Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: Alessandra Russo
Director of Graduate Studies: Alberto Medina
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA, MPhil, PhD

The Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia aims to provide its graduate students with a rigorous formation in the literatures and cultures of Spain and Latin America, to oversee their specialization in one or more areas of Hispanic studies, and to allow them the flexibility to pursue comparative and interdisciplinary work under the supervision of its distinguished faculty. Students complement their work in the department with coursework in other disciplines such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, and English.

The department is located in the Casa Hispánica, a five-story townhouse adjoining Columbia's Morningside campus, between Broadway and Riverside Drive. It contains classrooms, a lecture hall, a graduate lounge, and a library. The Hispanic Institute, housed in the department, offers a regular program of lectures and activities. It also sponsors the Revista Hispánica Moderna, a prestigious academic journal published continuously since 1934.

Financial Aid

A comprehensive program of financial aid, including fellowships and appointments in teaching, is available to PhD students. PhD students admitted to the program receive annually the prevailing stipend and appropriate tuition and health fees through the fifth year, provided that they remain in good academic standing. If students receive a year of advanced standing, they are entitled to four years of fellowship funding.

Student Profile

The department fosters a stimulating, cosmopolitan environment for the study of Spanish and Latin American culture. The graduate students in the program come from various parts of the United States and from a multitude of nations throughout the world: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, and Venezuela.


Graduates of the doctoral program have consistently secured tenure-track positions at some of the best colleges and universities in the country. Recent graduates have found employment at prestigious academic institutions in the US and abroad such as Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, Michigan (Ann Arbor), Duke, Georgetown, Middlebury, Northwestern, Sarah Lawrence, Chicago, Toronto, Wisconsin (Madison), and many others.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a personal statement, and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.

Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) awards a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society. For more information, see the ICLS website.