Universiteit Leiden

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Latin American Studies (MA)

Admission requirements

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

Diploma requirements

  • You are eligible to apply for the MA Latin American Studies if you have: A bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Latin American Studies; or
  • A bachelor’s degree from a research university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree; and
  • comparable knowledge, understanding and skills with those acquired upon graduating from a Dutch research university in Latin American Studies, specifcally: 
    • elementary knowledge and understanding of the most important linguistic, cultural and/or historical developments in Latin America; and
    • the ability to deal with theories about the chosen research subject and to apply those theories into a concrete case study;

The Board of Admissions will assess whether your degree and background are sufficiently related to the level and content of a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in Latin American Studies on the basis of the requirements specified above.

BA International Studies
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch research university in International Studies who have completed all area courses for Latin America and the programme’s Spanish or Portuguese language classes are regarded to have fulfilled all entry requirements.

Students with a Bachelor of Latin American Studies from Leiden University are directly eligible for admission and can apply in Studielink. There is no need to submit an application for admission using the online application portal.

If you have a bachelor’s degree from a research university that does not meet the requirements specified above, you may be eligible for a pre-master programme tailored to your individual background. After submitting your application in Studielink, the Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be directly admitted to the master’s programme or whether you will first need to complete a pre-master’s programme. It is not possible to apply for a pre-master’s programme directly. Once you have completed the imposed pre-master programme, you will be admitted to the master’s programme.

For students with a bachelor’s degree at a university of applied sciences, equivalent to the level of a Dutch hbo bachelor’s degree, the Board of Admissions may impose a pre-master’s programme, tailored to the individual background of the prospective student, to be completed before admission into the MA programme.

For questions about the pre-master’s programme you can contact the coordinator of studies.

Language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 6.5
  • TOEFL: 90
  • C2 Proficiency (former CPE) or C1 Advanced (former CAE): 180

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

English tests accepted
Note that English test results may not be more than two years old. The following types of English test are accepted: 

  • IELTS: Academic
    • We do not accept IELTS General Training or IELTS Indicator
    • We are not yet able to accept the new IELTS online.
  • TOEFL: internet based
    • 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.
    • We can accept TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition™ or TOEFL IBT Paper Edition™ in the following situations only:
      • You are applying for a programme starting in Feb 2023, or
      • You took the test before 1 Sept 2022 (& it is not more than 2 years old), or
      • You are unable to take an in-person test on location because test centres in your region are closed due to COVID or inaccessible due to unsafe conditions.
  • Cambridge English Exam C2 Proficiency or C1 Advanced, depending on admission criteria

Please note: You do not have to submit proof of proficiency if you have completed your education in the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (except French-taught programmes in Canada) Singapore, South-Africa or Malta, or when you hold an International Baccalaureate, or for Dutch students, if you have completed VWO level English or an English taught bachelor at a Dutch Research University.

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.

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

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