Michelle Foley 7 min read Academic Tips and Info, College Lists

List of All U.S. Colleges with a Latin American Studies Major

The Latin American Studies Major (LAS) covers the diverse disciplines of economics, sociology, political science, and more through the Latino lens. Be careful not to confuse this field with Latino Studies, however; that field covers the U.S. Hispanic’s story alone, while LAS critically examines Latin America’s holistic history.

 

The Latin American Studies student picks up a set of close reading, critical thinking, and analytical skills, preparing them for a diverse set of job prospects. Many graduates go into academia, journalism, business, politics, diplomacy or law.

 

Interested in this major? Here, we’ll break down which schools offer LAS and what to look for in a program.

 

Overview of the Latin American Studies Major

 

LAS majors should expect to take a few introductory LAS classes, at least a few of them seminar-style. Additionally, many universities have a foreign language requirement for the major, typically Spanish or Portuguese. Afterwards, students choose from a wide range of electives to round out their education. They often choose a concentration within a specific subject area, the offerings of which will vary from school to school.

 

Successful LAS students are deeply intrinsically motivated by a love for sociology and literature. Since LAS is a social study, it may be a good option for those interested in social study-based areas like geography, history, culture, politics, and economics. Prepare for close reading, writing, analysis, and discussion; many B.A. programs require a senior thesis. Many, but not all, have a personal connection to the major through being Latinx themselves. 

 

After graduation, LAS majors might have a harder time finding a job immediately as they might with, say, a computer science degree. Still, their degree, oftentimes paired with graduate school, may still prove an asset to a job seeker. 

 

The academic world compels many LAS grads: many seek Ph.D.’s and Master’s degrees to become teachers and professors in their specialized fields. They may teach English or Spanish to nonnative speakers, or even Latin American Studies itself. Similarly, they may become translators, interpreters, or counselors. An advanced degree can propel a student into a career as a therapist, professor, lawyer, and more, but a LAS undergraduate education will provide you with a unique foundation for your career.

 

LAS grads drawn to service may work for nonprofits or similar organizations which cater to Latino communities. Finally, this major could prepare students for a career in the international realm. Those in the military, travel, and international sales business may find their cultural, and oftentimes linguistic, fluency a strong asset.

 

What to Look for in a College as a Latin American Studies Major

 

Native Speaker Professors and TAs

 

University LAS programs often place great importance on gaining at least intermediate fluency in traditionally Latin languages, like Spanish and Portuguese. Bi or trilingualism is near-essential in the workforce, as your degree will likely land you in many situations in which you will be in close contact with people from Latin American countries.

 

Native-speaking educators will not only have a deep understanding of your target language, but also of how it operates within its cultural context. They are likely to have excellent pronunciation, as well as a strong understanding of the social norms within their native country.

 

If you’re looking for strong letters of recommendation for grad school, these educators can prove a vital asset. They’re fantastic people to build strong relationships with, but remember that teachers of any background can be wonderful ones, native speaking or not.

 

Study Abroad Opportunities

 

Given the importance of cultural fluency in this major, studying abroad is not only an enjoyable, but also a practical, experience. Being fully immersed in the culture and language of any of Latin America’s 33 countries will give students a deeper understanding of Latin America. This is especially essential for students who plan to take on international and travel-based careers.

 

Archival Research Resources

 

Many prominent LAS programs require that students complete a senior research thesis within a specific subject area to finish off their major requirements. Universities are places to learn, not only in the classroom, but in your own self-motivated endeavors. Luckily, many contain vast libraries and ancient archives to supplement your research. Columbia, for example, grants students access to New York Public Library, New York University, and Cornell University.

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

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List of All U.S. Colleges With the Latin American Studies Major

 

