University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

M.A. in Latin American Border Studies


The MA program in Latin American and Border Studies (LABS) focuses on the study of the US-Mexico border and the broader study of Latin America in the context of increasing transnational connections seen most clearly in the border region. The program brings together the study of the U.S.-Mexico border and Latin America, rather than treating the two separately, as other programs do. The curriculum provides students with an engaging and thorough education in Latin American and Border issues, relating regional issues to larger hemispheric phenomena. The program includes three core courses, includes opportunities to explore of wider disciplines, topics, or regions of interest, and requires a focused subset of electives in a specific discipline or on a particular topic or region.

Admission Requirements 

Admission to the MA program in Latin American and Border Studies will follow the general admissions requirements of the UTEP Graduate School. In addition, it will require a 3.0 minimum upper-division undergraduate GPA. Because the program is interdisciplinary, no specific undergraduate major is required. Students without any undergraduate credits in any area related to Latin America or Border studies can be required to complete up to nine (9) hours of undergraduate work in the area of Latin American and Border Studies. Students will be required to submit, 

  • An official transcript, with the four-year baccalaureate degree posted, from the degree-granting institution and copies of transcripts for all other relevant upper-division and graduate work at accredited U.S. institutions or equivalent work and degrees at foreign institutions.
  • Statement of purpose
  • 3 letters of Recommendation
  • Resume

For graduates from institutions outside the United States where English is not the first language, the graduate school requires a minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Please consult graduate school website for required scores,

Degree Requirements 

Courses freely elected by students: Each student will choose, in consultation with the academic advisor, six (6) to nine (9) hours of courses to complete the program.

Language requirement: All students must demonstrate oral, reading, and writing proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese. Substitutions can be made. If proficiency is not adequately demonstrated by sufficient coursework at the undergraduate level, including undergraduate education conducted in Spanish or Portuguese, a proficiency examination in Spanish or Portuguese is required the first semester of enrollment. Students without reading and speaking skills at the 2nd year level may be required to take undergraduate courses outside the course of study to fulfill the language requirement. 

Additional Policies: Students may select up to six (6) credit hours from upper-division undergraduate courses, as approved by the graduate committee. The instructor is expected to assign the student appropriate work for graduate-level credit.

Students can elect either the thesis or non-thesis option. In the capstone course LABS 5390, students are encouraged to incorporate field experience. Students are also encouraged to undertake other field experiences that might be part of the program in consultation with the program advisor. Transfer students will be admitted based.

Questions can be sent to  

Degree Plan

MA in Latin American Border St (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
LABS 5301Issues in Border Studies3
LABS 5302Contemporary Latin America3
LABS 5390Research in LA/Border Studies3
Prescribed Electives:
Select nine hours in one area of focus as prescribed by the program advisor9
Thesis/Non-Thesis Option:
Select one sequence below:6
Thesis Option:
and Thesis
Non-thesis Option:
Select six additional hours of graduate courses with at least three being in your prescribed subject of study
Other Electives:
Select six additional hours of graduate courses6
Total Hours30

Graduate Courses

LABS 5304Spl Topics in the Humanities3
LABS 5305Spl Topics in Political Issues3
LABS 5306Spl Topics: Social/Cult Issues3
LABS 5307Internship in LABS3
LABS 5308Independent Study in LABS3
LABS 5389LABS Special Topics3
Other graduate courses of Latin American or Border content, with approval of the program advisor.

Academic Director

Josiah Heyman

Physical Address:
1514 Hawthorne Street

Mailing Address:
500 West University
El Paso, Texas 79968