Latin America is a paradox. This vibrant region is home to significant advances in human rights, a substantial expansion of female and indigenous political representation, imaginative urban designs and creative solutions to ecological challenges. It is also marked by high levels of poverty and inequality, corruption, fragile institutions, and violence, gangs, and drug and organized-crime cartels. “We have not had a moment’s rest,” is how Gabriel García Márquez summed up - Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that embraces more than 20 sovereign states and several territories and dependencies.
The aim of the Master of Arts in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies program (LAHSP) is to enable students to develop a deep and broad understanding of the region and its trials and contributions. Simultaneously, the program prepares them for careers in government, multinational and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, or post-graduate academic work. Grounded by the expertise of GW’s faculty and selected practitioners in the field, the program combines rigorous academics with a professional orientation.
LAHSP’s interdisciplinary master's program offers a flexible curriculum that comprises core courses and two specialized fields selected in consultation with the Program Director according to each student’s interests.
In order to acquire a broad, multidisciplinary understanding of the hemisphere, students must take a total of three courses, each one in a different discipline.
Students choose any two fields of specialization, such as Economic Development, Migration, Public Health, or Security. They will take at least two courses in each.
Second-year students undertake field-based research related to a specific issue of interest to a sponsoring organization.
When you're ready to apply to the program, you will need to follow the graduate admissions process, including completing and submitting the online application with all of the required materials.
There are also certain prerequisites that applicants must meet to be able to apply to the program, namely familiarity with Spanish and/or Portuguese.
Academic coursework in Spanish, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:
Other foreign languages spoken in Latin America will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.
The Elliott School's prime location in the heart of Washington DC attracts a wide variety of highly qualified and experienced full-time faculty members and professorial lecturers affiliated with the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program.
MA LAHS Alumnus
"My capstone experience, working as a pro bono consultant for the Organization of American States’ field mission in Colombia, allowed me to model being an emergent international affairs practitioner."
MA LAHS Alumna
"LAHSP offered an invaluable opportunity to network with regional experts in DC, and exposed me to the leading thinking on Latin American affairs in the public and private sector."
MA LAHS Alumnus
"Through my coursework and invigorating classroom discussions at GW, I was able to gain a better understanding of the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as a sharper eye to identify the trends that are shaping the region."
[email protected] is the student organization affiliated with the M.A. Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs. It is a professional, research, and social forum dedicated to bringing together students, who share a broadly defined interest in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to promoting awareness and knowledge of the region’s trials, contributions, and diversity. [email protected] abides by this mission by advocating for solidarity among all Latin American-focused student organizations, by strengthening student connections to the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies academic program, and by providing an intellectual forum for open dialogue about Latin America-related topics at the George Washington University.
Our graduates continue to pursue a wide variety of exciting careers in diplomacy and public service, business, security, conflict resolution, development and public health. For 2016 graduates, the top employers included:
While you study with us and even once you leave, we'll provide you with resources and support to help you get the job you've always wanted post-graduation. From career counseling, workshops, site visits, and information sessions, The Graduate Student Career Development Center have a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be.