Latin American and Hemispheric Studies

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 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

 


 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Capstone

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

 


 

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.

 

Graduate Admissions 

There are also certain prerequisites that applicants must meet to be able to apply to the program, namely familiarity with Spanish and/or Portuguese.

 


Prerequisite

Academic proficiency in Spanish, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. Proficiency 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, JET, etc.) .
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

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.

 


Meet the Faculty

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.

Meet the Faculty


Meet Our Alumni


David Okun

David Okun

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."



Brittney Warrick

Brittney Warrick

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."



Gene Kuleta

Gene Kuleta

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."


 



Student Organizations and Resources

[email protected]

[email protected] is the student organization affiliated with the 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 GWU:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Casa Blanca

First Generation 2 College

FUEGO

GW Argentine Tango Club

GW Hispanohablantes

GW PorColombia

Latin America Policy Organization (LAPO)

MXGWU The Mexican Students Association

Organization of Latino American Students (OLAS)

Puentes

Theta Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/ Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.

Venezuelan Perspectives GWU

Other Resources:

Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute

Multicultural Student Services Center

 


Where You'll Go 

graphic: 33% private, 33% public, 33% non-profit, 1% other 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 have a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be. 

 

Find Career Resources