The BA in Latin American studies, offered by the Curriculum in Latin American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, is designed to foster intellectual engagement with a region of extraordinary diversity and rich cultural complexity, within an interdisciplinary but integrated framework. The Latin American studies major emphasizes the following:
–The development of basic knowledge and comprehension of the principal facets in Latin American and Caribbean history, cultures, and contemporary social, economic, and political issues;
–The development of an interdisciplinary sensibility as the optimum way with which to approach Latin America and the Caribbean, past and present, within broader trans-national perspectives;
–The development of competence in Spanish or Portuguese, and/or other languages of the region as required by the specific needs of the chosen program of study.
The BA in Latin American studies provides students with the opportunity to master multiple methodological skills and acquire the language competence through which to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Latin American and Caribbean experience. Through a combination of classroom instruction, outreach programs, research, and the opportunity to travel to Latin America for field work and study, the Latin American studies major provides students with multifaceted experiences through which to develop an expertise on an increasingly important region of the world. The Latin American studies major provides the inter-disciplinary training and the knowledge to enable students to continue their studies in graduate and professional schools, as well as succeed in public and private sector careers in education, business, public health, law, communication, and government, among others.
The majority of Latin American Studies majors also double major or minor in other fields. Double majors and minors gain extra skills and knowledge. Some students double major in fields that are closely related or complementary. Others double major in order to pursue two different aspirations or to deepen knowledge in two separate fields. If you are considering pursuing more than one major or minor ask yourself:
Students interested in working with the Latino community may want to consider combining the Latin American Studies major with the Latina/Latino Minor. The minor recognizes the increasing importance and influence of the rapidly growing number of people from Latin America settling in the United States.
By fourth semester, students should have declared a major. Talk to your Academic Advisor to file the appropriate paperwork. If you want to major in Latin American Studies, you will be “promoted” from the General College to the College of Arts and Sciences. You will be assigned to the Latin American Studies departmental advisor along with your team advisors. If you haven’t done so before, please be sure to consult with the Latin American Studies departmental advisor as soon as you declare the major. She will help you select courses that fulfill requirements, plan a complete educational program, and learn about academic policies and procedures.
The Curriculum in Latin American Studies is divided into two concentrations that are further divided into sequences as outlined below:
To ensure depth in a single discipline of Latin American Studies, four of the ten courses required for the major must be selected from one of the sequences. To ensure breadth of exposure to other areas of Latin American Studies, two courses must be selected from each of the other three sequences. LTAM 101 and LTAM 697 may count toward any sequence.
In addition to the 10 required courses, each major must complete a course through fifth semester-level or higher (or its equivalent) in Spanish or Portuguese. While this is a minimum requirement, majors are encouraged to work toward advanced proficiency in both Spanish and Portuguese. Several courses in Spanish and Portuguese will satisfy this requirement while also fulfilling General Education requirements. Please note that courses in translation will not satisfy this requirement.
The Languages across the Curriculum (LAC) Program offers LAC course options (independent seminars, discussion sections, combined discussion sections, and research components) in numerous languages including Spanish. LAC sections are a good way to hone skills for those already at intermediate to advanced level proficiency. Learn more.
An Independent Study course may be a special research project, directed study on a specific topic or theme, a service-learning or experiential education activity that allows you to focus on a subject that is not currently offered in the regular curriculum. Learn more.
Latin American Studies majors with an overall grade point average of 3.35 are invited to pursue a degree with honors by writing an honors thesis during the senior year. Learn more. View Previous Honors Theses.
Studying and living in Latin America or the Caribbean is highly recommended as an experience that majors should consider. Both ISA and the Study Abroad Office offer scholarships for majors wishing to undertake study in Latin America and the Caribbean. Learn more.
The Curriculum in Latin American Studies participates in a cooperative BA/MA program with the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. The agreement allows qualified Latin American studies majors to earn a Masters in Latin American studies in a year and a summer following their senior year at UNC. Learn More