Latin American & Latino Studies Option

The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) major provides students interested in Latin American and Latino history, culture, and language with valuable interdisciplinary skills. Because this is an interdisciplinary program, students will enroll in courses in Modern Languages & Literatures and History & Philosophy. Students may also take courses with relevant content from other departments such as Sociology & Anthropology, Political Science, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The LALS major complements other fields of study: health care, government, agriculture, engineering, history, literature, political science, sociology, international business, and more. The major strengthens the skill-sets of students who wish to become more competitive in the Spanish-speaking job market, both in Latin America and in the United States. A major in LALS will prepare students for the close relationship developing between Latin American and the United States in trade agreements, the growing number of immigrant laborers, and the expansion of Latino communities in the United States with significant political and economic power.

The equivalent of five semesters of Spanish language is required. Students with prior experience in Spanish language or heritage speakers may have some requirements waived. Students interested in the LALS major should consult with LALS faculty in the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures immediately upon their decision to fulfill the major so that they can ascertain the language requirements that are appropriate for them.

Required Courses

Language Requirements (15 credits)15
Students must demonstrate proficiency in a language (other than English) spoken in Latin America by completing one of the following:
• Coursework. Successfully complete the equivalent of two years of college language classes plus one advanced grammar or writing course.
• Placement Exam. Score must be equivalent to coursework level described above.
• Experience to be approved by LALS advisor.
Some examples of languages include Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl, Quechua, Creole, and Garifuna.
Foundation course (3 credits)3
Latin American History
Area Requirements (24 credits)24
6 credits must be in HSTR and 6 credits in SPNS. The other 12 credits may come from courses in the list below or from courses with relevant content from any other field or combination of fields approved by an LALS faculty adviser.
Art and Architecture of Ancient Mesoamerica
The U.S.-Mexican Border: History, Politics and Culture
Latin Amer Social History
Race in Latin America
Colonial Latin America
Latin American Perspectives
Gender in Latin America
Latin America: Human Rights
Armed Conflict in Modern Latin America
Latin American Nature in History and Culture
Politics of Development
Political Sociology
Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
Early Cultures of Latin America
Modern Cultures Latin America
Contemp Latin Amer Literature
To Infinity and Beyond: Jorge Luis Borges
Travel in Latin Am Lit & Film
US Latino Cultures
US Latino Literature
U.S. Latino Text & Cinema
Latin American Text and Cinema
Latin America in Focus
Latin America: Culture and Revolution
Latin Amer Perspectives
Latin American Nature in History and Culture
Hispanic Caribbean: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Research Requirement (3 credits)3
Choose one (must focus on Latin American or Latino Studies theme):
Undergraduate Research
Seminar: Hispanic Literature
Experiential Learning (1-3 cr)1-3
Choose one:
Service/Experiential Learning
Service/Experiential Learning
Service/Experiential Learning
Service/Experiential Learning
Other opportunity approved by LALS advisor
Summary of Requirements
Total credits: 46-48
Language requirements: 15
Foundation course: 3
Area requirements: 24
Research: 3
Experiential Learning: 1-3