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 through 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
Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese II
Intensive Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese
Intermediate Quichua II
Intermediate Kaqchikel Maya II
Intermediate Haitian II
Course Requirements (9)
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
Disciplinary Diversity (24)24
A minimum of 24 hours (8 different courses) is required. These courses may also be used toward a minor. Students must take 9 hours in two of the following disciplinary groups. The remaining 6 hours can be taken in any disciplinary group. No more than 9 hours can be taken at the 100-200 level:
Spanish American Literature and Culture
Brazilian Literature and Culture
Music, Film, Arts
Geography and Environment
Politics, Society, Business and Economy
Transatlantic and Transnational
Latino/a and Caribbean Literature
Methodology and Theory No more than six hours can be taken in this category

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 Disciplinary Groups

Note:  All courses must have at least 25 percent Latin American and Caribbean content to count toward the major. In classes with comparative content in which students are allowed to choice research/paper topics, students must select a topic related to Latin America and the Caribbean.

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.


ANTH 160The Varieties of Human Experience3
ANTH 162The Varieties of Human Experience, Honors3
ANTH 360The Varieties of Human Experience3
ANTH 379Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
ANTH 380Peoples of South America3
ANTH 382People and the Rain Forest3
ANTH 465Genocide and Ethnocide3
ANTH 506Ancient American Civilizations: Mesoamerica3
ANTH 507The Ancient Maya3
ANTH 508Ancient American Civilizations: The Central Andes3
ANTH 561Indigenous Development in Latin America3
ANTH 562Mexamerica3
ANTH 569Contemporary Central America and Mexico3
ANTH 587Multidisciplinary Field School in Partnership with the Chorti Maya3
ANTH 595The Colonial Experience3
ANTH 603Shamanism Past and Present3
ANTH 665Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America3
LAA 310Topics in LAA - Anthropology: _____3
LAA 334Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
LAA 510Topics in LAA - Anthropology: _____3
LAA 634Indigenous Traditions of Latin America3
LAA 665Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America3
WGSS 665Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America3


HIST 120Colonial Latin America3
HIST 121Modern Latin America3
HIST 122Colonial Latin America, Honors3
HIST 123Modern Latin America, Honors3
HIST 210Brazil and Africa: Atlantic Encounters3
HIST 303Sin Cities3
HIST 325The Spanish Inquisition3
HIST 326Native American Civilizations and their European Conquerors3
HIST 331Atlantic Societies, 1450-1800: A Comparative History of European Colonization3
HIST 354Spanish Borderlands in North America3
HIST 355U.S. Borderlands Since 18483
HIST 365Invention of the Tropics3
HIST 368A History of Afro-Latin America3
HIST 370Violence and Conflict in Latin American History3
HIST 371Tequila, Tango, Carnival, City3
HIST 372Violence and Conflict in Latin American History, Honors3
HIST 471Social History of South America3
HIST 512Foodways: Latin American3
HIST 551Spain and its Empire, 1450-17003
HIST 573Latin America in the 19th Century3
HIST 574Slavery in the New World3
HIST 575The Many Faces of Mexico3
HIST 576History of the Caribbean and Central America3
HIST 579The History of Brazil3
HIST 580Economic History of Latin America3
LAA 311Topics in LAA - History: _____3
LAA 511Topics in LAA - History: _____3

Spanish American Literature and Culture

SPAN 326Spanish for Health Care Workers3
SPAN 346Transatlantic Hispanic Cultures3
SPAN 429Spanish Phonetics3
SPAN 442Special Topics Latin American Literature and Cultures: _____1-3
SPAN 447Latin American Cultures: _____3
SPAN 448Spanish Language and Culture for Business3
SPAN 460Colonial Spanish-American Studies: _____3
SPAN 461Nineteenth Century Spanish-American Studies: _____3
SPAN 462Twentieth Century Spanish-American Studies: _____3
SPAN 463National Traditions in Spanish America: _____3
SPAN 471Studies in Spanish-American Culture and Civilization: _____1-3
SPAN 475Studies in Latin-American Literature and Culture: _____1-3
SPAN 540Colloquium on Hispanic Studies: _____3
SPAN 560Colloquium on Latin American Film3
SPAN 566Latin American Folklore3
LAA 312Topics in LAA - Spanish American Literature and Culture: _____3
LAA 512Topics in LAA - Spanish American Literature and Culture: _____3

