Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
  • Social Sciences
  • Latin American and Latino Studies

Program Overview

The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Department integrates the study of Chicanx and Latinx communities in the United States with analysis of the histories, politics, cultures, and societies of Latin America and the Caribbean.

LALS courses address changing political, social, economic, and cultural realities, including migration and transnational communities; gender, racial, sexual, and ethnic relations and identities; social movements; diverse forms of cultural expression; political and economic restructuring in Latin America; and the challenges of political and economic inequities and empowerment for Latinx communities in the United States.

Students in LALS learn to develop thoughtful analysis and clear arguments on complex topics. Through internship and field study experiences, students can acquire useful, pre-professional skills in any of the following key areas: community development/advocacy, public policy, education, journalism, media, performance, and research/writing, among others.


Learning Experience

A variety of field study, research, and internship opportunities may be arranged through LALS courses and campus affiliates (such as global learning, affiliated faculty, and the Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas). The LALS Department enjoys a close relationship with the Huerta Center, located at Casa Latina at Merrill College. Many of our students also build connections at El Centro, the Chicanx Latinx Resource Center, and other community resource centers on campus.

LALS accepts two electives from outside our program to enhance students' interdisciplinary experience. Students choose from a list of approved electives or petition faculty to consider a new course.

LALS students may benefit from visiting our Scholarships and Awards page early in their careers to learn more about funding for undergraduate research.

Catalog Program Statement

Programs Offered:

  • Latin American and Latino Studies B.A. and Language Intensive Concentration
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Politics Combined B.A.
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology Combined B.A.
  • Latin American and Latino Studies Minor

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

First-year students will find that the LALS major offers enough flexibility to consider adding a minor, a second major, or other enrichment activities to enhance the undergraduate experience. LALS is also a three-year pathway option, for students who wish to graduate early.

Students with mural in background

Transfer Requirements

This is a non-screening major.

LALS is a flexible major that will allow transfer students to take advantage of study abroad, research and field study opportunities, and balance other commitments like jobs and family responsibilities. Connecting with LALS Advising and other support resources early on will increase the options available to transfer students who plan to graduate within two years.


Learning Outcomes

All students completing a degree in LALS will have proficiency or competency in the following areas, which align with transferable skills many employers are looking for:

  • Critical Thinking: problem-solving skills with global/intercultural fluency
  • Research Methods: data-driven analysis
  • Communication Skills: including experience in oral presentations and cross-cultural literacy across digital platforms
  • Lifelong Learning Skills: ability to understand new concepts and explore new ideas through community engagement and collaborative/team efforts
Students talking together over dinner

Internships and Career Opportunities

Graduates of our program have developed transferable skills and interests from their studies leading to careers in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • education and education administration
  • counseling and social work
  • community organizing
  • government and policy making
  • journalism and the media
  • environmental science
  • global economics
  • global and community health
  • legal services
  • library science
  • music
  • publishing
  • research

Many students have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in the United States or abroad in fields such as anthropology, American and ethnic studies, bilingual education, communications, cultural studies, ecology, economics, geography, history, law, literature, media, migration studies, public health, social work, sociology, and urban planning.



apartment 32 Merrill College 
phone (831) 459-2119