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Latin American Studies

Curriculum & Requirements

Valpariso, Chile - photo by Drew Friedman '05
Valparso, Chile - photo by Drew Friedman '05

Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that explores the cultural heritage of México, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Latinas and Latinos in the United States. Its curriculum is designed to bring the scholarly methods and perspectives of several disciplines together in fostering increased understanding of Latin America’s history, social and economic realities, and cultural diversity. Competence in a language spoken in the region other than English (such as Spanish, French or Portuguese) is required, and it is strongly recommended that students participate in an off-campus study program in Latin America.

Major and Minor Checklists

The forms below will ensure you will meet the requirements for your Latin American Studies major or minor. You should save a copy of the form on your computer, fill it out, and email it to your LAS advisor each semester.  After meeting with your advisor, please send a copy to the LAS Program office.  If you are considering majoring or minoring, it is useful to look at them even if you are unable to officially declare for several months in order to see what sort of classes you might need to take. When it is time to declare, save a copy on your computer, fill it out, and email it to your advisor.

Requirements for the Minor in Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies Minor Requirements Checklist

The minor in Latin American Studies consists of at least one course at Bowdoin beyond the intermediate level in Spanish, History 255 (Modern Latin American History), and three additional courses, two of which must be outside the student's major department. Independent studies can meet requirements for the minor only with the approval by the Latin American Studies Committee of a written prospectus of the independent study.

Requirements for the Major in Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies Major Requirements Checklist

  1. One course, offering a survey of cultural production in Latin America, conducted in one of the languages spoken in the region other than English. Students may choose Latin American Studies 206, Francophone Cultures; Latin American Studies 209, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Poetry and Theater; Latin American Studies 210, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Essay and Narrative.
  2. A survey course in Latin American history covering several countries and periods in the region, such as Latin American Studies 252, Colonial Latin America; Latin American Studies 255, Modern Latin America; Latin American Studies 258, Latin American Revolutions.
  3. A 200-level course in the social sciences that focuses on Latin America. For example: Latin American Studies 225, Globalization and Social Change; Latin American Studies 235, The Economy of Latin America; Latin American Studies 237, Gender and Family in Latin America.
  4. A concentration of four additional courses centered on a particular geographic region or theme, selected by each major in consultation with faculty in Latin American Studies. The courses for the concentration should be primarily at the 200 or 300 level. Examples of recent concentrations are: Film and Literature in the Southern Cone; Social and Economic History; Gender and Identity; Cultural Production of the African Diaspora; Indigenous Cultures; US-Latin America relations.
  5. An elective course in Latin American Studies, outside the student's area of concentration.
  6. A 300-level course or Advanced Independent Study in Latin American Studies during the senior year.


A maximum of three courses from off-campus study programs may count toward the major. Courses in which D or Credit (CR) grades are received will not count toward the major.

LAS Course Numbering Outline