Brazilian Literature and Culture

PORT 300Brazilian Culture3
PORT 320Introduction to Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures3
PORT 347Brazilian Studies: _____3
PORT 348Portuguese Language and Brazilian Culture for Business3
PORT 365Studies in Brazilian Film: _____3
PORT 394Special Readings in Brazilian Studies1-3
PORT 471Studies in Brazilian Culture and Civilization: _____1-3
PORT 475Studies in Brazilian Literature: _____1-3
PORT 547Brazilian Studies: _____3
PORT 548Portuguese Language and Brazilian Culture for Business3
PORT 565Studies in Brazilian Film: _____3
LAA 313Topics in LAA - Brazilian Literature and Culture : _____3
LAA 513Topics in LAA - Brazilian Literature: _____3

Latino/a and Caribbean Literature

AAAS 333Introduction to Caribbean Literature3
ENGL 305World Indigenous Literatures3
ENGL 337Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature3
ENGL 339Introduction to Caribbean Literature3
ENGL 573U.S. Latina/o Literature: _____3
LAA 314Topics in LAA - Latino and Caribbean Literature: _____3
LAA 503Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America3
LAA 505U.S. Latino and Latin American Film and Literature3
LAA 506Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America, Honors3
LAA 514Topics in LAA - Latino and Caribbean Literature: _____3
SPAN 464Reading and Analysis of U.S. Latino/a Literatures: _____3

Music, Film, Arts

DANC 330Approaches to World Dance3
DANC 490Introduction to Flamenco Dance Technique3
FMS 316Cinemas of the Southern Cone: Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay3
FMS 540Cuban Cinema3
MUSC 305Music of Latin America3
MUSC 312Music in the Andes3
MUSC 313Music in Mexico and the Caribbean3
MUSC 339Introduction to Music in World Cultures3
MUSC 560Music in World Cultures3
THR 429Postcolonial Theatre and Drama3
LAA 315Topics in LAA - Film Music Arts: _____3
LAA 515Topics in LAA - Film Music Arts: _____3

Geography and Environment

EVRN 140Global Environment I: The Discovery of Environmental Change5
EVRN 142Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization5
EVRN 144Global Environment I: Discovery of Environmental Change, Honors5
EVRN 145Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization, Honors5
EVRN 148Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies3
EVRN 149Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies, Honors3
GEOG 570Geography of American Indians3
GEOG 591Geography of Latin America3
GEOG 592Middle American Geography3
GEOG 597Geography of Brazil3
GEOG 601Indigenous Peoples of the World3
LAA 316Topics in LAA - Geography and Environment: _____3
LAA 516Topics in LAA - Geography and Environment: _____3

Politics, Society, Business and Economy

ECON 584Economic Development of Latin America3
ECON 604International Trade3
ECON 605International Finance3
IBUS 410Introduction to International Business3
IBUS 415Business in Latin America3
LAA 317Topics in LAA - Politics, Society, Business and Economy: _____3
LAA 332Language and Society in Latin America3
LAA 333Language and Society in Latin America, Honors3
LAA 335The Politics of Language in Latin America3
LAA 504Politics of Culture in Modern Latin America3
LAA 517 Topics in LAA - Politics, Society, Business and Economy: _____3
SOC 130Comparative Societies3
SOC 131Comparative Societies, Honors3
SOC 260America's Latinos/Latinas3
SOC 332The United States in Global Context3
SOC 342Sociology of Immigration3
SOC 531Global Social Change3
SOC 630Latin American Society3
SOC 650Transnational Migration3

Transatlantic and Transnational

AAAS 106The Black Experience in the Americas3
AAAS 210Brazil and Africa: Atlantic Encounters3
AAAS 301Haiti: Culture and Identity3
AAAS 302Contemporary Haiti3
AAAS 574Slavery in the New World3
AAAS 565Gender, Culture, and Migration3
AMS 260America's Latinos/Latinas3
AMS 320Border Patrolled States3
AMS 332The United States in Global Context3
LAA 318Topics in LAA - Transatlantic and Transnational: _____3
LAA 518Topics in LAA - Transatlantic and Transnational: _____3

Methodology and Theory 

No more than 6 hours may be taken in this group. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies are encouraged to consider taking courses from this group to provide grounding in disciplinary methods and theories applicable to their interests in Latin America and the Caribbean.

