language
  • Spn (LCS) 511 Introduction to Latin American Cultural Studies
  • Spn (LCS) 514 Latin American Cinema
  • Spn 516 Topics in Hispanic Cultural Studies
  • Spn 529 Lliterature and Culture of the Borderlands
  • Spn 530 Latin American Short Story
  • Spn (Lcs) 531) Literature of thei Hispanic Caribbean
  • Spn 533 Latin American Essay
  • Spn 534 Topics in Latin American Literature
  • Spn 535 Latin American Romanticism
  • Spn 537 Contemporary Latin American Novel
  • Spn 539 Latin American Poetry
  • Spn 541 Literature of the Americas
  • Spn 546 Women Writing in Latin America
  • Spn 551 Indigenismo
  • Spn 554 Latin American Literature for High School Teaching
  • Spn 593 Dialects of American Spanish
  • Spn 602 Discourse Analysis
  • Spn 604 Postcolonial Studies
  • Spn 643 Travel Literature in Latin America
  • *(Students must work on LACS-focused projects, if taking this course.)

 

 

(Program Revised Spring 2013 - 4-17-13 by P. Caban)