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Centre of Latin American Studies


How to Apply to the PhD in Latin American Studies

Applications for the PhD are made via the University's Postgraduate Admissions Office (PAO). 

It is essential that applicants ascertain the availability of supervision before applying. You should list the supervisor you would like to work with on your application form, and check the suitability of your research project with him/her in advance of application, although you should not expect extensive correspondence.

See our academic staff page for information about Cambridge Latin Americanists associated with the Centre. You may also find other relevant Latin American specialists housed in other departments and colleges of the university, so do consult the websites of other related departments and faculties. Supervisors from other departments may be happy for you to apply to be registered as a PhD student in CLAS, or may prefer you to apply via their own Department - you should check this before applying.

You can find details below of what the GAO requires from applicants for the PhD in Latin American Studies. If you do choose to make an application, you should consult the more detailed information on the GAO's website.

  • a detailed research/thesis proposal of 500-1000 words (see our guidelines on writing a PhD research proposal)
  • a sample of a recent piece of written work (around 2000 words) on a subject that is as close as possible to the field you will be working in for the PhD
  • a transcript supporting academic progress to date
  • two academic references (to be submitted by your referees no more than 2 weeks after the submission of your application form)
  • evidence of competence in English (if English is not your first language or you have not already taken a degree taught in English)
  • a personal reference (if you are an international student applying for an award from Gates Cambridge)

For application deadlines, please consult the Postgraduate Admissions Office. However, if you are applying for funding, please note that many application deadlines are much earlier.

US applicants for Gates awards who are not already studying at Cambridge must apply by mid-October for entry in October of the following year. Those intending to apply to other sources of funds (e.g. AHRC, ESRC, Cambridge Trust) are encouraged to seek accurate and up-to-date information on application deadlines from the GAO at the earliest opportunity. 

What happens once you have submitted your application?

When your application is complete and all the references have been supplied, it is passed to the Centre of Latin American Studies. We will assess your application on the basis of your academic record, your references, and the research potential demonstrated by the sample of written work and your thesis proposal. We endeavour to process applications as quickly as possible and will contact you as soon as we can with a result. Those seeking funding from the AHRC, ESRC or Gates may need to attend a short interview, either in person or over the phone/Skype. This is also the case for mature applicants.

If you have any admissions enquiries that cannot be answered by the information on this or the PAO's website (and/or their FAQ pages), please contact the CLAS Administrator, Chriselia de Vries.

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