Overview of the Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American & Caribbean Studies provides a broad academic background with a deep regional focus, often in conjunction with a second major in a specific discipline, and a mastery of Spanish and other languages. The program enables students to take courses in a variety of departments as a part of their plan of study and can lay a strong foundation for graduate work. Students are encouraged to pursue graduation with honors in Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

Prospective majors should begin language study in a Latin American language of their choice as soon as possible. The intensive language program is recommended for those without high school preparation. All three core courses for the Latin American & Caribbean Studies major are certified as meeting KU Core learning outcomes. All students must be advised by the designated advisor of the program.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Majors

Students may earn a double major (one in a particular discipline and one in Latin American and Caribbean studies) or a single major in Latin American and Caribbean studies. In addition to meeting the College language requirement in Spanish or Portuguese, all majors earn a minimum of 30 hours in substantive courses on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Language Proficiency Requirements (0)
Complete each of the following:
Intermediate-level language (4 semesters or equivalent) at least up to the following:
Intermediate Spanish II
Honors Intermediate Spanish II
Intensive Intermediate Spanish
Course Requirements (9)
Courses may count for 2 requirements. Complete each of the following (9 hours):
LAA 100Latin American Culture and Society3
LAA 300Interdisciplinary Themes in Latin American Studies3
LAA 450Capstone Course in Latin American Studies3
Core Requirements (24)
A minimum of 24 hours (8 different courses) is required. These courses may also be used toward a minor. Complete each of the following:
12 hours in Culture, Literature, and the Arts (4 different courses)12
12 hours in Society, Politics, and Economics (4 different courses) 12

Minimum Major Requirements  33 Hours

Note: Students earning a double major must have 15 hours unique to each major.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Courses by Topics

Note: Students choosing their own topics for research papers must select a topic related to Latin America and the Caribbean. All courses must have at least 25 percent Latin American and Caribbean content to count toward the major.

Courses with a blank (_____) at the end of their titles are typically topics or seminar courses that may be repeated for credit. Usually these courses offer different topics each time they are taught. Students should check with the course instructor about the requirements to take the course and what the topic will be when it is offered.

I. Culture, Literature, and the Arts

LAA 302/602Topics in Latin American Area Studies:_____ (may be repeated as topic changes)3
LAA 332Language and Society in Latin America3
LAA 334/634Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
LAA 503Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America3
MUSC 305Music of Latin America3
MUSC 312Music in the Andes3
MUSC 313Music in Mexico and the Caribbean3
PORT 300Brazilian Culture3
PORT 340/540Textual Analysis and Critical Reading3
PORT 347Brazilian Studies: _____3
PORT 365Studies in Brazilian Film: _____3
SPAN 448Spanish Language and Culture for Business3
SPAN 460Colonial Spanish-American Studies: _____3
SPAN 462Twentieth Century Spanish-American Studies: _____3
SPAN 463National Traditions in Spanish America: _____3
SPAN 560Colloquium on Latin American Film3

II. Society, Politics, and Economics

ANTH 379Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
ANTH 380Peoples of South America3
ANTH 501Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology: _____ (Indigenous Development in Latin America/Contemporary Mesoamerica)3
ANTH 506Ancient American Civilizations: Mesoamerica3
ANTH 507The Ancient Maya3
ANTH 508Ancient American Civilizations: The Central Andes3
ANTH 562Mexamerica3
ANTH 674Political Anthropology3
HIST 121Modern Latin America3
HIST 365Invention of the Tropics3
HIST 371The Cultural History of Modern Latin America3
HIST 471Social History of South America3
HIST 575History of Mexico3
HIST 576History of the Caribbean and Central America3
HIST 579The History of Brazil3
IBUS 415Business in Latin America3
LAA 302/602Topics in Latin American Area Studies:_____ (may be repeated as topic changes)3
LAA 332Language and Society in Latin America3
LAA 334/634Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
LAA 503Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America3
POLS 658Theories of Politics in Latin America3
POLS 659Political Dynamics of Latin America3
SOC/AMS 332The United States in Global Context3
SOC 531Global Social Change3

A sample 4-year plan for the BA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies can be found here: Latin American & Caribbean Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS in Latin American & Caribbean Studies can be found using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Honors in the Major: To attain the designation of departmental honors, students must fulfill all of the above requirements plus the following:

  1. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in all courses taken to complete the major, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.25.
  2. Completion of a study abroad or a service learning experience related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  3. Attainment of further foreign language competency equivalent to fourth-semester level in a second European language or second-semester level in an indigenous language