Concentration in Latin American Studies

Newly approved curriculum for Fall 2012

To declare a concentration (major) in Latin American Studies, students should select a major advisor from among the LAS faculty. The students should work with the advisor to fill out the "Latin American Studies Major Declaration Worksheet" as well as the "Declaration/Change of Major Form".  The major declaration worksheet must be signed by the student's advisor. The Declaration/Change of Major Form must be signed by both the advisor and the LAS Program Director. Copies of both signed forms should be returned to the Global Studies Office, Morton Hall room 226 for forwarding to the Registrar's Office.

Concentration Requirements Effective Fall 2012

Note: Students who declared a concentration or minor in Latin American Studies before Fall 2012 should refer to the previous curriculum.

Immersion Experience
The immersion experience is defined as an experience beyond the William and Mary classroom clearly linked to Latin America or Latinos residing in other parts of the world. Its purpose is to develop students’ awareness of issues impacting Latin American countries and people. The immersion experience is designed to give students an opportunity to apply their in-class learning to real-world situations and develop frameworks for engaging real-world issues affecting Latin American cultures, nations, and communities. The immersion experience may be tied to a service learning opportunity or study abroad. Students can also satisfy this requirement through an internship that focuses on Latin American or Latino issues in the United States. This is a non-credit bearing requirement. Students who fulfill this requirement by participating in a William and Mary study abroad program or through a LAS-affiliated program such the Borderlands, SOMOS, MANOS or the National Security Archives programs should enroll in LAS 400. In other cases fulfillment of the immersion requirement is subject to the approval of the student’s major advisor or the LAS program director.

In order to fill the immersion requirement, students must:

1)  fill out and submit the online approval form,

2) receive email approval from the LAS director,

3) enroll in LAS 400.

 Click here for the approval form. 

Language Requirement
The concentration in Latin American Studies includes a language requirement that exceeds the College-wide proficiency requirement. The requirement can be met with three credits at the 300-level or above taught in a target language spoken in the region. Although the College is not currently able to offer languages beyond Spanish, a student could count another language (for example, Portuguese or Nahuatl) provided they can demonstrate proficiency through accredited academic courses taken domestically or abroad. In special cases this requirement can also be satisfied by an equivalent language immersion experience subject to approval by the LAS program director. Contact the LAS Program director for more information regarding special approval.
Common Core Courses
  1. All majors are required to take one of the following introductory courses:
    1. LAS 131 (Cross-listed as HIST 131, 3 credits): Survey of Latin American History to 1824; or
    2. LAS 132 (Cross-listed with HIST 132, 3 credits): Survey of Latin American History, 1824-present
  2. All majors are required to take LAS 350: Latin American Cultures, Politics and Societies (3 credits)
Multi-disciplinary Concentrations (18 credits total)
Upon declaration of the major students will identify two disciplinary “concentrations” that will guide their course of study. Choices for disciplinary concentrations include: Anthropology, Art History, Economics, Government, Hispanic Studies, History, and Sociology. To meet this requirement students must take 9 credits (equivalent to 3 courses with a minimum of 3 credits each) from among the courses offered in each of these two disciplines. At least 3 of these courses must be 300-level or above.  Other courses in topics in Latin American and Latino Studies not listed below may count, but are subject to approval by program director.
Senior Seminar
This requirement is met by taking a 400-level seminar (3 credits) from the courses listed in the Latin American curriculum. Senior seminars will be cross-listed as LAS 450. It is suggested that the senior seminar be fulfilled with a course from one of the disciplinary concentrations, but this is not required. This requirement can also be fulfilled through the pursuit of honors in Latin American Studies.
The elective requirement can be met by taking 2 courses (6 credits) from course offerings in Latin American Studies; these courses need not fall within one of the chosen disciplinary concentrations.