Latin American Studies
The Latin American Studies (LAS) minor combines an analysis of social institutions and the processes of social, political, economic and cultural change of the nations and migrations of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking peoples in the Americas with language proficiency and cultural appreciation. The Latin American Studies (LAS) minor provides students with an understanding of the culture, history and contemporary political and social issues in Latin America and in immigrant Latino communities primarily in the United States, but also in other parts of the world where Latin Americans are emigrating such as Europe. The program also provides students with an understanding of the culture, history and contemporary political and social issues in Latin America and in immigrant Latino communities primarily in the United States, but also in other parts of the world where Latin Americans are emigrating such as Europe. Students learn discipline specific or interdisciplinary research methods and analytical tools toinvestigate and analyze a topic in Latin American studies and/or the role of Latin America and/or Latinos living outside Latin America.
The Latin American Studies minor consists of an integrated curriculum that provide breadth and depth in the study of Latin America by requiring:
- Two foundational courses that provide students with an understanding of the two key historical periods in Latin American history,
- Four electives (at least three of which must be upper division) selected from three different departments, but only two electives can be used from a student's major,
- One course on Latinos living outside of Latin America,
- Successful completion of Spanish 100 or 101 (neither of these two courses counts toward the seven required courses for the LAS minor), or equivalent Spanish or Portuguese language proficiency demonstrated by passing an examination given by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, or successful completion of one upper-division course in Latin American literature and culture taught in Spanish.
The LAS minor provides students with a foundation for graduate studies in Latin America Studies leading to an advanced degree. The minor provides an innovative opportunity for students seeking careers in business, government, international marketing, and private development organizations because it links communities in Latin America with Latin American immigrant communities outside Latin America.
Alma M. García
Professor, Department of Sociology