Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Latin American Studies Curriculum

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Latin American Studies is awarded for mastery of a body of literature and for the production of imaginative and original research. A student may enter the program (1) progressing from the M.A. program in Latin American Studies at Tulane, or (2) transferring to the program with an M.A. conferred by another Tulane department or by another university.

Each semester doctoral students normally enroll in three classes and teach one class. By university regulations, students are allowed to enroll in a minimum of two courses while they serve as Teaching Assistants.

Students also begin preparation for general preliminary examinations, which are given during students’ last semester of classes and should be taken no later than the first semester after the completion of all coursework requirements. These are normally in October or March.

Upon satisfying the coursework and language requirements and completing the general exams, students begin research for the dissertation, presenting a formal prospectus for faculty approval. Once approved they can apply for admittance to candidacy for the doctoral degree and commence formal work on the dissertation, which must demonstrate their ability to carry out an original investigation in the field of Latin American Studies. Degrees are conferred only after the dissertation is approved in a formal defense before a faculty committee.

Coursework and Distribution Requirements

The minimum coursework requirement for the Ph.D. is 54 credit hours. Portions of this requirement are often satisfied by credit awarded for academic work completed in fulfilling requirements for the M.A. degree with thesis.

Students with an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane may transfer up to 30 credits of relevant work from their M.A. program, while students transferring from other departments at Tulane or other universities may transfer no more than 12 hours of relevant work (see Transfer Credit below).

General requirements for the Ph.D. degree are:

  • Thirty semester hours in the primary concentration, including a minimum of six semester hours in theory, methodology, and pedagogy. Students transferring to the Stone Center from other programs must take the Latin American Studies Core Seminar in their first Fall semester to satisfy three hours of the theory and methodology requirement. And all Ph.D. students must take the required Pedagogy and Professional Development course in the Spring semester before the academic year in which they are scheduled to teach the LAST 1010/1020 course cycle for the first time. NOTE: Of the thirty semester hours in the primary concentration, twelve hours or four courses should be at the 7000 level when possible; and no more than nine hours or three courses can be independent study.
  • Twelve semester hours in a first supporting concentration; six of these hours, when possible, should be at the 7000 level.
  • Twelve semester hours in a second supporting concentration; six of these hours, when possible, should be at the 7000 level.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of at least two languages, including Spanish or Portuguese.
  • The successful completion of three general preliminary examinations in the primary and supporting concentrations.
  • The successful defense of a dissertation prospectus.
  • The successful completion and defense of the dissertation.


The concentrations are usually departmental/disciplinary and are intended more as a guide to help organize a student’s curriculum around a specific research project. Where a student’s program suggests that there is an educational and qualitative logic, it is also possible to declare one synthetic concentration that combines courses from more than one department. Such a concentration might be, for example, Cultural Studies or Mexican Studies or Gender Studies, etc. Students are also encouraged, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor, to take courses that may fall outside of their concentration areas if such courses are critical to the development of specific research skills, tools, methods, or content necessary in the pursuit of their research agendas.

Transfer Credits

At the time of admission, the Graduate Advisor can provide an informal assessment about what previous course credit can be transferred to meet Ph.D. requirements, but University policy allows the Graduate Advisor to make a formal evaluation of requests for transfer credit only after students have completed nine hours in residence at Tulane. After that point, and before the student accumulates a total of 42 credit hours, the Graduate Advisor recommends the transfer of appropriate and germane credit to the Graduate Dean for approval. Students seeking transfer credits should be prepared to provide copies of syllabi and/or course term papers as evidence of the relevance of the courses in question to their graduate work in their Latin American Studies program. Only courses that have a theoretical or content-specific logic to a student’s Latin American Studies academic program will be approved for transfer credit.

As noted above, students with an M.A. (with thesis) in Latin American Studies from Tulane may transfer up to 30 credits of relevant work from their M.A. program, while students transferring from other departments at Tulane or other universities may transfer up to 12 hours of relevant coursework.

Acceptance of graduate credit for work done in other M.A. programs at Tulane or other universities is recommended by the Graduate Advisor and approved by the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. To be considered for transfer credit, coursework must have received a grade of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale and must have been completed no more than six years before the date of first registration in the Center’s doctoral program. Only in very special cases, and with the recommendation of the Stone Center’s Graduate Advisor, will the Dean consider transfer of credit for courses taken earlier.

