Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration designed to help students develop an understanding of culture, history, and contemporary issues in the region. Concentrators study the social, political, economic, literary, and cultural features that comprise contemporary Latin American and Caribbean societies. Concentration requirements cover four general areas: language, area studies, research, and professional experience. Concentrators develop competency in Spanish or Portuguese and many concentrators also study in Latin America for one or both semesters during the junior year. An internship or volunteer work (required of all students) in Latin America or with a local organization that primarily serves Spanish or Portuguese speakers, puts students in direct contact with Latin Americans, and builds professional skills and experience.
Students in this concentration will:
- Understand the politics and expressive cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean from several disciplinary perspectives
- Acquire advanced speaking and writing abilities in Spanish, Portuguese, or Creole
- Develop theoretical acumen in humanistic and social scientific research methods
- Design a unique concentration based around a geographic region or critical question
- Spend at least one semester studying and working in Latin America or the Caribbean
- Engage in independent research
Honors and CapstonesView Honors website
Concentrators are required to complete a major research paper or project on Latin America. This requirement can be met by either writing a research paper approved by the concentration advisor in an advanced undergraduate seminar or by completing a Senior Thesis or Senior Project supervised by a faculty member. Concentrators who maintain a B+ average both in the concentration and overall, qualify to work towards Honors. To earn Honors these students must write a Senior Thesis, which should be “A” level work, although an “A” thesis does not automatically confer Honors. Please consult the department’s website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
- Expand your reading skills
- Collaborate fully
- Understand differences among cultures
- Embrace diversity
- Engage with your community
- Learn what it means to study the past
- Evaluate human behavior
- Work on your speaking and writing
CLACS alumni have pursued graduate degrees in law, medicine, and sociology-demography. Many work as policy analysts, in the financial services sector, or in public interest law, while others work for the U.S. State Department.