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LACS Graduate Certificate

Since 2001, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) has provided scholars from every field the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate a context-based expertise on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, while providing formal recognition of this expertise on students' transcripts.

The graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is a non-degree credential available to all students enrolled in or admitted to graduate degree programs at Michigan. This certificate may be combined with either a master's or a doctoral degree.

Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or another language of Latin America or the Caribbean, such as Quechua, before obtaining the certificate. This demonstration may take the form of a transcript indicating a grade of B or better in a fourth-semester (or equivalent) language course, or
of a letter from a U-M language instructor certifying language competence.

The graduate certificate program is a flexible grouping of courses across at least three disciplinary fields. Students must include:

  • At least 12 credit hours of approved graduate-level courses in a minimum of three different departments or schools; or
  • Nine credit hours of approved graduate-level courses in a minimum of two departments or schools outside the primary field of study, and an additional non-credit activity (such as an internship, practicum, research, professional project, or similar experience) equivalent to at least a three credit-hour course.

Up to six of the required credit hours may include courses that are required for the student’s graduate or professional degree.

Up to four of the required credit hours may consist of graduate-level language instruction, such as that offered in the LACS Quechua series.

Along with the application for entry into the program, each student shall submit to the Graduate Committee:

  • a list of proposed courses that will fulfill the requirements
  • a brief statement explaining the rationale of the course of study

Note: The elective credits chosen from among classes offered by other units must be pre-approved by the LACS advisor.

Double-Count Credits: If you have a degree at the master’s level, or will acquire one within a short period after applying for the Certificate, we encourage you to inquire about Rackham’s double-count rule. The rule stipulates that a student may count only 3 credits of the total credits needed for a Master’s toward a Latin American and Caribbean studies certificate.