Latin American Studies

What Is It?:

Latin American Studies provides an integrated exploration of a major world area. Individual programs of study are designed in close consultation with the Associate Director of the Center, who also serves as the academic advisor. The undergraduate program reflects an integrative, cross-disciplinary approach, and courses must be taken in at least three of these five areas or perspectives: l) anthropological and geographical; 2) historical; 3) humanistic; 4) social, political, and economic; 5) ecological and environmental.

Students are expected to demonstrate a substantial command of a Latin American language (Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua or other Native American language indigenous to Middle or South America) either by passing a proficiency examination or through advanced courses of Latin American language(s) beyond the general LAS requirement.

For more information, please visit the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • LAST 170—Introduction to Latin America

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 


Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Anthropology
  • Bilingual-multicultural education
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Community organizing
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Geography
  • Government and community service
  • Historical research
  • International relations
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Music industry
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Translating
  • Travel industry

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  •  Admissions Counselor
  •  Archivist
  •  Attorney
  •  Business Manager
  •  CIA or FBI Agent
  •  Community Affairs Specialist
  •  Conflict Resolution Specialist
  •  Consultant
  •  Consumer Advocate
  •  Counselor
  •  Cultural Affairs Officer
  •  Customs or Immigration Officer
  •  Editor or Writer
  •  Employee Relations Specialist
  •  Foreign Service Officer
  •  Foreign Student Advisor
  •  Historic Preservation Spec
  •  Historic Site Administrator
  •  Import or Export Specialist
  •  International Banker
  •  International Consultant
  •  Int'l Relations Specialist
  •  Interpreter
  •  Lobbyist
  •  Market Research Specialist
  •  Museum Curator
  •  Non-profit Administrator
  •  Peace Corps or VISTA Worker
  •  Professor or Educator
  •  Public Administrator
  •  Public Information Officer
  •  Public Policy Specialist
  •  Public Relations Specialist
  •  Publications Specialist
  •  Translator
  •  Travel Consultant

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • La Colectiva: informs the UIUC population about issues of social justice that concerns the Latino/a community and students of color
    • Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc.: strives towards the expansion of awareness of the Latino culture among the community, while establishing ourselves as educated, strong, and united women

Related Skills:

  • Become knowledgeable of other cultures, languages, institutions--an ability to analyze across cultural or national lines.
  • Develop ability to adapt and appreciate others and their lifestyle.
  • Gain and develop language skills.
  • Learn problem solving skills.
  • Sensitivity to cultural perceptions/viewpoint
  • Understand and adapt programs, products, and services to the cultural background of the audience.
  • Understand and interact with people who are culturally diverse.

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Latin American Studies, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Latin American Studies.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Latin American Studies.  These organizations include Latin Ameircan Studies Association and Latin American Network Information Center.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Latin American Studies, visit Undergraduate Programs.