At which campus can I study this program?
This interdisciplinary major is designed for students who want a basic understanding of Latin America. The program is organized so that it may be combined with a second major or a minor subject.
What is Latin American Studies?
Latin American studies covers numerous disciplines such as history, politics, art, geography, gender studies, and sociology and uses them to critically examine and analyze the experiences of Latin Americans in Latin America and elsewhere.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You’re interested in gaining further understanding of Latin America and the many rich histories and cultures that it encompasses.
- You want to take part in exciting study abroad opportunities to places such as Santiago, Dominican Republic and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- You’re looking for an interdisciplinary area of study that can lead you toward multiple paths: Anthropology, art, language, and more.
- You want to be involved with a dynamic and diverse community of faculty and students through enriching courses and opportunities.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies, a minimum of 121 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||40|
9-12 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GH courses; 3-6 credits of GS courses.
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|ANTH 45N||Cultural Diversity: A Global Perspective||3|
|HIST 178||Latin-American History to 1820||3|
|HIST 179||Latin-American History Since 1820||3|
|PLSC 456||Politics and Institutions of Latin-American Nations||3|
|PORT 1||Elementary Portuguese I||4|
|SPAN 131||Ibero-American Civilization||3|
|SPAN 200||Intensive Grammar and Composition||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 18 credits of the following:||18|
|Aztec, Inca, Maya|
|Meso-American Archaeology and Ethnography|
|Principles of Economics 1|
or ECON 102
|Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy|
or ECON 104
|Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy|
|Advanced International Trade Theory and Policy|
|Latin America and the United States|
|Mexico and the Caribbean Nations in the Twentieth Century|
|Comparative Urban Politics|
|American Foreign Policy|
|Elementary Portuguese II|
|Advanced Composition and Conversation|
|Advanced Grammar and Composition Through Reading|
|Spanish for Social Services|
|Advanced Oral Expression and Communication|
|The Contemporary Spanish American Novel|
|Masterpieces of Spanish American Literature|
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2022-23 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contains suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
Latin American Studies, B.A. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|General Education Course (GWS)‡||3||Course in LATAM Related Topic*1||3|
|Course in LATAM Related Topic*1||3||HIST 178 (GH)*†||3|
|ANTH 45N (GS)*†||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course (GQ)‡†||3||General Education Course (GQ)‡||3|
|SPAN 1†2||4||SPAN 2†2||4|
|General Education Course (GWS)‡||3||SPAN 131*||3|
|Course in LATAM Related Topic*2||3||PORT 1*||4|
|HIST 179 (GH)*†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|General Education Course†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|SPAN 3†2||4||SPAN 100†2||3|
|400 Level Course in LATAM Related Topic*1||3||400 Level Course in LATAM Related Topic*1||3|
|SPAN 200*||3||General Education Course (GWS)‡||3|
|General Education Course†||3||General Education Course†||3|
|400 Level Course in LATAM Related Topic*1||3||Elective3||3|
|BA Other Cultures†1||3||Elective3||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)†||1.5||General Education Course (GHW)†||1.5|
|Total Credits 121|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
See adviser for approved list.
SPAN 1, 2, 3, and 100 are not required for the Latin American Studies major. Students who place into SPAN 200 based on other criteria need to replace the skipped credits with additional electives.
Electives: 15 credits or more, depending on major. Students are able to focus these courses in a secondary program.
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
- All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
- Students pursuing this major at a campus might require summer attendance, study abroad, or additional semesters to complete the major coursework. In their second semester, students should contact the University Park adviser to discuss options and plan their major courses accordingly.
The major and minor in LAS are designed to be combined with other majors and minors to create a multidisciplinary degree that will enrich the student’s educational experience at Penn State and be appealing to potential graduate programs and employers. Most LAS majors go on to law school or graduate school; others find jobs with corporations that have Latin American interests or with US government agencies such as the NSA and State Department.
- NSA or State Department
- Historic Preservation
- United Nations Organizations / Non-Governmental Organizations
- Secondary Education Teaching