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Major in Latin American Studies


The major in Latin American studies is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide an effective understanding of the cultures, histories, societies, economies, and governments of Latin America, offering basic education and training for business or professional careers that require specialized knowledge of this exciting and diverse area of the world.

Impacted Program

The Latin American studies major is an impacted program. To be admitted to the Latin American studies major, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete preparation for the major;
  2. Complete a minimum of 60 transferable semester units;
  3. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

Preparation for the Major

Before they can declare the major, students must complete 12 units from:

  • Latin American Studies 101 (3 units)
  • Three units of statistics or logic selected from Economics 201; Linguistics 270; Philosophy 120; Political Science 201; Psychology 280; Sociology 201; Statistics 119, 250.
  • Six units of electives selected from Anthropology 102; Chicana and Chicano Studies 100; Geography 102, 106; Political Science 103.

Required Courses

A minimum of 27 upper division units to include three units of international experience and nine upper division core units selected from three different departments: Latin American Studies 366 [or Political Science 366], 415 [or History 415], 498; Anthropology 440, 442; Economics 464; Geography 324; History 416, 580*; Political Science 482.

The remaining 15 upper division elective units must be selected from courses listed below with no more than nine of the 15 units from any one department. Groups A, B, and C below are for guidance only; it is recommended that students avoid taking too many unrelated courses by concentrating their studies in one or two of the groups.

Courses numbered 495, 496, 498, 499, and 596 from all participating departments, with appropriate content, are acceptable for elective credit with approval of the adviser.

  • Latin American Studies 325, 350, 366 [or Political Science 366], 370, 415 [or History 415], 420, 430 [or Political Science 430], 498, 553 [or History 553], 556 [or History 556], 580
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 340A, 350A, 375
  • Economics 365, 464
  • Health and Human Services 350
  • History 350, 416, 550, 551, 557, 558, 580*
  • Political Science 361, 482, 566, 568
  • Public Health 362

*Acceptable when of relevant content with consent of adviser

  • Latin American Studies 320, 333, 355 [or Chicana and Chicano Studies 355], 425, 545, 550, 580
  • Anthropology 350, 439, 440, 442, 520, 529, 533, 582*, 583*
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 554
  • Geography 324, 554*
  • Political Science 564
  • Sociology 350, 522, 554
  • Women’s Studies 310*, 512

*Acceptable when of relevant content with consent of adviser

  • Latin American Studies 306 [or Portuguese 306], 307 [or Portuguese 307], 310 [or Chicana and Chicano Studies 310], 380 [or Chicana and Chicano Studies 380], 400 [or Chicana and Chicano Studies 400], 580
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 376
  • Comparative Literature 445, 580*
  • English 519*
  • Portuguese 443
  • Spanish 341, 342, 402, 502, 515

*Acceptable when of relevant content with consent of adviser

Language Requirement

Competency equivalent to that normally attained through four college semesters of Spanish or Portuguese or three college semesters of Mixtec. See the SDSU General Catalog for more information.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

Passing the Writing Placement Assessment with a score of 10 or completing one of the approved upper division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better. See the SDSU General Catalog for more information.

International Experience

All students must earn a minimum of three units by participating in a Latin American international experience such as study abroad, student exchange, internship, coursework in Tijuana, summer program, or other activities approved by the adviser.

CLAS currently administers six unique study abroad and exchange programs that allow students to classes in different institutions and countries. For more information on our programs visit our Study Abroad page or email [email protected].

Curricular Map

The curriculum map illustrates how the courses of the LATAM program address the learning goals of the major and at what level those learning goals will appear in your studies. The curricular map is distinct from the degree map, by which you track your progress to degree in consultation with your advisor.

Tables 1a-1e (see matrix below) provide a summary of the program Degree Learning Outcomes for majors in Latin American Studies. Each of the undergraduate courses offered by the program are evaluated according to their adherence with the specific learning outcome, and the level of mastery expected at the level of the course. A “1” indicates “introductory level”; a “2” indicates “developed” level, and a “3” indicates “full mastery”.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical and contemporary diversity of Latin America;
  2. Explain the role of migration in the development of the region; and
  3. Discuss the historical and contemporary economic forces and political transformations that have impacted the region.
  4. Develop interdisciplinary research projects that demonstrate the complexity of the Latin American region

The following DLOs are nested within PLO #1:
1.1 Describe the main historical periods in the development of Latin America
1.2 Evaluate the impact of racism and discrimination on the shift in populations that have occurred over time
1.3 Analyze how political transformations shaped Latin America
1.4 Compare and contrast the economic development of the region, including the role of contemporary trade agreements

The following DLOs are nested within PLO #2:
2.1 Analyze the role of migration within and out of Latin America
2.2 Describe the history of border regulations on migratory populations
2.3 Discuss the impact of current US border regulations on the US/Mexico

The following DLOs are nested within PLO #3:
3.1 Describe decisive political events that have shaped and challenged Latin American democracies
3.2 Demonstrate understanding of major economic crises, events, and cultural forms that have shaped Latin American economies
3.3 Recognize and articulate the myriad ways North American and Latin American economies and politics shape and affect each other, for better or worse.

The following DLOs are nested within PLO #4:
4.1 Identify and define the theories and practices from at least two disciplines that inform the research project
4.2 Incorporate ideas from academic and scholarly sources and evaluate the
main arguments and evidence for the ideas invoked
4.3 Develop a well-written thesis statement and provide supporting evidence
4.4 Synthesize, summarize and analyze at least two different viewpoints derived from scholarly resources

View the curricular matrix