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Master of Arts

Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies

Program of Study


Required Courses

  • Theoretical Approaches to Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (I and II)
  • Seminar: Latin America
  • Seminar: The Caribbean
  • Seminar: Latino Studies

Specialty Courses

Develop expertise in your area of interest by taking:

  • Three or more courses in one of the specialty tracks
  • At least one course in the other specialty track

Directed Readings

By the end of your second semester, you must select a faculty advisor and second reader to direct your master's project or comprehensive exam. They will provide bibliographic guidance as you prepare to take your exam or complete your master's project.

Spanish or Portuguese Language Proficiency

You can fulfill this requirement by earning a B+ or better in an upper-level Spanish or Portuguese language class or by taking an exam.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Michelle Harris at [email protected].

Outreach and ​​​​​​​Internship Opportunities

At UAlbany, you can apply your knowledge of Latin American, Caribbean, or U.S. Latino populations in agencies that serve local, state, or international communities.


Service Learning Programs in the U.S. and Latin America

Get closer to your career goals by getting hands-on experience in service learning and outreach projects here in the Capital Region or in other locations across the United States, Central and South America, and the Caribbean islands.

You also have the option to receive classroom training and complete a teaching internship under the supervision of a faculty member.


Internship with the NYS Puerto Rican/Hispanic Legislative Task Force

Bilingual graduate students with strong multicultural competency are especially encouraged to apply for this competitive second-year internship program.

If selected for an internship, you get to work with members of the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and participate in legislative activities in Albany while completing complementary academic work.

Specialty Tracks
Transnationalism and Global Flows Track

Choose from course offerings such as:

  • The Political Economy of Educational Planning and Development
  • The United States and Latin America
  • Latinos and American Political Change
  • International Migration: Migration and Transnationalism
  • Workers and Globalization in the Americas
  • Gender and Class in Latin American Development
  • Latino/as and Inequality in America
  • Land and labor in Latin America
  • Transnationalism, Culture, and Power
Culture, Power and Identity Track

Choose from course offerings such as:

  • Seminar in Mesoamerican Ethnology
  • History of Brazil
  • Three Island Revolutions
  • Latinos and American Political Change
  • Tourism, Culture, and Identities
  • Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean
  • Los Latinos en EE.UU: Historia, Cultura, y Literatura
Master's Degree Completion Options

Comprehensive Exam

If you don't plan to earn a PhD, you can take an exam instead of completing a master's project. In this track, you'll choose your exam themes by the end of your first year. Then you'll work with faculty to complete directed readings and select relevant electives. 


Master's Project

If you intend to pursue doctoral studies after earning your master's, you'll choose a research topic by the end of your first year, spend up to a year completing your research and readings, and then take a semester to write your report. 

Earn Your PhD in Spanish at UAlbany

Many students who complete the master’s in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino studies (LACS) at UAlbany continue their research by earning a concentration in LACS in the PhD in Spanish program offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

If you pursue the Spanish doctoral program, you can apply 18 credits of your master’s coursework toward the LACS concentration requirements.

For more information, visit the PhD in Spanish program page.

Career Paths

With its emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean culture and society, and problem- and area-focused training, this MA program prepares you for research and policy-oriented careers that require knowledge of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino politics and peoples.

Graduates are commonly employed by state and federal government agencies, humanitarian aid organizations, educational institutions, international media companies, and translation services firms.

A woman working on a laptop on a wooden table

"The trans-disciplinary approach of the department makes UAlbany stand out compared to other similar programs. Students aren't just exposed to the concepts and methods of one discipline. Instead, we use a variety of frameworks to analyze and theorize a given topic; borders between disciplines are not an obstacle."

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

UAlbany graduate with confetti at Commencement.
Admissions Requirements
  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: Not Available

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation​​​​​
Special Notes

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Arts
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the interdisciplinary scholarship, analytical methods and theoretical approaches employed by scholars in this academic field.
  • Acquire substantive content knowledge of Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinos in the United States, and the global forces (economic, political, cultural) that have shaped the region’s history and affect its contemporary situation.
  • Develop ability to conceptualize and analyze the intersections of ethnic studies (Latina/o Studies) and area studies (Latin America and the Caribbean).