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Certificate in Latin American Studies

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Certificate in Latin American Studies

The Center for Latin American Studies offers graduate students from different departments and schools at Vanderbilt the opportunity to complete a Certificate in Latin American Studies. The Certificate allows students to document their regional specialization by earning the Certificate, which is awarded in conjunction with their M.A. or Ph.D. The LAS Certificate also encourages graduate students to study outside of their disciplinary specialization.

Students completing the certificate must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Take at least 12 credit hours of interrelated graduate-level coursework on Latin America, with at least 6 credit hours coming from outside the student’s home discipline. No more than 6 credit hours of specifically-named courses required for the primary degree may be applied toward the Certificate. Graduate courses successfully completed at Vanderbilt prior to admission to the program may be counted toward the certificate requirements, and an undergraduate course may be substituted for a graduate course, with the approval of the director of the program and the Graduate School. All courses must be approved by the Associate Director of the Latin American Studies program and form an intellectually cohesive whole.
  • Demonstrate conversational or reading proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or an indigenous Latin American language. Proficiency will be demonstrated by an oral examination administered by a Vanderbilt Professor or Lecturer (not a graduate student) following ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) guidelines and resulting in a rating of at least “intermediate-mid.”
  • Participate in a minimum of five extracurricular activities sponsored by CLAS. A short paper reflecting on the insights gained from participating has to be submitted to the Associate Director of CLAS.

Students wishing to enroll must complete a Notification of Intent to Enroll in a Graduate Certificate Program which must be signed by the student, the director of the LAS Certificate Program, Edward Fischer (email), and the Director of the Graduate Program (DGS) for the degree program in which the student is enrolled.  A signed copy of the form has to be submitted to the Graduate School ( and to the University Registrar’s Office (

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

Undergraduate courses listed would need to be taken as graduate courses with special permission from the lead instructor.

Certificate Requirements for Peabody College of Education
A certificate in Latin American studies is awarded to M.Ed. and Ph.D. students in the Peabody College of Education upon completion of at least 6 hours of course work in and a project relating to Latin American Studies and demonstration of language competence.

Students planning to complete the Certificate in Latin American Studies should declare their intent by contacting the CLAS Director Edward Fischer (email).