About the Program

The Latin American Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America. The United States and the countries of Latin America have historically exerted great influence on each other and today, in the age of hyper-globalization, are more intertwined than ever before. The required gateway course to the program is Latin American Studies 100, which fulfills the Humanistic Approaches core and explores the interaction of politics and culture at national and international levels by considering the historical legacies affecting present-day Latin American societies.

Drawing on courses from Hispanic Studies, Politics and Government, Business, Art History, Anthropology, Philosophy, International Political Economy, and History, students minoring in Latin American Studies gain an in-depth understanding of the region, past and present, through the application of different analytical tools and disciplinary perspectives. Students are encouraged to gain some experience abroad, particularly through the university’s semester abroad programs in Latin America (primarily Mexico, Argentina, and Chile). In addition, the Latin American Studies Program serves to stimulate interest and awareness at the university by sponsoring discussions, presentations, and cultural events dealing with Latin American issues.

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to do the following:

  1. Understand the historical conditions and relations that shaped Latin America as a distinct regional, political, and cultural entity, and understand how that history informs contemporary relations both within the region and with other global actors;
  2. Identify the central people, places, events and processes that define the region, with an emphasis on the heterogeneous, transnational nature of regional politics and culture;
  3. Examine and compare conceptual and theoretical approaches that have sustained and challenged the idea of Latin America and the stakes of this idea for different communities in and beyond the region;
  4. Apply diverse, interdisciplinary tools to critically evaluate and engage contemporary issues concerning Latin America;
  5. Engage Latin American/Latinx culture and communities through experiential learning or internships here in the U.S. or abroad; and
  6. Possess a basic competence in Spanish language.


How to Declare the Latin American Studies Minor

In order to sign up for the Latin American Studies Minor, students should complete the major/minor declaration form and deliver it to Academic Advising. In the current remote learning environment students may fill out the form, either scan or take a picture of the form, and email it to Academic Advising. If you would like to request an LAS advisor, please copy the advisor on the email when you send along the completed form. If unable to access the form, students may also email Academic Advising with student's full name, ID, and specifics about which major/minor/emphasis they want, copying in any new advisor. If you have questions, email the LAS Director, Professor Nila Wiese, at nwiese@pugetsound.edu.