A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours (500 level or above) is required in social sciences or humanities courses with Latin American content. Requirements are meant to provide training in research design, content breadth, disciplinary breadth as well as exposure to discipline-specific methods and problems, independent research, and language competence.
Required courses include:
- Research Design: Research Design in International Area Studies (LAA 700) 3 hrs
- Area Content: 7-8 courses with Latin American / Caribbean content, which must meet the following requirements (an individual course may count towards multiple requirements) 21-24 hrs
- 12 hours (4 courses) of the area content courses must be at the 700-level or above. LAA 701 is strongly recommended.
- 12 hours (4 courses) must be selected from the program's list of approved courses with at least 50% Latin American / Caribbean content
- Courses must be drawn from at least two separate disciplines
- 9 hours (3 courses) must constitute a “specialization cluster” designed to prepare the student for the thesis / comparative research paper. The specialization cluster may be in a topic / issue, in a geographical area, in a particular discipline, etc., and is designed in consultation with the student’s advisor and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
- For students who will only enroll in 3 credit hours of LAA 899, the remaining 3 credit hours (to complete the 30 required) must be selected from the program's list of approved courses with at least 25% Latin American / Caribbean Content.
- Thesis/Graduate Writing: 3-6 hours of Thesis Research and Writing (LAA 899) 3-6 hrs
- MA Thesis option students must enroll in at least 3 hours
- Comparative Research paper option students must enroll in only 3 hours
Courses with at least 25% Latin American / Caribbean content at the 500-level or above may be counted as part of the remaining 30 hours of coursework. (Please note that PORT 611 cannot count as part of the 30 hours; nor can Independent / Directed Study courses outside of the 3-6 credit hours of LAA 899.) According to the enrollment policy of KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students must be enrolled in at least 1 credit hour in the semester that they plan to graduate from KU.
MA candidates must demonstrate comprehensive proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, Kaqchikel, K'iche', or Haitian Creole. This includes aural, speaking, reading, and writing ability. Completion of SPAN 424 and SPAN 428 or a higher-level course constitutes comprehensive proficiency in Spanish. Comprehensive proficiency in Portuguese requires completion of a 500-level or higher literature course.
The language requirements should be satisfied as early as possible in the MA program. Students must also complete two semesters in a second language: SPAN 104 and 108 for Spanish, PORT 104/106 and 108/110 or PORT 611 for Portuguese. Kaqchikel, K'iche', or Haitian Creole may be substituted as the language of reading proficiency with approval of the LA&CS director.