Latin American Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Please note that the MA in Latin American Studies is not presently accepting applications as the program undergoes review.

The MA in Latin American Studies is a two-year program that allows students to pursue a diverse curriculum in Latin American Studies spanning a wide range of departments and professional schools, including the schools of Natural Resources, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Welfare, Journalism, Law, Education, and Environmental Design.

Students begin by taking courses that offer a broad overview of the field of Latin American Studies and introduce them to Latin Americanist research at Berkeley. Students then work closely with individual faculty to define their particular areas of interest and research.

The MA program provides an opportunity for collective learning and collaboration as students develop research skills and specialized knowledge in the field. Students are encouraged to draw on the Center for Latin American Studies.

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Admission to the University (This is not an active program)

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from the British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Master's Degree Requirements


LATAMST 200Latin American Studies Seminar1
LATAMST 250Selected Topics in Latin American Studies4
Graduate elective in Methods
Minimum of 20-24 units of electives, as per approved study list, concentrated in 2-3 disciplines20-24

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in their chosen primary language (either Spanish or Portuguese) and must demonstrate strong reading and speaking skills in their secondary language.


Latin American Studies

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Miguel A. Altieri, Professor. Environmental Science, Policy and Management, agriculture, environmental science, pest management.

Stephanie Ballenger, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Peter Bartu, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Middle Eastern Studies.

David Beecher, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Economy.

Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies.

Crystal Chang, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Asian Studies, Political Science.

Margaret Chowning, Professor. Mexico, history, gender, women, Latin America.

Beverly Kay Crawford, Professor Emeritus. International and Area Studies, Political Economy Group Major.

Jack Davey, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Alain De Janvry, Professor. Agricultural & Resource Economics, economics, labor management and policy.

J. Bradford Delong, Professor. Economics, globalization, economic growth, convergence, economics of post WWII Europe.

+ Munis D. Faruqui, Associate Professor. Mughal India, Delhi Sultanate, Islam in South Asia/India, Urdu.

Emily Gottreich, Associate Adjunct Professor. Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Urban Studies, Jewish history, Morocco, North Africa, Sephardic Studies.
Research Profile

Gillian P. Hart, Professor Emeritus. Geography.

Fatmir Haskaj, Lecturer. Political economy, development, critical theory and urban studies.

+ Khalid Kadir, Lecturer. Global Poverty & Practice Minor, International & Area Studies.

Alan Karras, Associate Director, Senior Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Economy.
Research Profile

Cecilia Cissell Lucas, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Erin Murphy-Graham, Associate Adjunct Professor. Educational equity, cultural studies, gender equity, diversity, international education, alternative schooling, democratic education, ethnic issues.

Mario Muzzi, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Laura Nathan, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.

Clara I. Nicholls, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies.

Tiffany L. Page, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies.

Lanchih Po, Associate Adjunct Professor. International and Area Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Elisabeth Sadoulet, Professor. Economics, agriculture, labor management and policy.

Manuela Travaglianti, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies.

Khatharya Um, Associate Professor. Education, memory, Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American histories and communities, Southeast Asian diaspora, refugees, international migration, transnational and diaspora studies, genocide studies.
Research Profile

+ Michael J. Watts, Professor Emeritus. Islam, development, Africa, social movements, political economy, political ecology, geography, South Asia, peasant societies, social and and cultural theory, US agriculture, Marxian political economy.

Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer. Department of Ethnic Studies, Asian Studies.

Darren C. Zook, Lecturer. International and Area Studies, Political Science.

Daniel Zoughbie, Lecturer. International and Area Studies.


Clare Talwalker, Lecturer. Qualitative methods, global poverty action, human rights, South Asia and economic anthropology.

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Latin American Studies

International and Area Studies, 101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-642-4466

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Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Chair, Latin American Studies

Max Auffhammer

101 Stephens Hall

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Dreux Montgomery

101 Stephens Hall

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