Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies | College of Liberal Arts
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Deadline for Fall 2025 Graduate Admissions

December 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time
All materials due; late submissions will not be accepted (no exceptions)

   • MA, PhD, and Dual Degree applications open August 1, 2024.
   • We recommend that applicants submit at least two weeks prior to the deadline.

Admissions Page
College of Liberal Arts
College of Liberal Arts

Graduate students Cintia Huitzil and Adriana Linares enjoy an afternoon break.

The LLILAS doctoral program provides a flexible yet rigorous course of study for those students whose proposed doctoral program requires an interdisciplinary approach.

Through the doctoral program, students acquire not only specialist knowledge of their subject, but also a range of skills and expertise that prepares them for work opportunities in areas outside of academia, including the private sector, government posts, community organizing campaigns, and nongovernmental organizations.

The LLILAS Graduate Admissions Committee considers requests for admission to the doctoral program. In order to assist the committee’s decision-making process, candidates should outline their reasons for choosing an interdisciplinary doctoral degree and specify a proposed focus for the doctoral dissertation. A strong application will outline reasons for choosing an interdisciplinary doctoral degree instead of a discipline-based PhD program. The application should also specify one of the three tracks, outlined below, which the proposed program of study fits best. Each of these three tracks is linked to an area of strength among the LLILAS faculty. (See Admissions page.)

  • Cultural Agency

    We understand culture in the broadest sense, how distinct groups of people assign meaning to the world around them. We are interested in specific forms of cultural production—from literature and film to performance and the arts—especially as they relate to broad social processes—identity formation, education, political relations, and even economic strategies.

    How have these diverse forms of cultural production given shape to the Latin America we know today, and how do they serve as a resource for social change in the common interest?

  • Social Inequalities

    Latin America is widely known as the “most unequal continent” in standard economic terms; inequalities of race/ethnicity and gender only sharpen this image. Yet, especially over the past two decades, the region is also known as an arena of widespread debate and action that seeks to remedy these conditions, to empower those who have been marginalized, and to address the root causes of inequality.

    What are the root causes of social inequality in Latin America, in all its dimensions? What strategies yield progress toward the elimination of these enduring inequalities?

  • Sustainable Democracies

    Latin America has a long history of authoritarianism, followed by fragile and incomplete processes of democratization. Today many parts of the region still suffer from a pervasive sense that institutions (both governmental and civil society) do not function efficiently or fairly, serving the interests of a few to the detriment of the common good.

    How can Latin Americans build durable, efficient, and just democratic institutions that enjoy widespread public legitimacy and confidence?

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These areas of scholarship represent clusters of faculty strength, around which an interdisciplinary intellectual community has developed. Dialogues among faculty members with shared scholarly interests often take place at LLILAS research events such as conferences, lectures, and roundtables. Students are encouraged to attend and participate in these productive exchanges.

College of Liberal Arts

LLILAS grad students with keynote speaker at the 2023 ILASSA Student Conference.

The principal criteria for acceptance into the LLILAS PhD program:

  • A truly interdisciplinary program of study, that is, one that draws on multiple areas of disciplinary knowledge or combines them in ways that could not easily be achieved within the confines of a discipline-based program.
  • Degree of fit between the applicant’s research interests and one or more of the tracks listed above.
  • Proposed doctoral topic of clear theoretical and empirical importance within Latin American Studies.
  • Evidence of communication with at least two UT faculty members who express strong interest in working with the applicant on the specified project.
  • A proposed doctoral research topic that, in addition to academic excellence, has potential for applications outside the academic world.

A master's degree is required for admission to the PhD program (although students may submit requests before the degree is formally granted).


Learn more about the requirements for degree completion.

Graduate Student Resources and Forms

View important forms and resources for LLILAS graduate students.