About CLAS

MISSION: Established in 1968, the University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) provides an intellectual meeting point for members of our University and extended community to study, debate, and shape the big questions surrounding Latin America.

Our programs include:

  • Academic programs and research : CLAS offers a BA major and minor; a one-year Master of Arts; a joint MA in Latin American Studies/Master of Business Administration with the Booth School of Business; and a dual degree MA in Latin American Studies/MA in Public Policy with the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

    With academic strengths across the region, CLAS has promoted the formation of focused research groups as new strengths emerge. The Katz Center for Mexican Studies was founded in June 2004 in honor of Professor Friedrich Katz, one of the world's leading scholars of Mexican history. In 2008 CLAS inaugurated a Brazilian Studies Initiative to consolidate our numerous resources that promote scholarship on Brazil. In recent years,  faculty and student interest in the Caribbean has grown significantly, leading to a new Haitian language and culture program.

  • Events, conferences, and workshopsCLAS facilitates and promotes scholarship in all regions and disciplines of Latin America by organizing and cosponsoring academic conferences, lectures, special events, and graduate workshops on campus independently and in collaboration with other departments and institutions. Please visit our Events page for our calendar, as well as information on how to submit proposals for cosponsorship.
  • Visiting Scholars: CLAS brings prominent professors, practitioners, activists, and writers to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago through various programs and partnerships. The Tinker Visiting Professorship annually brings 3–4 senior scholars and professionals from Latin America and Iberia to the University. And CLAS welcomes other visiting scholars and researchers from the region whose areas of expertise intersect with faculty and student interests.
  • Student grants and fellowshipsCLAS supports both preliminary field research in Latin America and the intensive study of the region’s less commonly taught languages and the areas where they are spoken.
  • Public engagementCLAS  provides opportunities for Latin Americanist faculty and students to engage with the community off-campus, and vice versa. CLAS sponsors professional development workshops for K–12 school teachers, organizes the Latin American Briefing Series, and actively builds on- and off-campus relationships that promote the study and understanding of Latin America. To become involved with CLAS or to suggest an off-campus activity, please contact us at clas@uchicago.edu.

Through these programs, the Center sponsors activities that contribute to the richness of Latin American Studies on the University of Chicago campus and beyond.


To learn more about CLAS, please read our History and Annual Newsletter.



Since 1976, National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants have helped CLAS to support research, foreign language teaching and learning, and events and public engagement programs. For more information on these federal grants, please visit the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office of the US Department of Education.