Latina/Latino Studies

Major Description

The Undergraduate Major in Latina/Latino Studies explores the experiences and lives of Latinas/ os history of Latinas/os in the context of the United States. The major provides a broad and deep approach to theory, research, and multidisciplinary study of the Latina/o experience and cultures. Students will complete 34 hours of required and elective courses, and a minimum of 18 hours of supporting course work or a minor in an area outside of the major. Students majoring in Latina/ Latino Studies receive excellent preparation for graduate study or careers in education, social and welfare policy, counseling, law, public policy, and other fields that address Latino issues. Latina/ os are now the largest minority group in the United States, making up 17% of the population. As a consequence, knowledge of this group has become indispensable if students are to be engaged citizens and forward-thinking leaders in today’s society. Furthermore, educational institutions, government agencies, corporations, and other employers are always looking to hire individuals who understand the complex histories, cultures, and socio-economic conditions of Latina/o communities.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • LLS 100—Intro Latina/Latino Studies
  • LLS 220—Latina/o Migration
  • LLS 230—Latina/o Genders & Sexualities
  • LLS 240—Latina/o Popular Culture

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

Possible Career Opportunities:

Latina/Latino Studies graduates go on to pursue advanced study or careers in law, business, education, politics, the humanities, and social sciences.

  • Ability to adjust to new environments
  • Ability to think logically and quickly
  • Ability to understand and interact effectively with diverse populations
  • Ability to think critically and creatively
  • Background of general knowledge
  • Effective leadership and community engagement
  • Good listening, clarifying and responding skills
  • High proficiency in reading, speaking and writing
  • Sensitivity to advocacy and activism
  • Admissions Counselor
  • Archivist
  • Arts Administration and Curation
  • Attorney
  • Business Manager
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Conflict Resolution Specialist
  • Consultant
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Counselor
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Editor or Writer
  • Employee Relations Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foreign Student Advisor
  • Health Care Worker
  • Historic Preservation Spec
  • Historic Site Administrator
  • Import or Export Specialist
  • International Banker
  • International Consultant
  • Int'l Relations Specialist
  • Interpreter
  • K-12 Educator
  • Lawyer
  • 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
  • Social Worker
  • Translator
  • Travel Consultant

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

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.
    • Latino Student Association: The Latino Student Association's mission is to foster cultural awareness, leadership skills and educational success for the Latino student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    • I-CAUSE: I-CAUSE is a service and advocacy organization that works in solidarity with the undocumented community, focusing primarily on equal secondary educational opportunities for all students, regardless of legal status. We work to educate the University of Illinois and the community about issues of DACA/undocumented students, educational access, and immigration. We collaborate with other social justice organizations for service projects, panels, fundraisers and more. We seek to be involved in our community and welcome all individuals into our organization.
    • MEChA: MEChA is a majority Latinx student organization that promotes further education, engagement in the community, political participation, history and culture. 
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Latina/Latino Studies.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Latina/Latino Studies.  These organizations include Latina/o Studies AssociationLatin American Studies Association and Latin American Network Information CenterHispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)UNIDOS USMALDEF, NALEO Educational Fundand Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

To find out more and see past distinguished alumni, visit  Department of Latina/Latino Studies.