B.A. in Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies (LAS) is a major offered by the Pardee School of Global Studies to students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. It provides students with a versatile and powerful vehicle for developing an in-depth understanding of the complexities and remarkable diversity of the Latin American region, defined as the 20 independent countries in the Western Hemisphere that are south of the United States, with Spanish, French, or Portuguese as their official languages. The major is broadly interdisciplinary, drawing on a wide range and variety of regionally focused courses taught by faculty experts in fields including archaeology, economics, history, history of art and architecture, international relations, political science, romance studies, and sociology.

The major combines coursework across historical, artistic and literary, and contemporary contexts with an integrating course taught jointly by members of the LAS faculty, as well as substantial study of Spanish or Portuguese to gain functional proficiency in a language used extensively in the region. LAS faculty closely advise each student in the major to ensure intellectual coherence between the student’s interests and coursework.

Study abroad in Latin America for at least a semester is strongly encouraged. Boston University has five Study Abroad programs in Latin America: a semester or academic year in Quito, Ecuador, at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito; a summer Contemporary Politics program in Lima, Peru; an intensive summer Portuguese Language Program in Rio de Janeiro; a summer Cultural Studies Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Universidad de Palermo; and a semester in Guatemala through the Guatemala Archaeology Program (offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years). Courses in all of these programs count toward Latin American Studies Studies major requirements.

The Latin American Studies (LAS) major provides students with a broad, solid grounding in the culture, politics, economics, and social life of Latin America today and historically. The major consists of 10 non-language courses, 1 of which is IR 410 Latin America Today. Of the courses, 2 must be taken in each of 3 Context Groups: (1) Historical, (2) Literary, Artistic, and Cultural, and (3) Contemporary Context. Also required is IR410 Latin America Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach, and coursework through the 5th semester in either Spanish or Portuguese.

Requirements of the Major

Principal Courses

Ten principal courses, including one integrating course, with a final grade of C or higher, of which eight must be at the 300-level or above:

  • Two courses in Group 1: Historical Context
  • Two courses in Group 2: Literary, Artistic & Cultural Context
  • Two courses in Group 3: Contemporary Context
  • Three elective courses in Latin American Studies
  • One integrating course, usually taken in the student’s junior or senior year: IR 410 Latin America Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach(topic changes every year)

Courses available in each group can be found by following the links below.

Group 1: Historical Context Group 2: Literary, Artistic & Cultural Context Group 3: Contemporary Context

Foreign Language

  • Coursework through the fifth semester in either Spanish or Portuguese (one course beyond the College of Arts & Sciences language requirement)

Study Abroad

  • Study abroad in Latin America for at least a semester is strongly encouraged. Boston University has five Study Abroad programs in Latin America: a semester or academic year in Quito, Ecuador, at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito; a summer Contemporary Politics program in Lima, Peru; an intensive summer Portuguese Language Program in Rio de Janeiro; a summer Cultural Studies Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Universidad de Palermo; and a semester in Guatemala through the Guatemala Archaeology Program (offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years). Courses in all of these programs count toward Latin American Studies Studies major requirements.Group Coursework

MINOR IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

The minor in Latin American Studies (LAS), offered by the Pardee School of Global Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, is available to students enrolled in any of BU’s four-year undergraduate schools and colleges. It provides students with a versatile vehicle for acquiring an understanding of the remarkably diverse Latin American region, defined as the 20 independent countries in the Western Hemisphere that are south of the United States, with Spanish, French, and Portuguese as their official languages. Interdisciplinary in nature and scope, the minor brings together a rich variety of courses that span fields including archaeology, economics, history, history of art and architecture, international relations, political science, romance studies, and sociology.

Requirements of the Minor

The minor consists of six courses drawn from the three context groups listed above and all completed with a grade of C or higher. Three courses taken for the minor must be at 300-level or higher, with at least one of those three at the 400-level or higher. The interdisciplinary, jointly taught course CAS IR 410: Latin America Today is optional, but encouraged for minors.

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