Miami is the gateway to Latin America. As such we recognize an urgent need for public health professionals with the training and expertise needed to meet the growing public health challenges both in Latin America and the Caribbean. The MPH/LAS joint degree program is designed to train students for a career in public health with a focus on social policy, health management and health care in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as expatriate communities in the United States.

Average Program Duration: 2.5 years, (5 semesters)

Number of required credits: 60

Master of Public Health Admission Requirements

·       Application - Applicants must submit their application online through SOPHAS, the centralized application service of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). All application materials, including transcripts, test scores, statement of purpose/personal statement, resume/CV, and letters of recommendations, must be submitted directly through SOPHAS.  Applicants to the MPH/MLAS joint degree must apply to both, the Department of Public Health Sciences MPH program and the College of Arts and Sciences Master of Arts in Latin America Studies program separately. Joint degree applicants should check with each program regarding admissions requirements.

·       Transcripts – Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. All foreign transcripts must be official and submitted in the original language. If the original language is not English, an official translation must be submitted along with the transcript. All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) using ICAP course-by-course evaluation service.

·       Standardized Test Scores - The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for the MPH program.

·       English Proficiency Exam - International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). If English is not a student’s native language, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if the applicant holds an undergraduate or graduate degree from an English-teaching academic institution within the United States or from an English-speaking country.

·       Resume/Curriculum Vitae – Applicants must include a detailed resume including employment, public health experiences, community service, research, and academic or professional honors. Prior public health experience is not required in order to be considered for admission

·       Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement – Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose that details their academic interest in the program. The statement should discuss any experiences in public health including field experience, research, training, education or other related qualifications. Applicants should discuss how earning the degree will contribute to their future professional and career goals, as well as to the future of public health. Applicants should also address any academic deficiencies, if applicable.

·       Letters of Recommendation– Applicants must provide three letters of recommendation from individuals who are best able to assess their ability to be successful in a graduate degree program. Ideally, recommenders are recent professors, researchers or employers in a related field. Letters should be signed and on letterhead. Applicants will be asked to include the contact information of their recommenders on the SOPHAS application and recommenders will be sent an online form to complete via email.

For more information about our application process, please click here. To obtain detailed curricula on all our program offerings, please visit the Department of Public Health Sciences website.

M.A. in Latin American Studies Admission Requirements

  • 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 las@miami.edu 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.
  • Language Proficiency: Students must demonstrate advanced language competency in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, or an indigenous language of Latin America (i.e. 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. native speaker, major, minor, or upper division coursework International Applicants. In addition to the criteria mentioned in target language, Peace Corps service, IB credits, or Defense Language Proficiency Test).  

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.

MPH/MA in LAS Curriculum Requirements 

Average Program Duration: 2.5 years, (5 semesters)

Number of required credits: 60

MA in Latin American Studies
Core Courses
LAS 601Politics, Societies, and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean 13
LAS 602Research Design in Latin American Studies3
Regional Fundamentals 26
Academic Focus Courses 39
Capstone/Thesis 46
Language Requirement 5
Master of Public Health
Core Courses
EPH 600Introduction to the Science Practice of Public Health3
EPH 601Medical Biostatistics I4
EPH 617Disease Prevention and Health Promotion3
or EPH 620 Health Education and Behavior
EPH 621Fundamentals of Epidemiology3
EPH 631Public Health Administration3
or EPH 632 U.S. Health Systems
EPH 641Environmental Health3
Generalist Concentration
EPH 607Interdisciplinary Health Communication3
EPH 602Biostatistics II3
or BST 625 Survey of Statistical Computing
EPH 644Fundamentals of Program Evaluation3
or EPH 656 Qualitative Research Methods
or EPH 647 Community Based Participatory Research and Social Network Analysis
Required Public Health Electives2
EPH-600, 700 level courses not already listed
BST-600, 700 level coures
Joint Culminating Experience
Students complete EPH 680 in fulfillment of both degrees.
EPH 680Practical Field Experience3
Total Credit Hours60


Foundations are courses that offer a thematic and regional perspectives on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latine experience.  This set of courses provides students with an introduction to different disciplinary approaches and research tools: LAS 601 (Introduction to Latin American Studies) and LAS 602 (Research Seminar).


Students are required to take a 3-credit course focused on the social sciences and another 3-credit course focused on the arts and humanities of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latine experience.


With the assistance of the LAS academic director, students will choose courses in their own chosen areas of concentration.  These courses might be anchored around a specific country or subregion (e.g. Andean world) or a given topic of interest (development policy, racial justice, hemispheric security, environmental studies, gender and sexuality, cultural industries, etc.).


Students who elect to complete the thesis track should take LAS 810 for three credits at the start of their thesis and LAS 815 as they are preparing to defend.  MA in LAS students must follow the ETD deadlines set forth by the Graduate School. 

Students who elect to complete the non-thesis track may take an approved elective and LAS 697 (Culminating Experience)., during which they will create a capstone project (such as a research paper, portfolio, short film, etc.) or take a comprehensive exam in three areas of knowledge reflective of their academic focus.  For either of these two non-thesis options, a committee consisting of at least two faculty members is required to oversee the capstone project or examination. 


Students must demonstrate advanced language competency in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, or a major indigenous language of Latin America. Students may establish proficiency by passing one 3-credit course taught in the target language at the 600-level or above, or by passing a language competency exam. Students may also petition for a waiver of examination if they have gained language competency in another manner: native speaker with proof of coursework in target language (a diploma or transcript from a high school at which the primary language of instruction and of school administration was not English would constitute such proof), upper division coursework in target language (equivalent to 300-level or above at UM), Peace Corps service, or Defense Language Proficiency Test.  Any courses taken to fulfill the language requirement may not be counted towards the 30 credits required for the degree.

Sample Plan of Study

The MPH/MA in LAS joint degree program is designed to train students for a career in public health with a focus on social policy, health management and health care in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as expatriate communities in the United States.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
LAS 601 Politics, Societies, and Cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean 3
EPH 600 Introduction to the Science Practice of Public Health 3
EPH 617 Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 3
LAS Regional Fundamentals Course 3
 Credit Hours12
LAS 602 Research Design in Latin American Studies 3
EPH 632 U.S. Health Systems 3
EPH 601 Medical Biostatistics I 4
LAS Regional Fundamentals Course 3
 Credit Hours13
Year Two
EPH 607 Interdisciplinary Health Communication 3
EPH 621 Fundamentals of Epidemiology 3
EPH 641 Environmental Health 3
LAS Academic Focus Course 3
 Credit Hours12
EPH 602 Biostatistics II 3
EPH 644, 644,
Fundamentals of Program Evaluation
or Fundamentals of Program Evaluation
or Qualitative Research Methods
LAS Academic Focus Course 3
LAS Capstone/Thesis Course 3
 Credit Hours12
Year Three
EPH 680 Practical Field Experience 3
LAS Academic Focus Course 3
LAS Capstone/Thesis Course 3
Electives in Public Health 2
 Credit Hours11
 Total Credit Hours60