The Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) is the center for research, teaching and discussion on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean at Columbia University. ILAS provides resources for Columbia students in the form of academic programs and research support. ILAS’ Tinker Visiting Professors in Latin American Studies and Ruth Cardoso Visiting Professors in Brazilian Studies complement the offerings of the permanent faculty of the university thus providing a wide range of offerings to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Named by the Department of Education as a National Resource Center for Latin American Studies, ILAS is part of the New York City Consortium on Latin America along with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University (CLACS). Graduate students from both institutions may enroll in designated courses at either university in order to complement their education.

The Institute is home to a Master of Arts program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (MARSLAC).  The interdisciplinary M.A. program provides a broad social science-based approach to modern and contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean.

ILAS hosts the undergraduate major and concentration in Latin Americas Studies.  The major is designed to give undergraduates the general mastery of a discipline and at the same time permit them to do specialized work in the language, history, and culture of the Latin American region. Students take core courses that give them grounding in the language, history, politics, and cultures of Latin America as well as courses in a discipline of choice. The disciplines of choice include anthropology, art history and archaeology, economics, history, music, political science, sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, and Urban Studies.

ILAS also administers a Certificate in Latin American Studies to graduate students who complete an interdisciplinary program in conjunction with their own departmental degrees at GSAS or a professional school at Columbia.

 Latin American History at Columbia:

The Department of History at Columbia University is a world-renowned place to study Latin American history. The award-winning faculty work on a diversity of periods and regions, and their courses and publications engage multiple methodological approaches.


Columbia has been one of the most important centers of graduate education in history since modern Ph.D. programs began in America over a century ago. Recipients of the doctoral degree in history hold distinguished positions in virtually every major university in the United States and abroad. The program offers a broad education in most areas of historical scholarship and attempts to train students for a discipline and a profession in the midst of considerable change; our program not only assists students in acquiring the knowledge and skills essential to becoming contributing scholars, but also helps them to become effective teachers and to exist comfortably within a demanding and complicated professional world.
The Department of History is also deeply committed to undergraduate education. The undergraduate curricula of Columbia College and Barnard College are rich and deep, covering all areas of the world and most periods of written history.
The New York City Workshop of Latin American History is a space to share research and lively discussions with faculty and students in other universities in the area.

We look forward to enhancing your experience at Columbia. Take a look at our Events and Funding Opportunites pages for more information on the various events we sponsor and the opportunities we offer.