The Latin American Studies program at The University of New Mexico is one of a kind.
Maybe that's because to us here in New Mexico, Latin America is not just another place on the map. It's part of our heritage and history. From the languages we speak to the foods we prepare, New Mexico is a place defined by its close proximity to Mexico and beyond.
UNM's Latin American Studies (LAS) program brings those details into focus and reminds us that the very things that divide us are the things that connect us to each other. And in the midst of this cultural intersection, our LAS program is one of the best in the country.
We're designated a "National Resource Center" (NRC) by the US Department of Education. This premier recognition is given to fewer than 20 institutions across the country, affirming an exemplary commitment to Latin American scholarship, research, and teaching. At UNM, this designation translates to outstanding faculty who span departments across campus, approximately 100 courses offered each semester, and unique, extensive library collections.
LAS students are bright, driven, and passionate. Our students come with personal, professional, and academic ties to the region - ensuring a diversity of perspectives - and pursue careers in a wide range of fields from government service to nonprofit administration, and from education to business. They hail from across the US and Latin America; all are welcome.
And at the LAII we're committed to supporting our students in a variety of ways, including financially. In 2016-17 alone, we awarded over $675,500 in funding to students from across UNM's campus. In that same year, 67% of our own LAS students received substantive financial aid through resources like graduate assistantships (GA), teaching assistantships (TA), Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, and in-state tuition waivers. Moreover, we regularly fund graduate student research through our field research grants (FRGs).
Last but not least, our LAS program isn't an isolated academic exercise; it's closely embedded in the community. In any given week, it's not unusual for our LAS students, faculty and staff to be involved in museum exhibits, educational workshops for K-12 teachers, film festivals, music and dance performances, immigrant rights events, and visiting authors' presentations - to name a few.
In sum, there are a lot of reasons to pursue an LAS degree at UNM, but we think our students and faculty explain it best of all: