Letter from the Director
The present handbook is meant to guide you in your progress through the Master’s program and answer questions about policies and procedures. Our larger goal is for you to take maximum advantage of the extraordinary teaching and research capacities of CLACS, one of the first and now well-established area studies centers, in the vibrant global city of New York.
Through its Master’s programs, CLACS advances knowledge and understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean; it does so in relation to international research opportunities, nationally-recognized library resources, and outreach programs to K12, post-secondary institutions, and the public at large. Through these, CLACS is closely connected to the Latin American and Caribbean ecosystem of the City in its cultural, social, and linguistic dimensions. CLACS provides students with singular opportunities to study indigenous and diasporic languages, particularly Haitian Kreyòl and Quechua. To succeed at CLACS, then, you will meet course and other requirements, and you will also engage these multiple dimensions of the Center and the city that surrounds us.
A signature of CLACS is its commitment to original student-centered research as the foundation of graduate training in area studies: only sustained student-designed field research allows you to practice the methodology of area studies. Sample timelines and other information in this handbook will guide you through the process of developing hands-on research as part of your final Master’s project. The faculty are eager to learn about your research interests and to provide guidance, support, and mentoring that you will need.