CERLAC Graduate Diploma Program in LAC Studies

folkloric dance, colombia, CERLAC

Folkloric dance, Colombia | Photo courtesy of Kyla Sankey


Since 1986, CERLAC has offered a Graduate Diploma Program. This program, which is available to students registered in the master's or doctoral program at York, may be taken in conjunction with a single discipline or as part of an interdisciplinary course of study. To receive the Diploma, students must satisfy the requirements of their degree and those of the Graduate Diploma Program.

Diploma Program Description and Requirements

Any York University student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program is eligible to apply to the Graduate Diploma Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

1. Degree Completion

1. Degree completion: Concurrent completion of a master's or doctoral degree at York University.

2. Language

2. Language: A working knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, or any other language other than standard English needed for research in the region.

3. Regional Experience

3. Regional experience: Personal experience for a period of at least two months, beyond simple tourism, in Latin America or the Caribbean.

4. Courses and/or Research Papers

4. Courses and/or Research Papers: A combination of two courses and/or research papers on Latin American or Caribbean-related topics accepted by the candidate's supervisor. One of these may be the candidate's thesis or dissertation. The research papers must be written outside of courses being counted towards this requirement. All papers and/or courses must be done at York University concurrently with the candidate's graduate degree program.

5. Breadth of Knowledge

5. Breadth of knowledge: in the region beyond what may be inferred from a reading of the candidate’s research papers and coursework. This requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways:

a) A third research paper acceptable to the candidate’s supervisor on a LAC-related topic different from those satisfying item 4 above. In addition, any paper counted towards this requirement must be written outside of any courses being counted towards the requirement for Courses and/or Research Papers. The Supervisor and the Diploma Coordinator must agree that the paper is appropriate, or

b) An oral examination on a LAC-related topic different from those of satisfying item 4 above, based on a reading list approved in advance by the candidate’s supervisor. The reading list should include at least twelve substantive scholarly sources.

6. Participation in CERLAC Events

6. Participation in CERLAC events: Participation in at least ten CERLAC colloquia or related activities during the candidate's graduate tenure. One-page critical commentaries on at least five of these events must be submitted to the candidate's supervisor for approval. Please use the Diploma Program Seminar Tracking to document your attendance.

Diploma Program Steps

STEP 1: Application

STEP 1: Application - One can apply at any stage during one's career as a graduate student at York simply by submitting a completed Diploma Program Application to CERLAC.

STEP 2: Choosing a Supervisor

STEP 2: Choosing a Supervisor - The supervisor advises the candidate and certifies that all Diploma requirements have been satisfied. The candidate must identify a  supervisor from the list of CERLAC Fellows and submit the completed Diploma Program Supervisor Form to the Diploma Coordinator for approval.  If you wish to propose a supervisor who is not a CERLAC fellow, please contact CERLAC. Supervisors must be York faculty appointed to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and they must have expertise in Latin American and Caribbean studies.

STEP 3: Developing the Diploma Statement

STEP 3: Developing the Diploma Statement - The candidate must complete an initial version of the Diploma Program Plan Form, outlining how each of the requirements for the program will be met. The Completion Plan should be updated every year the student is enrolled in the program.

STEP 4: Completion and Certification

STEP 4: Completion and Certification - When all requirements for the program have been met (no later than six months following convocation), the candidate must submit the completed Diploma Program Certification Form, the Diploma Program Checklist, the Convocation Information Diploma Form and all other necessary documentation to the Diploma Coordinator for final approval.