AAAS 429Postcolonial Theatre and Drama3
AAAS 510Global Ethnic and Racial Relations3
AAAS 560Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses3
AMS 345Cultural Studies3
AMS 360Theory and Method3
AMS 534Global Ethnic and Racial Relations3
AMS 565Gender, Culture, and Migration3
ANTH 304Fundamentals of Biological Anthropology3-4
ANTH 308Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology3-4
ANTH 310Fundamentals of Archaeology3-4
ANTH 320Language in Culture and Society3
ANTH 321Language in Culture and Society, Honors3
ANTH 367Introduction to Economic Anthropology3
ANTH 389The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond3
ANTH 418Summer Archaeological Field Work1-8
ANTH 419Training in Archaeological Field Work1-6
ANTH 430Linguistics in Anthropology3
ANTH 442Anthropological Genetics3
ANTH 460Theory in Anthropology3
ANTH 462Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 580Feminism and Anthropology3
ANTH 583Love, Sex, and Globalization3
ANTH 582Ethnobotany3
ECON 510Energy Economics3
ECON 515Income Distribution and Inequality3
ECON 516Income Distribution and Inequality, Honors3
ECON 520Microeconomics3
ECON 521Microeconomics Honors3
ECON 522Macroeconomics3
ECON 523Macroeconomics Honors3
ECON 526Introduction to Econometrics3
ECON 550Environmental Economics3
ENGL 308Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory3
ENGL 508Contemporary Literary Theory3
EVRN 304Environmental Conservation3
EVRN 335Introduction to Soil Geography4
EVRN 336Ethics, Ideas and Nature3
EVRN 371Environmental Geopolitics3
EVRN 385Environmental Sociology3
EVRN 410Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems3
EVRN 412Ecology: Fundamentals and Applications3
EVRN 414Principles of Ecology3
EVRN 460Field Ecology3
EVRN 542Ethnobotany3
EVRN 550Environmental Economics3
FMS 376Cinematography3
FMS 411Television Studies3
FMS 530Classical Film/Media Theory3
FMS 531Contemporary Concepts in Media Studies3
GEOG 304Environmental Conservation3
GEOG 311Introductory Cartography and Geovisualization4
GEOG 316Methods of Analyzing Geographical Data4
GEOG 335Introduction to Soil Geography4
GEOG 336Introduction to Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources3
GEOG 352Economic Geography3
GEOG 354Globalization3
GEOG 358Principles of Geographic Information Systems4
GEOG 360Computer Programming for Mapping and Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 370Introduction to Cultural Geography3
GEOG 371Environmental Geopolitics3
GEOG 373Political Geography3
GEOG 377Urban Geography3
HIST 301The Historian's Craft3
HIST 302The Historian's Craft, Honors3
HIST 324History of Women and the Body3
HIST 336Ethics, Ideas, and Nature3
HIST 337History, Ethics, Modernity3
LAA 319Topics in LAA - Methodology and Theory: _____3
LAA 519 Topics in LAA - Methodology and Theory: _____3
POLS 301Introduction to Political Theory3
POLS 302Introduction to Political Theory, Honors3
POLS 306Political Science Methods of Inquiry3
POLS 520Political Communication3
POLS 562Women and Politics3
POLS 600Contemporary Feminist Political Theory3
POLS 603Democratic Theory3
POLS 604Religion and Political Theory3
POLS 607Modern Political Theory3
POLS 608Social Choice and Game Theory3
POLS 658Theories of Politics in Latin America3
PORT 340Textual Analysis and Critical Reading3
SOC 304Principles of Sociology3
SOC 310Introduction to Social Research3
SOC 341Urban Sociology3
SOC 385Environmental Sociology3
SOC 500Sociological Theory3
SOC 534Global Ethnic and Racial Relations3
SPAN 340Textual Analysis and Critical Reading3
WGSS 324History of Women and the Body3
WGSS 381Feminism and Philosophy3
WGSS 389The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond3
WGSS 468Psychology of Women3
WGSS 549History of Feminist Theory3
WGSS 560Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses3
WGSS 565Gender, Culture, and Migration3
WGSS 570Men and Masculinities3
WGSS 575Body, Self and Society3
WGSS 580Feminism and Anthropology3
WGSS 583Love, Sex, and Globalization3
WGSS 600Contemporary Feminist Political Theory3

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

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS in Latin American & Caribbean Studies can be found here: Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Or use 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