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Major in Latin American Studies

The Global Studies Program offers a B.A. in International Studies. You may major in Latin American Studies. Having studied Latin American history, politics, and society from a multidisciplinary perspective, LAS majors are well prepared to engage the issues affecting Latin American and Latino/a cultures, nations, and communities. LAS Majors have gone on to work in a wide variety of careers including: the State Department, the Foreign Service, the NGO and non-profit sector, as consultants, in Finance, and as educators.

All LAS majors take three core courses [LAS 131 or 132, LAS 350, and an LAS senior seminar). In addition, all LAS majors conduct independent research as part of their chosen Senior Seminar. Outside those few required courses, the degree is very flexible. You will choose two fields to guide your study of Latin America. One of these fields will be rooted in a traditional academic discipline such as Anthropology, Economics, Hispanic Studies, or History. The other field is either a second traditional academic discipline or a self-designed "thematic" discipline that is relevant to the region. In the past, these "thematic" disciplines have included topics such as empire and globalization, political economy and development, human rights, or indigenous peoples. You will choose and array of interrelated courses in support of your chose theme.

All LAS majors will also participate in an immersion experience. This experience will give you the opportunity to apply in-class learning to real-world situations. Normally, a student would fulfill this requirement through study abroad, an LAS-affiliated program, or a Latin American/Latino focused internship. Due to Covid and the current restrictions on travel, many of these options are currently unavailable. Please work with your major advisor to devise alternatives as W&M continues to monitor the situation.

Because there are so many options for completing this major, it is important for you to work with a major advisor when planning your coursework. Although most LAS majors end up working closely with the LAS program director, many students begin by discussing the major with and LAS core faculty who may have taught a course you have already taken, or be involved in research that interests you. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a detailed description of the major requirements.

Together with your major adviser, you will fill out the Latin American Studies Major Declaration worksheet [pdf] and the Declaration of Major form [pdf]. Your major advisor and the LAS Program Director must both sign off on your plans. If you chose to work directly with the LAS Program Director, only the one signature is required.