Graduate Studies

Harvard University’s doctoral program in history fosters intellectual exchange and discovery for all its students through intensive training in the arts of research and teaching. Doctoral students who focus their studies on the histories of Latin America and the Caribbean are particularly fortunate because they enjoy additional opportunities.

Our doctoral students benefit from our collective approach to faculty mentorship. Our students’ community at Harvard includes not only the History Department and our Latin Americanist colleagues in neighboring departments like Government and Anthropology, but also the broad community of Latin Americanist scholars from across the university who are brought together by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. (The Center’s listserv publicizes its lively schedule of lectures, seminars, and conferences; the Center also offers research grants to graduate students, special fellowships for graduate study, and the opportunity for graduate students to become formal Center Associates.) Additionally, the History Department’s Latin Americanists convene a regular seminar with the numerous historians of Latin America and the Caribbean who are affiliated with the greater Boston area’s many other colleges and universities, where members volunteer to workshop their writing-in-progress among friends over wine and Mexican food. Students interested in the rich history of the African Diaspora also benefit from the activities and resources of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Doctoral students in Latin American and Caribbean History prepare general examination fields in the histories of both the colonial and modern periods, in addition to two other fields selected in consultation with their advisors. Before they conclude the degree, they must pass written translation exams in Spanish, Portuguese, and, if necessary, a third research language.

We welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students and encourage them to contact us with questions about Harvard’s many advantages for those pursing doctoral studies in Latin American and Caribbean history.