Language Requirements

The language requirement for graduation with the Ph.D. in Latin American Studies is demonstrated competence in two languages. Normally, one is Spanish; the second Portuguese. However, other languages may be presented if essential for the student’s research. German, Quechua, Nahuatl, or Kaqchikel are examples. The required level of competence in Spanish and Portuguese corresponds to intermediate-high on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language scale. This competency is considered a minimum requirement. Students are encouraged to develop additional languages as needed by their research fields. Levels of competency similar to those described for Spanish and Portuguese are required in any language presented to satisfy this requirement. Currently, language competency examinations in Spanish and Portuguese are administered by Professors in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as assigned by that department. Students should contact the Department of Spanish and Portuguese directly for further information on the administration of these exams. All students, even native speakers, must be either examined for minimal linguistic competency as explained above or certified as to their native fluency by the Spanish and Portuguese Department.

Certification of competency in a second language must be presented by the end of the second year of study. Transfer students are expected to pass one language during the first year of study, and a second language examination by the end of second year of study. Testing procedures are discussed further in the “Grades and Evaluation” section.




All Events

Upcoming Events

Why Marronage Still Matters: Lecture with Dr. Neil Roberts

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What is the opposite of freedom? Dr. Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept ofmarronage—a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space.In this lecture, Roberts will explore how what he calls the “post-Western” concept and practice of marronage—of flight—bears on our world today.

This event is sponsored by the Kathryn B. Gore Chair in French Studies, Department of French and Italian.
For more information contact Ryan Joyce at or Fayçal Falaky at

Newcomb Art Museum to host María José de la Macorra and Eric Peréz for Gallery Talk

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Join us at the Newcomb Art Museum in welcoming Mexican artists María José de la Macorra and Eric Peréz for a noontime gallery talk as they discuss the current exhibition Clay in Transit: Contemporary Mexican Ceramics (which features works by María José de la Macorra) and the focus and process of their work. The talk is free and open to the public.

The Newcomb Art Museum is featuring two ceramic exhibitions entitled Clay in Transit featuring contemporary Mexican ceramics and Clay in Place featuring Newcomb pottery and guild plus other never-before-exhibited pieces from the permanent collection.The exhibit presents the work of seven Mexican-born sculptors who bridge the past and present by creating contemporary pieces using an ancient medium. The exhibit will feature works by Ana Gómez, Saúl Kaminer, Perla Krauze, María José Lavín, María José de la Macorra, Gustavo Pérez, Paloma Torres.

Exhibition curator and artist Paloma Torres explains, “In this contemporary moment, clay is a borderline. It is a material that has played a critical role in the development of civilization: early man used clay not only to represent spiritual concerns but also to hold food and construct homes.” While made of a primeval material, the exhibited works nonetheless reflect the artists’ twenty-first-century aesthetics and concerns as well as their fluency in diverse media—from painting and drawing to video, graphic design, and architecture.

The exhibit will run from January 18, 2018, through March 24, 2018. For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit the Newcomb Art Museum’s website.

Clay in Transit is presented in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jennifer Wooster (NC ’91), Lora & Don Peters (A&S ’81), Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, Andrew and Eva Martinez, and the Newcomb Art Museum advisory board

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: kibe

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Bate Papo! Try a bit of Brazil’s Middle Eastern flavor with these kibe treats. This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at

Loyola University to host talk by Ward Churchill on Indigenism in North America

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Loyola University is excited to welcome acclaimed activist-intellectual Ward Churchill, author of the new book Wielding Words like Weapons: Selected Essays in Indigenism, 1995–2005 and 30 Year Anniversary edition of Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America.

Ward will give an explanation of indigenism, moving from there to the concepts of the Fourth World and the three-legged stool of classic, internal, and settler-state colonialism. He will discuss historical and ongoing genocide of North America’s native peoples and the systematic distortion of the political and legal history of U.S.-Indian relations.

A prolific American Indian scholar/activist, Ward Churchill is a founding member of the Rainbow Council of Elders, and longtime member of the leadership council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. In addition to his numerous works on indigenous history, he has written extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the repression of political dissent, including the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. Five of his more than 20 books have received human rights awards.

Please contact Nathan Henne ( for additional information.

Sponsored by
The Loyola Latin American Studies Program
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Loyola
The Department of Language and Cultures
The Department of English

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: bolo de aipim

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Bate Papo! Drop by the LBC mezzanine floor for a slice of manioc sponge cake. We will be spread out across the green couches so come by to take a load off and chat for a bit. This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: Romeo & Julieta

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Bate Papo! Join us once again in the LBC mezzanine area to sample the most romantic treat in all of Brazil: Romeo & Julieta. Never heard of it? Come give it a try! It is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before… This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at