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Latin American Studies (research) (MA)

Admission requirements

To be eligible for Latin American Studies (research) at Leiden University, you must meet the following admission requirements.

Diploma requirements

You are eligible to apply for the MA Latin American Studies (research) if you have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree; and
  • You should have knowledge of the fundamentals of area studies, literary studies, history and/or social sciences, demonstrable from a bachelor’s thesis, (or equivalent written work if from a foreign institution), in which relevant literature and research are covered.

For further information please check the pages on the admission procedure and required application documents.

In addition, you must also meet the following qualitative admission requirements:

  • Good grades comparable with an average mark of at least 7.5 (Dutch grading system) for your entire bachelor’s programme and a grade for the bachelor’s thesis of an 8 or higher.
  • Affinity with and suitability for scholarly research in the specific field of the programme and the ability to clearly report on research. 
  • Demonstrable motivation to study and suitability for the particular Research MA programme.

The qualitative admission requirements will be implemented as follows:

  • You are asked to provide a transcript of records and diploma of the relevant obtained academic degree.
  • Affinity with the field should be demonstrated by a “Research Proposal”. All applicants are required to submit a Research Proposal of approximately 1000 words, accompanied by an annotated bibliography of at least five (5) items, outlining the topic or field of research that the applicant wishes to pursue at Leiden University, and indicating the names of one or two faculty members who might guide that research.
  • Your motivation and suitability for your chosen specialization should be demonstrated by:
    • a well-argued and structured motivation letter in which you indicate why you want to follow the programme and convincingly discuss what makes you a good candidate for the research MA programme. The statement should be between 700 and 1,500 words.
    • a CV which includes two referees from which the institutional affiliation and email address are described (at least one from an academic staff member). The Board of Admissions may contact them to verify that you meet the requirements.

Language requirements

In order to successfully participate in this programme, you must be proficient in English. The following requirements apply:

  • IELTS: 6.5;
  • TOEFL (Internet based) 90.

From September 2024

  • IELTS: 6.5; where each separate component score must be at least 6.0;
  • TOEFL (Internet based) 90, where each separate component score must be at least 20.

See also the English test score equivalency table of Leiden University.

The following requirements apply: 

  • IELTS Academic modules only, on paper or on computer: 6.5 overall, with at least 6.0 for each separate component score.
    • We do not accept IELTS Academic online.
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training, IELTS Indicator, or IELTS One Skill Retake
  • TOEFL internet based: 90 overall, with at least 20 for each separate component.
    • We are not able to accept The TOEFL IBT Home Edition™, except in the following situations only:
      You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (and it is not more than 2 years old), or you are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres are inaccessible or closed due to unsafe conditions in a country.
    • We do not accept the following types of test: TOEFL My Best™ scores (multiple test scores combined), TOEFL Essentials™  or institutional tests such as ITP.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency, or C1 Advanced (180), with a minimum score of 169 for each separate component.

Note that English test results may not be more than two years old.

You do not have to submit an English proficiency test if you have completed your education in the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta; or if you have obtained an English-taught International Baccalaureate™; or if you have completed a Dutch VWO diploma or an English-taught bachelor at a Dutch research university.

For detailed information, including exemption criteria and methods of submission, refer to 
English language proficiency

You must be sufficiently proficient in the language of instruction (to be assessed by the Board of Admissions):

  • Spanish and/or Portuguese:
    • Listening: CEFR B2
    • Reading: CEFR C1
    • Spoken interaction: CEFR B2
    • Spoken production: CEFR B2
    • Writing: CEFR B2
    • These are the levels of the BA Latin American Studies at Leiden University and other comparable academic degree programmes.
  • Candidates who have previous knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese (e.g. heritage speakers) will be assessed by the Board of Admissions.

Please note that Leiden University does not offer a pre-master's programme for Latin American Studies (research).

>> Go to the next step: Check the application deadlines

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