The Latin American Studies Undergraduate major (LTAM) 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. In preparing students for public and private sector careers, LTAM alumni have gotten jobs in the U.S. State Department in a number of different Latin American countries, transnational companies that operate in the US and Latin America, and in non-profit organizations that work with migrants in the United States.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Luis González Chávez.
Before graduating as a LTAM and Political Science double major, González knew he wanted to study Latin American Studies.
“I picked UNC because of LTAM studies program,” González said.
Having personal ties and interests in Colombia, González wasted no time. During his first week of being a UNC first-year student, González looked at a campus map and found the Institute for the Study of the Americas. He knocked on Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz‘s door and found the major was a great fit for his interests and passion.
“It’s great if you love Latin America, love learning about the region, and if you really want an interdisciplinary study—learning about music, art, and history all link well with another major,” González said.
As an undergraduate student at UNC, González did more than study. He danced with UNC’s premiere Latin dance group Qué Ríco, participated in an alternative fall break with farm worker communities, conducted research at the Center for Bioethics, and received a LTAM Halpern award to support his one year of study in Uruguay at the Universidad de Montevideo. While abroad, González took the opportunity to travel around the southern cone of South America to pursue his interests in Argentina and Brazil, which complemented his LTAM major studies well.
After visiting 10 Latin American countries and finishing up his undergraduate studies, González knew he wanted to pursue graduate course work . Inspired by UNC scholars like John Chasteen, Louis Pérez, Cynthia Radding, and Arturo Escobar, González decided to take advantage of the UNC LTAM partnership, one of only 16 universities, who partner with Georgetown University to allow qualified Latin American studies majors to earn a Master’s degree in Latin American studies.
One day González hopes to teach Latin American history in Latin America. Until then, when he’s not preparing for his Master’s degree at Georgetown University, González can be found dancing or being a master with a yo-yo.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Luis! We can’t wait to see all the awesome things you will do!
Stand out in the NEW South
EXPLORE | CATALYZE | LEAD
Explore. The LTAM major offers opportunities to travel to Latin America for field work and study while you are here at UNC, including ISA scholarships for LTAM majors wishing to undertake study in Latin America and the Caribbean. As an LTAM major, you are highly competitive for these scholarships.
Catalyze. The LTAM major also offers high quality advising and personal attention, which are hard to find at a big place like UNC. Departmental advisor, Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz can help you decide if this is a good major for you, select courses that fulfill requirements, plan a complete educational program, and learn about academic policies and procedures.
Lead. The Latin American studies major prepares students for graduate school and public and private sector careers such as in education, business, public health, law, communication, and government, among others. LTAM majors have gotten jobs in the U.S. State Department in a number of different Latin American countries, in non-profit organizations working with migrants in the U.S., and in transnational companies that operate in the U.S. and Latin America. Read their stories here.
B.A. /M.A. Program with Georgetown
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.