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The minor program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) provides students majoring in other disciplines the opportunity to become familiar with Latin American social, cultural, economic, and political history, and a major language of the region. It can provide an appropriate cultural background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences. The course of study is designed to be flexible so as to serve students in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences.

This minor, which can be completed in one year, requires five to six courses, depending on how you meet the general education requirement in civilization studies. No courses in the minor can be double counted with the your major(s) or with other minors, nor can they be counted toward general education requirements. All courses must be taken for quality grades and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Declaring a Minor

  1. Meet with the LACS program adviser, Diana Schwartz Francisco, before the end of Spring quarter of your 3rd year to declare your intention to complete the program. Click here to make an appointment during Dr. Schwartz Francisco's office hours for advising.
  2. Submit your approval to complete the minor form to your College adviser. This form should be submitted no later than Spring Quarter of your third year.

Program Requirements

General Education

You should complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with all three courses in the Latin American Civilizations (LACS 16100-16200-16300) or Latin American Civilizations in Oaxaca (SOSC 24302-24402-24502) sequence. If you use all three quarters of a Latin American civilization sequence to meet the general education requirement, you will complete a five-course minor. If you meet the general education requirement with two quarters of the civilization sequence, you will count the third quarter of the sequence toward the minor, for a six-course minor.

NOTE: If you use the civilizations sequence to satisfy the general education requirement, you will take a total of 8 courses toward the minor, but will count only 5 in the minor approval form (content + language). If you take the civilizations sequence in addition to your general education requirement you will take a total of 8 courses but count only 6 on the minor approval form (content + language + 1 civ course).


The minor requires two courses in Spanish or Portuguese at the level of the second year or beyond. Credit may be granted by examination for one of these courses.

Content Courses

The minor requires three courses with an emphasis on Latin American themes. Most courses with a LACS number assigned to them will count toward this requirement. 

Research Paper

You must submit a research paper treating a Latin American topic for one of your Latin American content courses. The research paper should be of intermediate length (10–15 pages), and should be from a course with Latin American content.  Completion of the course research paper must be demonstrated to the program adviser in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.