Latin American Studies Program
Saint Louis University offers a bachelor of arts and a minor in Latin American Studies. Click here for course offerings.
Historical, cultural, economic and political relations between the Americas have made Latin American Studies (LAS) an important field of inquiry for numerous disciplines. The relevance of LAS has increased through the years due to the importance of Latin America for the United States and the growing influence of the Hispanic population in our country. The Hispanic presence, currently estimated at 45 million, is expected to grow to 25% of the total US population by the year 2050. In the US today, an excellent command of Spanish and an understanding of the history, cultural, political and especially the economic situation of Latin American countries are assets in a very competitive job market.
For further information, contact:
Dr. Olga Arbeláez
Ritter Hall 323
Major in LAS
Students must complete 33 credit hours of coursework. The LAS Major is composed of three required core courses, the Senior Inquiry and seven electives with a concentration either in the Humanities or the Social Sciences. A student majoring in LAS must also complete a Minor in Spanish. At this time, SLU does not offer a minor in Portuguese. However, coursework in Portuguese equivalent to a minor may substitute for the minor in Spanish.
Required Core Courses (12 credit hours):
LAS 393 Introduction to Latin American Studies (3)
HIST 317 History of Colonial Latin America (3)
HIST 318 History of Modern Latin America (3)
LAS 488 Senior Inquiry (3)
Electives (21 credit hours)
In order to insure a specialty within LAS, students concentrate their coursework in either the Humanities or the Social Sciences by taking 15 elective credits in one area with the remaining 6 in the other or from among the courses listed here under “Additional Electives.” In consultation with the Program Director or your LAS mentor, further specializations within the Humanities or Social Sciences are possible.
Completion of one semester in Quito, Ecuador, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE).
Completion of at least 70 hours of community service during the semester in Latin America in coordination with the Program Director or LAS mentor.
Minor in LAS
The LAS Minor is composed of 18 hours of coursework in LAS content courses. A student majoring in LAS must also complete a Minor in Spanish. At this time, SLU does not offer a minor in Portuguese. However, coursework in Portuguese equivalent to a minor may substitute for the Minor in Spanish.
Required core courses are the same as for the Major, including LAS 488 Senior Inquiry. The requirements for the Senior Inquiry for the LAS Minor will be established by the Program Director.
Electives (6 credit hours) are the same as listed for the major. In consultation with the Program Director or other LAS faculty mentor, students are expected to focus their elective coursework in one particular area (e.g. Humanities or Social Sciences).
Completion of one semester abroad as described for the major. With the approval of the Program Director, students may substitute a summer program or other shorter program (e.g. SLU’s “Summer Immersion in Nicaragua” through the Dept. of Theological Studies).
Completion of at least 40 hours of community service during the semester in Latin America in coordination with the Program Director or your LAS mentor.