Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Master of Arts

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.

photo: three LASP students stand at the front of a room, one is talking, two others are listening
photo: a man stands at the front of the Lindner Family Commons addressing a full room. Text: Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. The Elliott School Ambassadors Forum Speaker Series, A Conversation with the Ambassador of Peru to the United States, Carlos Pareja
photo: a panel of experts sit in front of the Lindner family commons at a table. There are microphones at the table and one panelist is talking into the microphone

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. 

Subscribe to the Elliott School’s email list to learn more about the Master of Arts in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies program, including how to register for an upcoming Elliott School information session. 

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What You'll Study

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.

Program of Study


Core Field

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.

Core Field

Specialized Fields

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.

Specialized Fields


Second-year students undertake field-based research related to a specific issue of interest to a sponsoring organization.



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How to Apply

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.


Foreign Language

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:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

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Meet the Faculty

The Elliott School's prime location in the heart of Washington D.C. 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.

Meet the Faculty

Meet Our Alumni

Student Organizations and Resources

[email protected]

[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.

Related Student Organizations at GW
Other Resources

Where You'll Go

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 2021 graduates, employers included: 

  • Central American Resource Center
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Senate

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. 

Find Career Resources


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