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Frequently Asked Questions

Latin American Studies M.A. Program


Time Limits & Leaves

Students typically complete all masters requirements by the end of their second year.

Latin American Studies MA graduate students do not have time limits--graduate students may technically take as long as they want to complete the MA.

Latin American Studies MA graduate students allotted seven (7) quarters maximum of support are for MA Students—no matter how many quarters of actual support may have been received. Students will no longer be eligible for financial support from any source at UCSD once they have met the Support Time Limit.

Graduate students are eligible for a maximum of three (3) quarters Leave of Absence. The support tiime limits are adjusted accordingly when students go on leave.  If you are considering going on leave, contact the Graduate Coordinator.

In addition, the MA program has a normative time, the period within which students, under normal circumstances, are expected to complete requirements for the Master’s program.  Latin American Studies’ normative time is six (6) quarters.

Why can't I enroll in a particular course? (Preauthorization)

During your first year you may encounter courses that are on our approved course list that you are unable to enroll in through WebReg. If you find yourself wanting to enroll in a course that is listed on the LAS approved course list and you are having issues enrolling due to a prerequisite or restriction, submit a pre-authorization request via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)


I need to add/drop a class. It's past 2nd week. What should I do?

Please review the procedures on how to add a class and how to drop a class via WebReg If you are past the second week of the quarter, you will need to submit a pre-authorization request via the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy)

After the 10th week of the quarter, any changes to a student's class schedule are considered a retroactive action. As such, a general petition is required to be submitted for the Gradaute Deans review and recommendation to Committee on Educational Policy (CEP).

How do I petition a course?

Petitioning courses to count towards your M.A. program requirements it quite common--most students will require 3 or 4 petitions.

Petitions must be approved by the director prior to taking the course.  It is up to the director's discretion whether a course will be approved or disapproved.  It is best to know this information before you complete a course.  

Petitions for courses that have at least 50% Latin American content, but are not on our approved list of courses will only require that you forward the syllabus to the Graduate Coordinator, who will ensure the petition will be processed.  

Petitions for courses that do not have at least 50% Latin American content, yet are still relevant to your research will require you to submit the syllabus and an letter of justification (email is ok) to the Graduate Coordinator.  You may be required to approach the director personally to state your case if the justification is not clear from your letter.  The director may make approval conditional upon completion of the course to review your coursework.

How do I sign up for a LATI 298?

Graduate students can enroll in twoLATI 298s for their MA Program. LATI 298 can be used as an upgrade Undergraduate course offered at UCSD or directed reading.   

Students must demonstrate instructor approval by submitting the LATI 298 Request Form  with the instructor's signature to the LAS Graduate Coordinator before the end of Week 1 of any given quarter. Please note that Associate-Ins are not eligible to teach LATI 298s. 

Once the form is submitted, the Graduate Coordinator will email you the course number for you LATI 298. You will need to log onto WebReg and add the class to complete enrollment. 

Be sure to indicate the course will be 4 units, WebReg defaults to 1 unit. 

Please note to cancel your enrollment to the undergraduate course before enrolling into the upgraded LATI 298 course to avoid a double enrollment of the same course.  

LATI 298 Request Form 

How do I sign up for a LATI 299?

LATI 299 -Independent Research is a mandatory course for every second-year graduate students. Students can enroll in either one or multiple LATI 299s under different faculty (generally faculty who will be serving on your MA Thesis Committee) in a single quarter. Students assign their own units for each LATI 299, which will reflect the level of work you will be performing under the instructor. Students must maintain their fulltime status by enrolling in a minimum total of 12 units each quarter. 

Once enrollment for the quarter begins, contact the Graduate Coordinator with the instructor you wish to enroll in a LATI 299. It is up to the student to contact the instructor of record prior to the create of the LATI 299 to receive confirmation/permission to work with them. All LATI 299s are taken S/U. 

LATI 299 Request Form 

Who can be on my thesis committee?

Please review our Thesis Committee Membership Form to see who can serve on your committee. Students are required to have a minimum of three committee members and they must be from at least two separate departments.

Any faculty from an outside university (non-UC) may only serve as a fourth member on a thesis committee per petition to the Office of Graduate Studies.  A letter of explanation indicating why the faculty member should be on the committee and the faculty's CV must be submitted when you Advance to Candidacy or submit a Reconstitution Form.

What is the UCSD-SDSU Graduate Exchange Program?

In 1985 the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University formed a Latin American Studies Consortium and were funded as one of the twelve Title VI National Resource Centers for Latin America in the United States.

In 1993, as part of the consortium a collaborative graduate student exchange program was implemented. The purpose of the exchange program is to expand the curriculum available to graduate students of Latin American Studies.

Pleast note that this is not a joint degree. Students may take courses as guests of the Host campus which are transferred back to their Home campus and applied toward their own Master's program. While on the Host campus, students are subject to all the policies (such as add/drop/grading, etc.) of that campus.

Get more information.

Where can I get Writing Support?

Teaching + Learning Commons: Writing + Critical Expression Hub

The Writing + Critical Expression Hub supports all writers on campus—every writer, any project—and promotes writing as a tool for learning.

More details can be found on the Writing Hub website.



I'm going to be a TA/GSR for the first time. What do I need to do?

Notify your department of your employment plans.

If you have not worked at UCSD before, you will need to fill out New Hire paperwork with the department.

This paperwork requires that you bring in proof of your eligibility to work.

See page 5 of the I-9 form(PDF) for a list of acceptable documents to establish this.

New hires should also bring in a voided check to apply for Direct Deposit.

International students will need to bring in additional documents when filing out New Hire Paperwork.

First time TAs are required to attend ASE TA Orientation - Dates distributed by email 

How many hours does a 25% employee work?

40 hours a week is considered 100% employment.

Therefore, a 25% TA/GSR should work an average of 10 hours a week over the course of their appointment, a 50% TA/GSR should work an average of 20 hours a week, etc.