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Undergraduate Degrees

Explore a Diverse, Fascinating, and Complex Region

Investigate why Frida Kahlo’s paintings are so enduringly popular. Dive into the world of Latin American soccer. Separate fact from fiction in the biography of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Sample popular dishes in countries across Latin America. The Latin American Studies Program offers an in-depth look at the richness and diversity of a vast area and its people. Whether pre–Columbian art, the striking wonder of the Amazon rainforest, or the history of colonialism tugs at your heartstrings, you’ll be forever changed by your newfound knowledge.

Take advantage of study abroad programs where you’ll travel to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, or other exciting places to sharpen your language skills and become familiar with new cultures. In Eugene, you can volunteer for a variety of organizations such as Centro Latino Americano, a local bilingual multicultural agency dedicated to helping the Latino community, or become politically active with the Latin American Solidarity Committee. UO students have also worked with the local school districts to mentor youth. Others have volunteered at Siempre Amigos, which provides health services to survivors of torture and political violence.

You’ll delve into politics, literature, science, ecology, and other engaging topics in courses such as Caribbean Migrants in the Literary Imagination or The Cold War in Latin America. Learn from top-notch scholars who offer encouragement in a supportive atmosphere.

Due to its inherently interdisciplinary training, our undergraduate major in Latin American Studies provides a thorough grounding in the languages, history, geography, and some of the central cultural and socio-economic issues at stake in the region. Career opportunities for students completing a degree in Latin American studies are available through such avenues as research centers, private foundations working in the area, international businesses, international nongovernmental organizations (including human-rights and environmental organizations), the Peace Corps, the United States Foreign Service, international aid programs, the United Nations and other international organizations.

Major Requirements

The major in LAS requires a minimum of 48 credits, passed with grades of C– or better or P, distributed as follows:

Required Courses

*Introduction to Latin American Studies (LAS 200) 4
*Latin American Humanities (LAS 211) or Latin American Social Sciences (LAS 212) 4
*Two of the following courses: 8

SPAN 342 Hispanic Cultures through Literature II

SPAN 343 Hispanic Cultures through Literature III

SPAN 344 Hispanic Cultures through Literature IV

*LAS 407, Seminar: [Topic] offered by any department or program, that focuses on Latin America 4
*HIST 380, 381 or 382 Latin America (choose two courses for a total of 8 credits) 8

Elective Courses 20 credits

Students should take at least 20 credits in elective courses related to Latin America

Of the total 48 credits required for the Latin American studies major,

• No more than 16 credits may be taken in a single department
• No more than 12 credits may be in lower-division courses
• At least 28 credits must be taken on the Eugene campus
• A maximum of 8 credits may be used in independent studies or internships
• At least 8 credits must be taken in courses covering the pre-1800 period
• As many as 16 credits may be from courses related to Latino studies or studies of Hispanics in the United States
• No more than 8 credits may be taken pass/no pass (P/N)
• At least 8 credits must be taken in social sciences departments other than history (e.g., anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, geography, international studies, political science, or sociology)
• Students are strongly encouraged to study in (or enroll in an internship in) a Latin American country at least for one term

Language Requirement

LAS Majors are required to demonstrate a third-year level of proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or an indigenous language. This will entail completing (with a grade of C– or better or P) the basic two years of college-level language courses and taking at least four 300-level courses taught in the respective language (such as SPAN 301, 303, 305, 342, 343, or 344). While the current offerings in third-year level Brazilian cultural or literary studies are not yet available (we are working on expanding our Brazilian Studies offerings), majors are expected to take the two surveys in Hispanic Literatures, which effectively requires third-year level Spanish.

LAS major degree analysis form

The Minor in LAS

The Latin American Studies program is currently working to expand minor concentration options for our undergraduates and has created two steering committees to work on the proposal for a minor in Mexican Studies and a minor in Brazilian Studies. If you are interested in finding out the possible schedule of these proposals or to support this idea, please write to LAS director, Pedro García-Caro.

Requirements

Students who want to earn a minor in Latin American studies must satisfy the following requirements.

Language
Students must satisfactorily complete, two years of college-level Spanish- or Portuguese-language courses, or the equivalent level in an indigenous language.
Language credits may be earned at the University of Oregon, through an approved overseas program, or transferred from another accredited college or university. As an alternative, students may satisfy the language requirement by examination, demonstrating a level of competence equivalent to two years of college-level Spanish, Portuguese, or an indigenous language.

Credits
In addition to the language requirement, students must satisfactorily complete 28 credits of coursework in Latin American studies. All courses applied toward the LAS Minor must be passed with a C- or better or P.

Required credits:
Introduction to Latin American Studies (LAS 200) 4.0 cr

Four additional credits chosen from:

  • Latin American Humanities (LAS 211),
  • Latin American Social Sciences (LAS 212), or
  • LAS 407 (Seminar)

Elective courses:
Students must complete 20 additional credits in elective courses and are highly encouraged to take at least another LAS course as one of their elective choices (i.e. LAS407).

Of the 28 credits required for the minor,
• A minimum of 20 credits must be earned in University of Oregon courses; the other 8 credits may be earned through successful completion of pre-approved courses in an overseas program at an accredited Latin American college or university. Transfer credits from universities outside Latin America are considered individually, following existing procedures in appropriate departments for determining their equivalence to UO courses
• A minimum of 20 credits must be in upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses
• A minimum of 20 credits must be taken for letter grades
• A minimum of 4 credits must be earned through completion of a course or courses whose focus is on pre-20th-century Latin America
• A maximum of 4 credits can be in comparative, global, ethnic, and similar courses that are relevant to Latin American studies but lack a minimum of 50 percent content directly related to Latin America
• No more than 12 credits from any one department can count toward the minor
• Courses from no more than four departments, disciplines, or programs can count toward the minor
• Spanish, Portuguese, or Indigenous language courses must be upper-division literature and culture courses in order to count toward satisfaction of the 28-credit minor requirement.

LAS Minor planner