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Applying to the CLACX Graduate Programs

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies offers a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, Graduate Certificates in Latino and Latina Studies or Latin American Studies, dual degree programs in conjunction with professional schools, and a 4 + 1 Master’s Program.

As part of the larger research project of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies, we are re-imagining the parameters of this degree program moving forward. In light of these structural changes, we are not accepting applications for the next academic year 2021-22, and will use the time to focus our efforts to better serve our students. We are really excited about future possibilities, and encourage you to apply in the fall of 2022.

For more information on graduate programs, please contact Director of Graduate Studies Gretchen Selcke.

Financial Aid
Admission to the Graduate School

Master of Arts in Latin American Studies

The Master in Latin American Studies requires course work with a Latin American content or with subject matter that is closely related to the area. Candidates for the M.A. choose a thesis (24 semester hours plus 6 thesis hours) or non-thesis (33 hours) option. Each option requires completion of LAS 5901- Research Seminar, an interdisciplinary seminar which focuses on research methodologies and materials for Latin Americanists. Master’s degree candidates are expected to demonstrate language competence in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, or K’iche’ Maya. This means advanced proficiency in one of the four languages and intermediate proficiency in another. The program will accept admissions for 2022 exclusively through our FLAS Academic Year Program.

Dual Degree Programs

CLACX has established three dual degree tracks at the master’s level in conjunction with professional programs at Vanderbilt. Each program lasts three years and CLACX provides a comprehensive financial aid package for the first four consecutive semesters. Financial aid for these programs is only available to US citizens/permanent residents. Potential candidates must apply independently and be accepted simultaneously to both the Graduate School and their chosen professional program to enter the dual degree track.

Graduate Certificate in Latino and Latina Studies

Latino and Latina Studies focuses on cultural production and political and socioeconomic experiences of people inculcated with the US experience, self-identifying as Latinx. The LATS graduate certificate will examine this enduring and dynamic population that crosses and re-crosses borders constructed by geography, linguistics, class, race, and gender. This program of study is designed to accommodate a range of voices and multiple manifestations of Latino and Latina identity and cultural expression in historical and contemporary contexts to fill in this vital but often overlooked component of our national identity and discourse.  Students pursuing a LATS graduate certificate are expected to obtain language competence in Spanish before completing the program, though they do not need to meet this requirement when applying for the certificate. Students may satisfy this requirement by completing SPAN 3303, or any other course with a higher number taught in Spanish, or an oral or written exam administered by the Program.

Any student enrolled in a graduate program at Vanderbilt is eligible to apply for the Certificate in Latino and Latina Studies.  Acceptance in the program requires the approval of the student’s primary adviser and CLACX’s Gretchen Selcke. Graduate courses successfully completed at Vanderbilt University prior to admission to the program may be counted toward the certificate requirements with the approval of the director of the program.  An undergraduate course may be substituted for a graduate course required by the program’s curriculum with the approval of the director of the program and the Graduate School.

Students wishing to enroll must complete the online forms through the Graduate School portal.

Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies

CLACX offers graduate students enrolled in different departments and schools at Vanderbilt the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Latin American Studies. The Certificate allows students to document their specialization in the region and proficiency in a relevant language. The LAS Certificate also encourages graduate students to study outside of their disciplinary specialization. Students wishing to enroll must complete the online forms through the Graduate School portal.

  • Download a PDF document of the LAS Graduate Certificate guidelines.
  • View the LAS Course List that counts towards a Latin American Studies certificate.

Latin American Studies 4 + 1 M.A. Program

CLACX offers 4+1 program which allows exceptional undergraduate Latin American Studies majors to quickly complete their MA degree through taking an additional year of coursework and completing a Master’s thesis. Students considering the 4+1 program should consult with their LAS advisor as early as possible and make formal application to the program by the end of their junior year. An application consists of a letter of intent, a copy of college transcripts, and the names of two Vanderbilt faculty who could be consulted as references. Decisions on admission to the program will be decided by CLACX’s Executive Committee. Any questions about the program can be directed to CLACX’s Gretchen Selcke.

Requirements for Admission to the Program

  1. Must have an undergraduate major in LAS (or in exceptional cases a closely related field with sufficient LAS content)
  2. Must have taken LAS 2101 and LAS 4901 during undergraduate years
  3. Must apply in the student’s junior year

Other Requirements for the 4 + 1 M.A.:

  1. Students must write a M.A. thesis (the non-thesis option is not available for 4 +1 students).
  2. Students must complete 18 hours of formal LAS coursework, the distribution of which will be established by the graduate advisor in consultation with the student.
  3. No independent study hours are allowed (except for thesis hours).
  4. Students must complete 9 hours of work during the summer after their senior year; we encourage students to take 6 hours of thesis research and 3 hours of formal coursework (although all 9 hours may be used for thesis work).
  5. Students must submit a completed thesis for defense and final approval by late March for May graduation.