Students majoring in Latin American Studies select their courses from the Latin American and related offerings of the various departments and work out their programs with the assistance of the LLILAS undergraduate adviser. Although most courses on Latin America are upper-division, first- and second-year students interested in this degree should seek advice relative to course prerequisites and language preparation.
Undergraduate studies leading to the bachelor of arts degree have been designed to provide both a general, broad-based knowledge of Latin America, through the core curriculum required of all majors, and an opportunity for each student to pursue a more specialized area of interest. Students should consult the LLILAS undergraduate adviser concerning the fulfillment of coursework requirements common to all majors and the development of an area of special emphasis or concentration within the major. In many cases, a semester of approved study at a Latin American university can be included in the degree program. LLILAS maintains linkages with a number of leading institutions of the region to facilitate study abroad.
Students who meet the required qualifications may participate in the honors program within Latin American Studies with the aim of writing a thesis based on independent research.
Candidates for the B.A. in Latin American Studies must satisfy the following requirements for a total of 36 hours:
- 15 hours of specified core courses:
- LAS 301 - Key Ideas and Issues in Latin America (only offered fall semesters)
- GOV 328L - Introduction to Latin American Government and Politics
- Any anthropology, geography, economics, or sociology course cross-listed with Latin American Studies
- Any upper-division history course cross-listed with Latin American Studies on colonial Latin America or any of its nations before Independence
- Any upper-division history course cross-listed with Latin American Studies on modern Latin America or any of its nations since Independence
- 21 hours in a concentration, selected from one of the following areas:
anthropology | art history | business | communication | economics | geography | government | history | Portuguese | sociology | Spanish
A special concentration in another area may be organized with the approval of the undergraduate adviser and the College of Liberal Arts. Special concentrations may include such areas as Brazilian studies, ecology, and others.
Twelve of the 21 hours must be in upper-division courses and at least 12 hours must be in Latin American content courses.
With some advance planning early in a student's undergraduate program, it is possible, by taking only a few additional courses, to receive Texas teaching certification along with the B.A. in Latin American Studies. Students interested in this option need to consult the undergraduate adviser early in their programs.
Doing a Special Concentration within Latin American Studies
Within the Latin American Studies major, every student chooses a 21-hour disciplinary concentration. Most of the time, a concentration is within a single discipline in the College of Liberal Arts. Within the concentration, each student must take 12 hours with Latin American content, 12 hours of upper-division work (which can overlap with the Latin American content courses) and 9 additional hours in the discipline. The regular disciplines include anthropology, art history, business, communication, economics, geography, government, history, Portuguese, sociology, and Spanish.
You may find, however, that your particular interests do not fit within the confines of a single discipline. In that case, you may want to consider doing a "special concentration" within the major. The requirements for a special concentration are the same as for a regular concentration (12 hours LAS content, 12 hours upper-division, and 9 additional hours in the discipline), but the focus straddles two or more approved disciplines and is tailored to your particular academic interests. A special concentration allows for flexibility in your academic program, but it is crucial that the courses all contribute to a clear-cut, focused academic objective. Some examples of special concentrations include:
Women’s studies | Ecology/Conservation | Public Health | Religious studies | Brazilian studies
The key to putting together a special concentration is that you must be able to identify at least four Latin American content courses that relate to your special concentration. While we may not necessarily offer all four Latin American content courses on campus, you can take advantage of courses abroad to help fulfill this requirement. A special concentration may require more resourcefulness, personal initiative, and patience than a regular concentration, but we at LLILAS and the College of Liberal Arts will do all we can to support your legitimate academic objectives.
A special concentration requires the approval of the LAS undergraduate adviser and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts. To apply for a special concentration, you must submit an Agreement for a Special Concentration (available at LLILAS) to the LLILAS undergraduate adviser. Final approval of a special concentration rests with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.