FILAS (Fellows in Latin American Studies)

In this highly selective Honors Program, students follow a rigorous, accelerated curriculum to complete two degrees (B.A./M.A.) in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in five years, less time than would be required to obtain the degrees separately. The program provides exciting collaborative research, travel, and work opportunities. While students typically apply to the FILAS program upon their initial application to UM, we also welcome applicants in their first year of study at the University.

Working with UM’s world-class faculty in various academic disciplines, FILAS participants design individualized curricula. In addition to the regular general education course requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, FILAS students choose one focus track for their most advanced courses: Social Sciences, Law and Policy, Literature & Culture, Communication, Environmental Studies, Public Health, or History. For broad-based, multi-disciplinary preparation, students choose courses that focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. At least ten of these courses must be taken at the graduate level.

FILAS Admission Requirements

  • Top 10% of high school graduating class.
  • Regular Application for Admission to the University of Miami. We recommend students submit their applications by November 15.
  • Recommendations from three high school teachers.
  • Statement of interest in FILASemphasizing prior language or area study
  • To continue through the graduate level (MA Phase), students must maintain at least a 3.4 GPA.

Curriculum Requirements

CAS GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
First Year Writing 1
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
WRS 106First-Year Writing II3
or ENG 106 Writing About Literature and Culture
Mathematics, Computing & Statistics 23
Second Language 3
Writing Across the Curriculum 4
Cognates 59
Advanced Language Proficiency in Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole3
Select one of the following:
Advanced French
Intermediate Haitian Creole I
Intermediate Portuguese II
Advanced Spanish
Secondary Language Competence in another Latin American or Caribbean Language3
Select one of the following:
Accelerated Elementary French
Elementary Haitian Creole II ((or equivalent))
Beginning Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Accelerated Elementary Spanish
FILAS Specific Requirements
Select one gateway seminar in Latin American Studies3
Select two History courses6
Select two International Studies courses6
Select two Economics courses6
Select two advanced Languages and Literatures courses (SPA, POR, FRE, or HAI)6
Select seven courses in Study Abroad21
Select one course as Internship in Latin America3
Select five courses above the 300-level (third-year) in a range of disciplines15
Select ten courses in one focus track30
MA Phase Requirements
GRE Exam in Semester 7 or 8
LAS 601Politics, Societies, and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean3
LAS 602Research Design in Latin American Studies3
Select two Regional Fundamentals courses6
Select four electives from approved LAS or combined courses12
LAS 810Pre-candidacy thesis credits (students must enroll in two semesters of this 3-credit course to fulfill this requirement.)3
LAS 810Pre-candidacy thesis credits3
Total Credit Hours150
1

Certain AP/IB scores may be used to fulfill the Composition requirement as credit. If Transfer students transfer one of the two above, but not both, they may take WRS 208 to complete the requirement. WRS 105 must be taken unless exempted by SAT/V or ACT/V scores (does not include credits).   

2

MTH 108 or higher. Unless exempted by AP/IB, or UM placement test. UM placement test does not include credits. Prerequisites must be met before enrolling in MTH courses. 

3

Students must take at least three credits in a language other than English at the 200-level or higher. Prerequisites may be required. Courses taken in order to meet this requirement, including necessary prerequisite courses to the 200 level courses, cannot be used in cognates seen below. FILAS students already fulfill this requirement when completing the language requirements cited below. 

4

Degree candidates must complete at least four writing courses, and at least one such course must be in the student's major discipline.

5

Typically, students must complete a minimum of three cognates, one from each of the three areas of the University curriculum: Arts & Humanities; People & Society; and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. A cognate is a minimum of 9 credit hours, however it can be more. Each major/minor fulfills the cognate requirement in one Area of Knowledge. However, FILAS students must complete only the STEM Cognate as the FILAS program fulfills the Arts & Humanities and People & Society cognates. To avoid additional course credits, please select a STEM Cognate that includes a Natural Science course to concurrently fulfill this CAS general education requirement. According to the Collage of Arts & Sciences, "three credits must be earned from one of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Ecosystem Science & Policy (only ECS 111, ECS 112, or ECS 202), Geological Sciences, Marine Science (except MSC 313 and MSC 314), Physical Science, or Physics. APY 203 and GEG 120 may also count. These credits may double count with any other requirement, e.g., courses in the STEM cognate."

6

FILAS students also write a Master’s Thesis based on an original research project. In addition, they must defend the thesis and present their findings at the LAS Annual Student Symposium.

Disclaimer: This is a model plan of study only. It is not guaranteed that every course will be available in the year/semester noted below.

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
LAS 101 Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
MTH 113 Finite Mathematics 3
UMX 100 The University of Miami Experience 0
Natural Science Course 3
FRE 203, HAI 201,
Advanced French
or Intermediate Haitian Creole I
or Intermediate Portuguese II
or Advanced Spanish
3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
WRS 106 First-Year Writing II 3
LAS 301 Interdisciplinary Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
POL 203 Introduction to International Relations 3
Elective 3
POR 105, FRE 105,
Beginning Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
or Accelerated Elementary French
or Elementary Haitian Creole II
or Accelerated Elementary Spanish
3
 Credit Hours15
Year Two
Fall
LAS 330 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Religions 3
ECO 211 Principles of Microeconomics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
LAS 350 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Art and Culture 3
Advanced Language Course 3
STEM Cognate 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
LAS 340 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Economics 3
LAS 491 Debates on Current Issues in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
LAS 494 Independent Study in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
HIS 554 Studies in Modern Latin American History 3
Advanced Language Course 3
Minor Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall
LAS 411 Studies in Latin America and the Caribbean 3
LAS 495 Senior Honors Thesis I 3
LAS 505 Internship in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
LAS 520 Interdisciplinary Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Environments 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
LAS 496 Senior Honors Thesis II 3
LAS Language Course 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Fifth Year (Graduate)
Fall
LAS 601 Politics, Societies, and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean 3
LAS 810 Pre-candidacy thesis credits 3
Regional Fundamentals Course 3
LAS Approved Elective 3
LAS Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
LAS 602 Research Design in Latin American Studies 3
LAS 810 Pre-candidacy thesis credits 3
Regional Fundamentals Course 3
LAS Approved Elective 3
LAS Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours150