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LACS Major

The major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) is designed to provide students with a rigorous, multidisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America and the Caribbean. Students will establish a broad base of knowledge via a core of upper-level work in languages, the social sciences, and the humanities.


A minimum of 30 credits--at least 20 of which are at the 300-level or above--beyond the language requirement. Among the 30 credits students must choose at least one course from each of the disciplines of anthropology, history, literature, and politics and economy. There is no prerequisite for LACS major.

Language Requirement

Proficiency in Spanish [SPANISH 277 or RCLANG 294 or equivalent] or Portuguese [PORTUG 232 or equivalent] should be achieved as early as possible in the program. Students are encouraged to go beyond this, either with further work in the language chosen, or by achieving proficiency in the other major language.

Required Courses

Students must include at least one course from each of the following areas of study:

  • Anthropology: ANTHRCUL 319 (Latin American Society and Culture), 414 (Introduction to Caribbean Societies and Cultures, I), or an upper-level Anthropology course on Latin America, approved by an advisor.

  • History: HISTORY 347 (Latin America: The Colonial Period), or 348 (Latin America: The National Period), or an upper-level HISTORY course on Latin America, approved by an advisor.

  • Literature: SPANISH 381 (Survey of Latin American Literature, I), 382 (Survey of Latin American Literature, II), or an upper-level course in Latin American literature, approved by an advisor.

  • Politics and Economy: SPANISH 438 (Economy and Politics in Latin America/Spain), or an upper-level course in Latin American politics and/or economy, approved by an advisor. Note: courses in this area are usually found in the departments of Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish.

Elective Courses

The remainder of the 30 credits may be drawn from courses, from any department, that deal with Latin America and the Caribbean; including up to 4 credits of Quechua or Nahuatl language. Study Abroad coursework may be used toward the major with approval from an advisor.

Honors Plan

Application for an Honors plan is usually made at the beginning of the third year. Participation requires a 3.5 GPA in all LACS coursework and a 3.4 overall GPA. Graduation with Honors is recommended for students who complete all College and LACS graduation requirements, maintain a 3.5 major GPA, 3.4 overall GPA, and write a substantial LACS Senior Thesis that is judged worthy of Honors designation by the thesis advisor and at least one other faculty reader. An Honors plan is not limited to students who have been in the College Honors Program in the first and second years. LACS Honors candidates will enroll in LACS 399 during their thesis writing semester. More details about the Senior Thesis and about applying for LACS Honors may be obtained from the LACS Honors advisor.


Appointments can be made using the Advising Appointment System. Visit the International Institute website for more about II undergraduate advising.