Latin American and Hemispheric Studies

Latin America is a paradox. This vibrant region is home to significant advances in human rights, 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 Masters in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies 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 nongovernmental 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.



graphic: a folded map with an outline of the Latin American countries



What You'll Study 

LAHSP’s interdisciplinary 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



Students choose any two fields, in each of which they will take at least two courses.




graphic: an open laptop with a list on the screen. Beside each item on the list is a check mark, indicating steps that have been completed in a process.



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. 


High intermediate proficiency of Spanish is required at the time of application to the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies program. Applicants may meet the language requirement in one of the following ways:

  • 4 semesters (or equivalent) of upper-intermediate, college-level language coursework
  • Certification from a language institute, professor, or tutor detailing your high intermediate proficiency
  • Native language experience

Other foreign languages spoken in Latin America will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


Where You'll Go 

graphic: 55% private, 18% public, 27% non-profit, Latin American and Hemispheric Studies



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: 

  • DAI Global, Inc.
  • IREX
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • 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 has a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be. 



Alexis Valdovinos

Alexis Valdovinos


"LAHSP gave me the proper analytical tools, rigorous writing expectations, and nuanced policy understanding required for my current position."