Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Latin American students in the campus center

The minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is an interdisciplinary program which draws on the teaching and research interests of faculty from throughout the University. A sequence of courses provides students with an understanding of the shared historical experience, languages, artistic traditions and cultures that constitute the current make-up of the region.

The Caribbean and Latin America are areas of significant academic interest and political importance. Geographically circumscribed and distinguished by a rich, multicultural history, the region provides a coherent focus for study in many disciplines. The proximity of this region to the United States, its primary role in U.S. foreign and economic policy, and the growing numbers of U.S. citizens of Latin and Caribbean descent underpin the importance of the area for academic study in this nation.


The Latin American and Caribbean Studies curriculum includes an introductory course and a capstone seminar, required of all students seeking to complete a minor. Other courses in the program are divided into three categories Historical Process, Language and the Arts, and Modern Cultural Experience. These are drawn from various General Studies categories as well as several degree programs. The minor program is open to all students regardless of ethnic background, and the requirements can be met by students in any major program of study.


Completion of the minor requires a 20-credit sequence of five courses. Each student must complete one introductory course:
GEN 1302 Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean, GEN 1030 Freshman Seminar, Introduction to Latin America/Caribbean and LANG 3252 Latin American Culture and Civilization, GIS 3730 the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Senior Seminar. The remaining three courses must include one from each of the program’s three topical categories — Historical Process, Language and the Arts, and Modern Cultural experience. Students will also be required to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, French, (or another relevant language), either by completing two semesters of university coursework or by some other method accepted by the Languages and Culture Studies faculty. Credits for these language courses will not be counted toward the 20 credits required for certification. Students interested in completing the minor should notify the coordinator of Latin American and Caribbean Studies as early as possible.


The Latin American/Caribbean Studies program offers many co-curricular activities, which enhance relevant educational opportunities at the University. The program sponsors panel discussions and presentations on current issues that affect the Latin America and Caribbean region. Past events include cultural exhibits such as Maya 2012: Lords of Time, Elaine LingPhotography: Cuba Chronicles, Guatemalan Weavings by Armando Sosa, Capoeira Arts, and Ecocriticism in/of the Americas. The program also sponsors presentations from Latin American and Caribbean community leaders.
Along with the curriculum requirements, the program also encourages international study as well as service learning in the community. Credits earned at Latin American or Caribbean universities may be applied to degree requirements. Students interested in this option should consult the Coordinator of International Education. The University also offers a variety of courses with travel components in the minor. Offerings will vary from year to year.