Completion of the degree requires 24 credits of courses with Latin American and Iberian language and area content, consisting of 12 credits in a field of concentration and 12 credits in one or more other fields. At least two seminars (6 credits total) must be included in the 24 credits, and at least one of those must be the Interdepartmental Seminar in the Latin American Area (982). (See Definition of a Seminar, below.) In addition, students are strongly advised to take the core 982 seminar, but may not use it to satisfy the two-seminar requirement. The remaining credits can include any LACIS course at the 300 level or above. A field of concentration can be defined in terms of a single discipline or as interdisciplinary fields such as Development, Womens Studies, etc. Definition of the field of concentration will be decided through consultation with the Associate Director and at least one faculty member in the relevant field.
Course of Study
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Definition of Seminar Requirement
Six of the 24 credits (or two of the eight courses) must be seminars, one of which is the Interdepartmental Seminar on the Latin American Area (982). At least one seminar must be in the student's field of concentration. For these purposes a seminar is defined as a graduate level course requiring preparation of a major research paper. Normally research seminars are at the 800 or 900 level, but other graduate level courses may be used to fulfill this requirement if a major research paper is written and consent of the Program Director or Associate Director is obtained.
Up to a maximum of six credits of the total 24 required for the program may be taken as independent work. This type of course may be taken only if relevant material is not covered in formal course offerings at the university and if a faculty member agrees to act as instructor. An appropriate plan of study, usually including written assignments, must be presented. The Program Director or Associate Director must approve requirements for an independent work course.
Certification of basic proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese is required to complete the Masters degree. Proficiency is defined as achieving a rating of "good" on each part of the HEA Title VI Foreign Language Reference Form, or other similar examination. Such a rating is the general equivalent of three years of language training at the undergraduate level, although alternate methods of achieving competence are acceptable. Entering students must take a language exam during the third or fourth week of their first semester. If they are approved, no further demonstration of proficiency is required. If they are not approved, a program of training must be worked out with the Program Associate Director and members of the Spanish and Portuguese Department. The exam itself can be taken any number of times, but it must be passed before receiving the degree.