School Name City State
Samford University Birmingham Alabama
University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
California State University, Fresno | CSU Fresno Fresno California
California State University, Fullerton | CSU Fullerton Fullerton California
California State University, East Bay | CSU East Bay Hayward California
California State University, Los Angeles | Cal State LA Los Angeles California
California State University, Northridge | CSUN Northridge California
University of California, Berkeley | UC Berkeley Berkeley California
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA Los Angeles California
University of California, Riverside | UC Riverside Riverside California
University of California, San Diego | UCSD La Jolla California
Claremont McKenna College | CMC Claremont California
Mills College Oakland California
Pepperdine University Malibu California
Pomona College Claremont California
University of Redlands Redlands California
San Diego State University | SDSU San Diego California
University of San Francisco | USF San Francisco California
Scripps College Claremont California
Saint Mary’s College of California | St. Mary’s Moraga California
Connecticut College New London Connecticut
University of Connecticut | UConn Storrs Connecticut
Wesleyan University Middletown Connecticut
Yale University New Haven Connecticut
University of Delaware Newark Delaware
American University Washington DC Washington DC
George Washington University | GW Washington DC Washington DC
University of Central Florida | UCF Orlando Florida
University of Miami Coral Gables Florida
Emory University Atlanta Georgia
University of Idaho Moscow Idaho
University of Chicago Chicago Illinois
DePaul University Chicago Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago | UIC Chicago Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | UIUC Champaign Illinois
Knox College Galesburg Illinois
Lake Forest College Lake Forest Illinois
Principia College Elsah Illinois
Valparaiso University | Valpo Valparaiso Indiana
Cornell College Mount Vernon Iowa
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas
University of Louisville Louisville Kentucky
Tulane University New Orleans Louisiana
Bates College Lewiston Maine
Bowdoin College Brunswick Maine
Colby College Waterville Maine
Assumption College Worcester Massachusetts
Boston University | BU Boston Massachusetts
Brandeis University Waltham Massachusetts
College of the Holy Cross | Holy Cross Worcester Massachusetts
Smith College Northampton Massachusetts
Tufts University Medford Massachusetts
Wellesley College Wellesley Massachusetts
University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan
Oakland University Rochester Hills Michigan
Carleton College Northfield Minnesota
Macalester College Saint Paul Minnesota
University of Minnesota Duluth | UMD Duluth Minnesota
St. Olaf College Northfield Minnesota
Millsaps College Jackson Mississippi
Saint Louis University | SLU Saint Louis Missouri
Washington University in St. Louis | WashU Saint Louis Missouri
Webster University Saint Louis Missouri
University of Nebraska Omaha | UNO Omaha Nebraska
University of Nebraska–Lincoln | UNL
Lincoln Nebraska
University of Nevada, Las Vegas | UNLV Las Vegas Nevada
Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
Rutgers University–New Brunswick | Rutgers
New Brunswick New Jersey
Seton Hall University South Orange New Jersey
University of New Mexico | UNM Albuquerque New Mexico
Adelphi University Garden City New York
Barnard College New York New York
Columbia University New York New York
Hunter College | CUNY Hunter New York New York
Fordham University Bronx New York
Hobart and William Smith Colleges | HWS Geneva New York
New York University | NYU New York New York
Pace University New York New York
The State University of New York at Albany | SUNY Albany Albany New York
The State University of New York at Binghamton | SUNY Binghamton Vestal New York
State University of New York at Purchase | SUNY Purchase Purchase New York
Syracuse University Syracuse New York
United States Military Academy | Army West Point New York
Vassar College Poughkeepsie New York
Davidson College Davidson North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC Chapel Hill North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Charlotte | UNC Charlotte Charlotte North Carolina
Miami University Oxford Ohio
Oberlin College Oberlin Ohio
Ohio University Athens Ohio
Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware Ohio
University of Toledo Toledo Ohio
University of Oregon Eugene Oregon
Willamette University Salem Oregon
Bucknell University Lewisburg Pennsylvania
Dickinson College Carlisle Pennsylvania
Gettysburg College Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University | PSU University Park Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania | UPenn Philadelphia Pennsylvania
University of Scranton Scranton Pennsylvania
Swarthmore College Swarthmore Pennsylvania
Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Villanova University Villanova Pennsylvania
Rhode Island College | RIC Providence Rhode Island
University of South Carolina | USC Columbia South Carolina
Rhodes College Memphis Tennessee
Vanderbilt University Nashville Tennessee
Baylor University Waco Texas
Rice University Houston Texas
St. Edward’s University Austin Texas
Southern Methodist University | SMU Dallas Texas
Southwestern University Georgetown Texas
University of Texas at Austin | UT Austin Austin Texas
University of Texas at El Paso | UTEP El Paso Texas
Texas Tech University | TTU Lubbock Texas
Trinity University San Antonio Texas
Brigham Young University | BYU Provo Utah
University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah
Westminster College (Utah) Salt Lake City Utah
Bennington College Bennington Vermont
Middlebury College Middlebury Vermont
George Mason University Fairfax Virginia
University of Richmond University of Richmond Virginia
Gonzaga University Spokane Washington
Seattle Pacific University | SPU Seattle Washington
University of Washington Seattle Washington
Marquette University Milwaukee Wisconsin
Florida International University | FIU Miami Florida
Florida State University | FSU Tallahassee Florida
Rollins College Winter Park Florida
University of Georgia Athens Georgia
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas
Mount Holyoke College South Hadley Massachusetts
University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan
Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter Minnesota
The State University of New York at Binghamton | SUNY Binghamton Vestal New York
Union College (New York) Schenectady New York
Linfield College McMinnville Oregon
Brown University Providence Rhode Island
College of Charleston Charleston South Carolina
University of Vermont | UVM Burlington Vermont
University of Wisconsin-Madison | Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin‚ Milwaukee | UWM Milwaukee Wisconsin

 

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

No matter your major, you must be academically comparable to previous years’ admits to be a competitive college applicant. Most selective schools use the Academic Index, a complex tool based on your grades, test scores, and class rankings, to evaluate academic aptitude and filter out students who don’t meet their standards.

 

The qualitative aspects of your application, like your essays and extracurriculars, are your place to show who you are and demonstrate fit with your chosen schools and majors. 

 

Prospective Latin American Studies majors may showcase and expand their passion for the topic through joining or starting culturally Latino clubs and organizations. Additionally, they may self-teach or tutor languages like Spanish and Portuguese, both commonly spoken in Latin America. 

 

More broadly, you may consider pursuing social studies-based extracurriculars in high school. Even activities like Model UN or Mock Trial can develop the communication skills you’ll need in your undergraduate career.

 

If you’re struggling to figure out where you match up to other applicants, we recommend using our free Chancing Engine. Unlike other solely stats-based chancing calculators, ours considers much of your entire profile, including both your quantitative stats and qualitative extracurriculars.

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Michelle Foley
Essay Breakdown Writer at CollegeVine
Short bio
Michelle Foley is currently taking a gap year before starting at Yale College in Fall '21, where she is considering majoring in Art, English, or Cognitive Studies while earning her Spanish certificate. In her free time, she likes to paint, run, and read!