Latin American Studies, Minor

Program Code: LATAM_UMNR

Program Description

This interdisciplinary minor is designed for students in any college or program of the University who want to supplement their knowledge and skills with the study of Latin America. A certificate is awarded to students who complete the requirements of the minor.

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.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18-19

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PLSC 456Politics and Institutions of Latin-American Nations3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HIST 178Latin-American History to 1820 Keystone/General Education Course3
or HIST 179 Latin-American History Since 1820 Keystone/General Education Course
PORT 1Elementary Portuguese I3-4
or SPAN 100 Intermediate Grammar and Composition
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits (at least 3 credits at the 400 level) from an approved list in consultation with the adviser9

Academic Advising

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.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program


Maggie Shum, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Political Science
164 Kochel Center
Erie, PA 16563

Career Paths

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.


  • Law
  • Business
  • •NSA or State Department
  • Historic Preservation
  • United Nations Organizations / Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Medicine
  • Secondary Education Teaching


University Park

108 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16802


170 Kochel Center
Erie, PA 16563