BA Major in Latin American & Caribbean Studies

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Students who major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies gain a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Latin American history, politics, economics, or related subjects; knowledge of one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials; and competence in Spanish or Portuguese as a tool for further work. The BA program in Latin American Studies can provide an appropriate background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences disciplines. Students who are more interested in the languages and/or literatures of Latin America may wish to consider the major in Romance Languages and Literatures. Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 


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Students who plan to declare a major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies should follow the guidelines below. An informational meeting is held each Autumn to describe the program and its requirements, as well as to explain and facilitate the declaration process.

  1. As early as possible in their studies and in consultation with their College adviser and the program adviser, students should prepare a preliminary plan of study that would meet program requirements.
  2. Students must meet with the program adviser no later than the Winter quarter of their 3rd year to discuss their major progress and to discuss the BA Colloquium and the BA thesis. 

    NOTE: Students who plan to study abroad during Spring Quarter of their third year should meet with the program adviser before leaving campus


Students who are majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies should complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with Latin American Civilizations (LACS 16100-16200-16300) or Latin American Civilizations in Oaxaca (SOSC 24302-24402-24502). Either of these sequences provides an excellent introduction to the program. Students who take Latin American Civilizations to satisfy both the major and the Core requirements should take all three courses. Students who take the Latin American Civilizations sequence in addition to their Core requirements are required to take two courses of the sequence.

Students should complete three courses in second-year Spanish or Portuguese, by enrollment in courses or with examination credit, to meet the language requirement for the major.

To meet requirements for the specialization in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, students must also take five courses that focus on Latin America or the Caribbean and two additional courses that cover any social science topic.

During the Spring Quarter of their 3rd year, all BA majors (double majors included) will be required to participate in a thesis proposal workshop series (a few meetings over lunch). This series will help 3rd-year majors develop a thesis topic, find a faculty adviser, and begin conducting thesis research prior to the start of the Autumn Quarter. Students will be contacted in the Winter Quarter of their 3rd year with information regarding the workshop series.

The BA Colloquium in Latin American Studies (LACS 29801) is a year-long course led by the BA preceptor. Fourth-year students are required to participate in all three quarters, although they register for LACS 29801 only once in Autumn Quarter.

The colloquium assists students in formulating approaches to the BA essay and developing their research and writing skills, while providing a forum for group discussion and critiques. Graduating students present their BA essays in a public session of the colloquium during Spring Quarter.


Each of the required courses for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies major must be taken for a quality grade.


All students who are majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies are required to write a BA essay under the supervision of a faculty member. The BA essay is due Friday of fourth week of Spring Quarter.

Registration for a BA essay preparation course (LACS 29900) is optional. Students who do register for LACS 29900 may count it as one of the five Latin American content courses they must take. The grade a student receives for this course depends on the successful completion of the BA essay.

This program may accept a BA essay project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met and with the consent of both program chairs/directors. Students should consult with the program chairs/directors by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their 3rd year, if neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both chairs/directors, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student’s year of graduation.






Students who have done exceptionally well in their course work and on their BA essay are considered for honors. Candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher overall and 3.25 or higher in the major.


Updates Forthcoming 


If you have questions about the program or if you would like to schedule a meeting, please contact the BA Program Adviser,
Jamie Gentry | 773.702.8420 |