Requirements

Requirements for an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies vary. Each semester the LAS program publishes a course booklet comprised of classes from across disciplinary boundaries with at least 40% LAS content for students to choose from.

The undergraduate program in Latin American Studies provides a solid foundation in language skills and area competence for careers in business, education, public service, or for further graduate/professional training. Students may choose to major or minor in LAS. 

We also encourage CNM transfer students to continue their studies in Latin American Studies. Students interested in any of these options should contact the LAS undergraduate adviser for more information.



Once students have completed either HIST 1170 (Survey of Early Latin America) or HIST 1180 (Survey of Modern Latin America) they can be formally admitted to the major.

The major requires at least 36 credit hours of LAS coursework as outlined below.

Major Required Courses

  • HIST 1170:  Survey of Early Latin America
  • HIST 1180:  Survey of Modern Latin America
  • LTAM 360:  Latin American Culture & Society

Language

We want students to develop adequate language skills not only to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances of the region but also to learn how to be effective communicators. LAS majors must demonstrate language proficiency in one Latin American language through the intermediate (second-year) level or up to 12 credit hours. Students have the option of studying Spanish, Portuguese, or a Latin American indigenous language. Credits used to fulfill the language requirement may also be used to fulfill the general education foreign language requirement. Students who come to the major with third-year or higher level of proficiency are strongly encouraged to study a second Latin American language, but are not required to do so. Students who demonstrate language proficiency may take additional electives to complete the required 36 credit hours of the major.

  • Spanish focus: SPAN 2110/SPAN 2210 & 2120/SPAN 2220
  • Portuguese focus: PORT 2110 & PORT 2215 or PORT 2120 for Spanish Speakers
  • Indigenous language focus: LING 401 (Intermediate I) and LING 402 (Intermediate II)

Area of Specialization

The LAS major focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry, allowing students to focus on one of the following areas of specialization as their “core” to focus 12 hours of their coursework.  Each semester, the course booklet outlines which courses fit within each area.

  • Arts, Literature, & Cultural Studies
  • Conflict, Peace, & Rights
  • Environmental governance and resilience
  • History & Society 
  • Indigeneity in the Americas
  • Markets & Development

Electives

Students complete an additional 3 credit hours of LAS-related elective courses. 

A Few Details

At least 18 credit hours of the major must be at the 300 level or above.

Finally, all students must submit to the LAS Advisor a paper written after the completion of 24 credit hours towards the major. The paper, written for a course completed for the major, should have at least 40% Latin American content, relate to the student's chosen core area of focus, present an analytical argument based on data or texts, and be at least 5 pages in length. The paper is only graded by the instructor of the course, but the student’s work helps LAS gauge how well students are meeting our preferred learning outcomes.


The second major allows students to complement another major that may or may not have a strong Latin American focus.  The degree program requires at least 24 credit hours of LAS coursework as outlined below.

Second Major Required Courses

  • HIST 1170:  Survey of Early Latin America or HIST 1180: Survey of Modern Latin America
  • LTAM 360:  Latin American Culture & Society

Language

Choose from one of the three options to complete 6 credit hours.

  • Spanish focus: SPAN 2110/SPAN 2210 & 2120/SPAN 2220
  • Portuguese focus: PORT 2110 & PORT 2215 or PORT 2120 for Spanish Speakers
  • Indigenous language focus: LING 401 (Intermediate I) & LING 402 (Intermediate II)

Area of Specialization

The LAS second major focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry, allowing students to focus on one of the following areas of specialization as their “core” to focus 12 hours of their coursework.  Each semester, the course booklet outlines which courses fit within each area.

  • Arts, Literature, & Cultural Studies
  • Conflict, Peace, & Rights
  • Environmental Governance and Resilience
  • History & Society 
  • Indigeneity in the Americas
  • Markets & Development

A Few Details

At least 12 credit hours of the major must be at the 300 level or above.


For students who want to complement another major, the LAS minor can be a great fit. Like the major, it offers the opportunity to strengthen language skills and expand multicultural understandings. Students complete 18 credit hours as outlined below.

Minor Required Course

  • LTAM 360:  Latin American Culture & Society

Language

Choose from one of the three options to complete 6 credit hours.

  • Spanish focus: SPAN 2110/SPAN 2210 & 2120/SPAN 2220
  • Portuguese focus: PORT 2110 & PORT 2215 or PORT 2120 for Spanish Speakers
  • Indigenous language focus: LING 401 (Intermediate I) & LING 402 (Intermediate II)

Area of Specialization

The LAS minor focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry, allowing students to focus on one of the following areas of specialization as their “core” to focus 9 hours of their coursework.  Each semester, the course booklet outlines which courses fit within each area.

  • Arts, Literature, & Cultural Studies
  • Conflict, Peace, & Rights
  • Environmental governance and resilience
  • History & Society 
  • Indigeneity in the Americas
  • Markets & Development

LAS has partnered with CNM to facilitate the transfer of students to the UNM LAS major. With CNM’s recently launched Latin American Studies degree, students can earn a significant number of credit hours at CNM which will then transfer to UNM to count towards the major. For more information and course guidance, contact:

Lenny Ureña Valerio

Associate Director for Program Development

Latin American & Iberian Institute

   (505) 277-7044