Latin American Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies offers Washington University students the opportunity to pursue a multidisciplinary specialization on this region of the world while completing their PhD degree. The certificate combines discipline-based learning with cultural studies, thus allowing for a rigorous approach to Latin America's social, economic and political history. At the same time, students are exposed to new theories and current debates on the topics of nation formation, governance, colonialism, development, regionalism, public health, modernization, globalization and neoliberalism.

At the national level, programs in Latin American Studies date back to the late 1940s, when the area studies paradigm became central to the internationalization of academic focus in the context of the Cold War. Today, as globalization has made internationalization an even more pressing concern, Latin American Studies is part of a new need for the better understanding of other world regions. In fact, Latin American countries consistently play an important role within the intellectual and political spheres of the United States. Latin America is the single largest source of immigrants to the United States today. It contains the third-largest trade partner of the United States (Mexico); one of the most vibrant emergent economies in the world (Brazil); countries that have been at the core of U.S. foreign policy for decades (Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, and the Andean region, for instance); and a vibrant population and culture that are increasingly the focus of U.S. students.


Students are required to apply to be considered for the certificate program. Their applications are evaluated by the Graduate Certificate Committee. This application is submitted at the beginning of the student's doctoral courses in Arts & Sciences and requires a support letter from the director of graduate studies of the student's PhD home department or program. The chair of the Graduate Certificate Committee will forward recommendations for admission to the Office of Graduate Studies, Arts & Sciences, for final approval. All applicants to the certificate program are expected to be in good academic standing as defined by the Office of Graduate Studies, Arts & Sciences.

Contact Info

Contact:Professor Ignacio Sánchez Prado