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Graduate Certificate

From the Graduate School Catalog: 

Latino and Latina Studies focuses on cultural production and political and socioeconomic experiences of people inculcated with the U.S. experience, self-identifying as Latinos and Latinas, and communicating primarily in English and sometimes in Spanish. 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 the Director of the Program in Latino and Latina Studies, Professor William Luis.  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 an “Intent to Enroll” form, which must be signed by the student, the director of the LATS Certificate Program, and the director of the Graduate Program (DGS) for the degree program in which the student is enrolled. A signed copy of the form should be submitted to the Graduate School (, to the University Registrar’s Office (URO) (, and to the LATS program administrator.

 A certificate in Latino and Latina Studies is awarded with either the M.A. or Ph.D. degree upon fulfillment of the following requirements: (1) Completion of at least 12 (MA) or 15 (PH.D) credit hours of interrelated course work across two or more disciplines. Two courses, LATS 3201/5201 or English 3658/LATS 3658 and LATS 5961, are required. Remaining courses must be taken in at least two different disciplines outside of students’ home department, with no more than two courses (6 credit hours) coming from any one discipline.  We strongly encourage students take as wide a range of courses as possible appropriate to the student’s program of study and forming an intellectually cohesive whole, are required. Up to six credit hours of specifically named required courses from a student’s primary degree program may count toward the certificate.  Courses must be approved for credit by the LATS director.  One course (3 credit hours) may be satisfied through an independent study with a faculty member affiliated with the Latino and Latina Studies program, with the approval of the Director of Latino and Latina Studies.  (2) Completion of two papers or projects demonstrating the application of concepts related to Latino and Latina studies framework or methodology to research, teaching, or fieldwork.