The Master of Arts in Latin American Studies with GIS certificate is a 30 credit hours interdisciplinary degree characterized by a high degree of flexibility in allowing students to create course of study focused on Latin American and the Caribbean, while allowing students to focus on obtaining specific skills in geographic Information Systems (GIS). The GIS option allows students to work towards a graduate certificate in GIS through the department of Geographic and Regional Studies while working towards their Master of Arts in Latin American Studies.

Admission Requirements

General application information

The Latin American Studies program employs a rolling admissions deadline. Students may apply for Fall, Spring, or Summer admission (with program permission). Interested students may apply to the program at any time, and are encouraged to contact the Program Director with any questions. Funding is available to students interested in applying for the Fall semester. Students who submit their application by March 1st will be given full consideration for the limited funding that is available. Applications must complete an application cover form which is generated through the application web portal. An $85.00 non-refundable application fee is paid online upon submission of the application.


  • Statement of purpose: This is the most important element of your application packet. This letter needs to reflect who you are, your goals for the program and your career after, and why you would be an asset to the program. It is very important to ensure it is grammatically correct and as detailed as possible. The statement of purpose should be no more than two pages in length. Please review before you submit. 
  • CV or Resumé.
  • Official transcripts: Applicants must provided official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. Electronic transcripts are highly preferred, and may be emailed to or submitted using the ETS code 5815. Official transcripts in languages other than English must also be submitted with a certified English translation. 
  • Three letters of recommendation must be provided. At least one letter should be from an academic reference. 
  • Undergraduate GPA: A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required.
  • Applicants are not required to submit a GRE score, but may do so if they wish. If students choose to submit a GRE score, the University of Miami school code is 5815.

International Applicants

In addition to the criteria mentioned in the Admissions Requirements section, international applicants are required to submit:

  • A copy of their passport.
  • Diplomas and certificates. International students are required to submit a copy of all the diplomas or certificates earned. Each copy must be submitted in their original language with a certified English translation.
  • Bank statement. Please provide a copy of your bank statement for the last six months. You may also provide a sponsorship letter indicating your method of funding.
  • TOEFL/IELTS: All international students are required to take this exam in order to demonstrate sufficient English competency. The "Test Of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL)" exam is offered as a paper-based test (PBT) or an internet-based test (IBT). A score of 550 is required for the PBT; a score of 80 is required for the IBT.  Students may also take the "International English Language Testing System (IELTS)" exam to demonstrate sufficient competency in English. A score of 6.5 or higher is required.

Curriculum Requirements

LAS 601Politics, Societies, and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean3
LAS 602Research Design in Latin American Studies3
GEG 691Geographic Information Systems I3
GEG 692Remote Sensing of the Environment3
GEG 693Geographic Information Systems II3
Three electives from the list of LAS designated or combined courses (600-level or above)9
Capstone project6
Pre-candidacy thesis credits (Students must enroll in two semester of this 3-credit course) 1
Total Credit Hours30

The 6 credit hours in LAS 810 will consist of a GIS capstone project with a focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, or South Florida. Students will require a three-member committee to oversee the capstone project. A group project may be allowed with approval of the academic director.