General Admission Procedures
The Combined Latin American and Caribbean Studies M.A./International Relations Ph.D. pathway allows qualified graduate students to pursue graduate degrees in both areas simultaneously rather than sequentially. Students must fulfill the requirements for both programs, and up to 36 credits completed as part of the M.A. in MALACS will be counted toward the 75 credit Ph.D. in International Relations.
To be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements:
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission.
1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution for higher education (or equivalent);
2. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for the last two years of undergraduate work and/or a GPA of 3.5 on any previous graduate work;
3. Verbal and Quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores;
4. International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English and who have not obtained a degree from an English-speaking academic institution are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 90 on the internet-based TOEFL (equivalent to 575 on the paper-based version) or 6.5 overall on the IELTS is required.
Although admissions decisions typically are made in the spring, decisions for students who have not yet received their bachelor’s degree will be conditional, pending confirmation of the B.A. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. All applications are subject to review by the members of the Department of Politics and International Relations and the MALACS admissions committee.
To be accepted into this pathway, students must submit an application to the Ph.D. in International Relations with a sub-plan for an M.A. in LACS. This designation will appear in the menu of programs in the graduate application. The application must be submitted by January 15 in the year in which they wish to begin their studies.
The following documents must be submitted and will be reviewed by the Admissions Committees from both units.
The following must be submitted as part of the on-line application:
1. Online application and application fee;
2. Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework;
3. Official GRE scores;
4. Official TOEFL scores, if applicable.
5. A statement of research interests, including reasons for seeking the M.A./Ph.D., future career goals, and a summary of scholarly preparation for this pathway;
6. Three letters of reference from academic sources or others able to judge academic abilities and potential; and
7. A curriculum vitae.
Masters of Arts in Latin America and Caribbean Studies Degree Requirements (36 credits)
During their first two years of enrollment in the Combined Degree Pathway, students must complete 36 credits for an MA in Latin America and Caribbean Studies with depth or focus courses in International Relations.
MALACS Core Courses (9 credits)
During their first two years of enrollment in this combined degree pathway, students take three core courses as follows:
LAS 6003 Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean (first year, fall semester) 3
LAS6934 Research Seminar (first year, spring semester) 3
INR5615 Research Design in International Relations 3
MALACS Focus Courses (12 -15 credits)
Students will take a minimum of 12-15 credits within the Department of Politics and International Relations with a Latin American and/or Caribbean focus.
MALACS Elective Courses (6-9 credits)
Student may take courses from other areas.
MALACS Exit Options for Combined Degree Pathway (6 credits)
Students may choose one of three exit options:
LAS 6970 Thesis 6
See the MALACS program description for more information. The thesis is publicly defended and approved by a committee of three graduate faculty members.
LAS 6905 Directed Research in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 3
Preparation of two directed research papers. Both papers require an oral presentation and approval by a committee of three graduate faculty members.
LAS 6942 Internship in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 6
Supervised internship leading to a major research paper in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The research paper requires an oral presentation and approval by a committee of three graduate faculty members.
Each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese, or in another language such as French or Haitian Creole when justified by research interests. Proficiency demonstrated by scoring an advanced level on the ACTFL exam for Spanish, Portuguese, or French administered by FIU’s Department of Modern Languages. Other tests of proficiency may be accepted upon approval of the graduate advisor.
Students should apply for graduation for the MALACS M.A. as soon as they have completed all requirements for the degree – including the exit requirements. Ordinarily, the M.A. will be conferred before the student advances to candidacy for the Ph.D. in International Relations.
Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations Degree Requirements
Students will begin study towards the Ph.D. in International Relations immediately following their satisfactory completion of MALACS requirements. A minimum of 39 credits beyond the 36 credits required for the MALACS degree will be necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Ph.D. Program in International Relations.
12 Core Course credits:
INR 6604 International Relations Theory I 3
INR 6608 Contemporary International Relations Theory 3
INR 5609 Contemporary Dynamics of International Relations 3
Second methods course from the following list (or another methods course approved by the Graduate Program Director):
INR 5616 Qualitative and Interpretive Methods in International Relations
POS 5706 Graduate Seminar in Political Science Research Methods
ECO 7424 Econometric Methods I
ANG 6480 Ethnohistorical Research Methods
ANG 6497 Qualitative Research Methods
GIS 5935 Topics in GIS
PAD 7705 Applied Quantitative Analysis I
PAD 7707 Applied Quantitative Analysis II
PAD 7703C Empirical Methods in Public Administration
Gateway courses (9 credits)
There are four major field of study: (1) Global Political Economy and Development (2) Comparative Area Studies (3) Foreign Policy and Security Studies, and (4) Global Governance, International Law and International Ethics. Student must take one gateway course for three of these fields. Gateway courses for each field are:
(1) INR 6706 Political Economy of International Relations
(2) INR 5017 Approaches to Area Studies
(3) INR 6338 Strategic Studies
(4) INR 5409 International Law I or INR 5507 International Organizations
9 Major Field credits in either:
1. Global Political Economy and Development
2. Comparative Area Studies
3. Foreign Policy and Security Studies
4. Global Governance, International Law, and International Ethics.
With advisor approval, these 9 credits may include some or all of the coursework (except INR 5615) taken in satisfaction of the requirements for the MALACS degree.
6 Minor Field credits in either:
1. a second field from the above major field list, or
2. a field offered within another Ph.D. program at FIU (with approval of the Graduate Program Director), or
3. a petition field (with approval of the Graduate Program Director). With advisor approval, these 6 credits may include some or all of the coursework (except INR 5615) taken in satisfaction of the requirements for the MALACS degree.
Elective credits necessary to bring total credits earned beyond the MALACS degree to a minimum of 24.
15 credits of dissertation research.
Comprehensive Exams (6 credits)
After completing 60 hours of course work (or in the semester in which they expect to do so), students may take their written comprehensive examinations on the core sequence and in both of their fields. Students must sit for these examinations within 6 months of completing the minimum 60 hours of coursework unless granted an extension by the International Relations Graduate Program Director.
Within 3 months of passing the comprehensive examinations, students should publicly present a dissertation proposal that is acceptable to a committee of at least four qualified scholars. Three members of the committee, including the dissertation supervisor, must be graduate faculty members of the Department of Politics and International Relations. One must be from outside the department but inside FIU. Other members must be approved by the International Relations Graduate Program Director. To complete program requirements, Ph.D. degree candidates must enroll for a minimum of 15 dissertation credits and maintain enrollment for 3 credits every semester until the degree is awarded.