Admission to the Master of Arts Program

Candidates for admission to the Master of Arts in Hispanic Cultural Studies should have an exceptional undergraduate record, strong letters of recommendation, and excellent fluency in Spanish. The online application must be submitted to the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences no later than March 30, 2023, and its required components are:

  • Copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts 
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic recommenders 
  • A personal statement in English about intellectual interests
  • A writing sample in Spanish or Portuguese (10-15 double-spaced pages in length or approximately 3,000 – 4,500 words; see the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information about the writing sample)
  • Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese is required. Please note that most coursework in LAIC is conducted in Spanish or Portuguese.
  • The English proficiency requirement can be fulfilled through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants are strongly urged to make arrangements to take one of these examinations early in the fall. Scores more than 2 years old are not accepted. Student score reports are not considered official. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences requires the following minimum scores:  600 on the TOEFL paper-and-pencil test; 100 on the TOEFL internet-based test; 7.5 on IELTS. The ETS (Educational Testing Service) institution code for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) is 2162, to be used with the GRE and TOEFL. GSAS does not use department codes.
  • The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures does not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

International students should consult the GSAS page on admissions, as well as the comprehensive site maintained by the Columbia Office for International Students and Scholars.

See also the section on Frequently Asked Questions for detailed guidance.

For academic questions regarding the program, please contact Professor Alberto Medina, Director of Graduate Studies ([email protected]).

For administrative questions regarding the application, please contact [email protected]. This inbox is monitored by GSAS admissions staff, and is specifically intended for applicant communication.