Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies, established in 2012, offers you the opportunity to expand your level of academic inquiry while at Princeton. By situating yourself within an engaged community of Latin American scholars, and participating in special seminars that take a deep-dive into the region, new insights and opportunities emerge. Moreover, you are able to partner closely with faculty known the world over for their contributions as you begin to make your own voice heard.

A Formal Credential

The graduate certificate is designed to allow students who are taking seminars in the program, working closely with our faculty, and writing dissertations on a Latin American topic to receive a formal credential in the field.  Many such students prepare a generals field in Latin America, but that is not a requirement for the certificate.  Upon fulfilling all of the requirements, a student will receive a certificate from the Program in Latin American Studies and is entitled to list the credential on his or her curriculum vitae.  The certificate does not appear on a student's official transcript.  

The director of the Program in Latin American Studies oversees the graduate certificate program.

Note:  Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the Latin American Studies graduate certificate program since it is not a degree program.


The program is open to all Princeton University graduate students currently enrolled in any doctoral program in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, math or natural sciences.  Students enrolled in the Master's in Public Affairs Degree Program at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs may enroll in the certificate program if they write a research paper on a Latin American topic in consultation with the program director. 


  • Language: Advanced proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or French (for students working on the Caribbean). Students can satisfy this requirement by completing a course taught in Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
  • Coursework: Four full-term, approved graduate courses on a Latin American topic, or substitutes approved by the program director. At least one course should be outside of the student's home department.  In addition, the program director may approve other graduate courses, on a case-by-case basis, for which the student has written a final paper focusing on a Latin American topic.
  • Works-in-Progress: Students enrolled in the graduate certificate program are encouraged to participate in the program’s Graduate Works-in-Progress series during their course of study, and do at least one presentation on their dissertation research to an audience of faculty and graduate students to receive feedback.  PLAS also encourages students to attend and organize scholarly events sponsored by the program.
  • Dissertation: A dissertation that includes significant research on a Latin American topic. See the note above if you are a School of Public and International Affairs MPA student.

“With PLAS there is an incredible feeling of community in the sense of togetherness, bringing together all of these things into one institution that connects all of us. So, it functions like a hub or a nexus for bringing in quite disparate kinds of people and ideas, and bringing them all together. It is quite invaluable in that sense because there is no other real institution that I’ve discovered that is anything like it in terms of bringing these people that we would otherwise never meet or have any connection. And then for us as the students to be able to interact with them and learn from them and get to know them, which contributes to our own work and future as well.” -Max Horder (Graduate Student, Anthropology, Princeton University)