Master of Arts in Latin American Studies

The Law School and the Institute of Latin American Studies offer a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees: the Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS). The program is designed for those students who wish to study law and Latin American issues in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner. Students who expect to be involved in government service or legal practices with a Latin American focus could benefit from this program.

After spending the first year at the Law School, students will divide their course load between the two programs to complete the dual degree program requirements within eight semesters.

Program Structure

A student admitted to the dual degree program must begin in the Fall Semester at the Law School and complete the first-year course work during the first year of dual enrollment. This must be done before taking any courses relating to the dual degree program. Both degrees are awarded simultaneously upon completion of all requirements of the dual degree program. Therefore, students should arrange their course schedules so that both degree requirements are completed in the same semester.

Curriculum Requirements

School of Law

The Law School’s first-year curriculum includes six one-term four-unit substantive law courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. One of these six courses will include a writing component, which adds a unit of credit to the course. The rest of the first-year curriculum includes one term of Legal Analysis and Communication (3 units) in the fall, Persuasive Writing and Advocacy (2 units) in the spring, and an optional elective course of 2-3 units in the spring term. The first year program in the law school usually totals 30 units of credit.

The upper-class curriculum includes required advanced courses listed on the Degree Requirements page.

The JD degree normally requires 86 total units. For dual degree students in the JD/MALAS program, 72 law credit hours are required for graduation.

As a general rule, no courses taken in satisfaction of the Master’s degree requirements other than offerings in the Law School itself may be credited toward the JD degree. Students must check with the Law School on their eligibility to take the bar examination. No language coursework or courses pertaining to Latin American Studies (or other coursework beyond the normal first-year coursework of the JD program) may be taken in the first year of Law School.

Institute of Latin American Studies

For more information, see the Institute of Latin American Studies website.

How to Apply

Students must apply to both programs separately and be accepted independently by both. While applicants are encouraged to apply to both programs simultaneously, applicants may also apply for the other program during the student’s first year at whichever program they begin.

Financial Aid

The Law School and the Institute of Latin American Studies have limited funds for qualified students who show need and have demonstrated academic merit.


Texas Law

Professor Ariel Dulitzky

(512) 232-1256

Institute of Latin American Studies

Graduate Program Administrator

Clare Higgins Thoman