Liberal Arts: Latin American Studies, AA

Room: B-Building, B-234

Phone: (718) 482-5640


The goals of the Latin American Studies program are to strengthen knowledge of Spanish/Portuguese and Latin American/Latinx languages and cultures, and to understand their importance in the context of the Western Hemisphere and global affairs. These learning goals serve to prepare students for transfer to BA programs in Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Studies, translation/interpretation studies, international business, human rights and arts organizations, hemispheric law-enforcement, and social science-related fields such as anthropology, history and political science at a senior college. The option also prepares students for entry-level jobs in those fields.

Are You Interested In...

  • Learning about the literature, art, music, film, history, cultural traditions, and politics of Latin America and Latinx communities?
  • Exploring the unique Latinx historical and cultural heritage of New York City and the former Spanish colonies/Mexican territories that are now part of the United States?
  • Visiting and studying in Spanish/Portuguese-speaking countries?
  • Refining your knowledge of languages spoken in Latin America such as Spanish, Portuguese, or French through the study of their literature, film and other cultural expressions?
  • Learning about languages and ancient native cultures of the Western Hemisphere?
  • Interdisciplinary studies composed of literature and literary theory, visual and performing arts, sociology, philosophy, history, political science and geography?

Skills You Will Learn

  • Applying critical thinking to complex issues related to literary/film analysis, history, cultural traditions, music, art and politics of Latin America
  • Ability to understand and discuss Latin American affairs from a historical and cultural perspective based on reliable sources
  • Ability to use different registers (popular/professional/academic) of languages in different contexts (social/professional/academic)
  • Ability to function in multilingual/ multicultural contexts that require linguistic cross-cultural communication skills

What makes this major unique?

The main focus of the Latin American Studies (LAS) Option is not developing command of the Spanish language for teaching or translation purposes, but rather expanding knowledge of the linguistic, literary, artistic and historical aspects of Latin American/Latinx culture. Previous experience in Spanish is helpful for LAS students, since they will have to take advanced 300-level (junior year) courses in the language upon transfer; however, students who intend to major in translation/interpretation in Spanish and English may be interested in pursuing the Spanish-English Translation major. Also note the Latin American Studies option focuses mostly on the Western Hemisphere (the Americas, and the diasporic communities of Africa and Asia) while the International Studies option has a broader global focus.

Career Possibilities

The majority of careers for this major require at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

Careers can include those that require Spanish/Portuguese proficiency such as the Mayor’s Offices of Cultural Affairs and Immigration, the New York State Council for the Arts, an assistant for local Latin American oriented art galleries and cultural institutions such as the NY Cervantes Institute, and Latin American film festivals such as TAFFNY , LIFFY and HFFNY. For careers possibilities with an advanced degree visit the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Career Center.

As a liberal arts major, the Latin American Studies Option provides students with a broad education that provides in-demand skills, including critical thinking, communication in multiple modes, and global literacy. Any liberal arts student is well-positioned for transfer to 4-year colleges and eventually graduate or professional schools to pursue a variety of careers.

  • Immigration Law Firm Assistant
  • Arts Organization Assistant
  • International Organizations (e.g. United Nations)
  • Journalist
  • International Business
  • Immigration Officer
  • Social Worker
  • College Professor
  • Area Analyst for Government, Business, or International Organizations
  • Human Rights Officer (e.g. Human Rights Watch)
  • Reporter (“Rapporteur”) for United Nations and affiliated organizations such as IOM (International Organization for Migrants)

Degree Requirements

A. REQUIRED CORE: 12 Credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101 English Composition I – 3 credits
    (or ENA101 depending on placement)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature – 3 credits

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits

Select one of the following courses – 3 credits

  • MAT107 Mathematics and the Modern World
  • MAT123 Modern Problem Solving (Depending on placement)
  • MAT115 College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • MAT117 Algebra and Trigonometry (depending on placement)
  • MAT119 Statistics with Elementary Algebra (depending on placement)
  • MAT120 Elementary Statistics

Life & Physical Sciences: 3 Credits
Select one of the following courses – 3 credits

  • SCB101 Topics in Biological Sciences
  • SCB206 Introduction to Neuroscience
  • SCC101 Topics in Chemistry
  • SCC102 Chemistry of Photography
  • SCP101 Topics in Physics
  • SCP105 Life in the Universe
  • SCP140 Topics in Astronomy

B. Flexible Core: 18 credits

Select one course from each of the five flexible core categories AND one additional course from any flexible core category.

  • World Cultures and Global Issues
  • US Experience in its Diversity
  • Creative Expression
  • Individual and Society
  • Scientific World


Students are advised to select one Urban Study course to complete college requirement. To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select courses from the recommended course selections listed on the program website. Note: Students can select only two courses from any one discipline. If you took a foreign language 101, you must take 102 in the same language to get credit for the 101.

Courses Credits
Liberal Arts: 3 Credits
LIF101 First Year Seminar for Liberal Arts Social Science and Humanities
LIB200 Humanism, Science and Technology
English: 3 Credits
ENG103 Preparing and Writing the Research Paper
Education and Language Acquisition: 6 Credits
Select two of the following:
ELF201 French Literature From a Global Perspective
ELF250 Modern French Literature in Translation
ELS200 Latin American Literature I
ELS201 Latin American Literature II
ELS204 Latin American Civilizations
ELS205 Latin American Civilizations
ELS250 Latin American Fiction in Translation
ELS200, ELS201, ELS204 are taught in Spanish
ELS205, ELS250 and ELF250 are taught in English
ELF201 is taught in French
Humanities: 6 Credits
Select two of the following:
HUA196 Latin American Art
HUC150 The Art of Film
HUM107 Music of Latin America
HUP116 Latin American Philosophy
HUT220 Contemporary Latina/o Theatre in the United States
Social Science: 6 Credits
Select two of the following:
SSA106 Anthropology of Latin America
SSA120 Peoples and Culture of the Caribbean
SSH232 Survey of Latin American and Caribbean History
SSP200 Global Politics
SSP220 Politics of Latin America and the Caribbean
ELA/Humanities/Social Science Elective: 3 Credits
Choose an additional course from Social Science, Humanities or ELA from the above lists.

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