Major in Latin American and Latino/a Studies

Fresco of musicians; Bonampak, Chiapas; Photo ©2004 Jacob Rus, licensed under Creative Commons  


The Major in Latin American and Latino/a Studies is designed for students interested in the language, history, politics, and culture of Latin America and of Hispanics living in the U.S. Students are encouraged to develop a program that is both international and comparative in perspective and that takes into account the heterogeneous cultural experiences of people living in the vast territory loosely termed Latin America, as well as of those people living in the United States who identify themselves as Latino/a.

The Major in Latin American & Latino/a Studies consists of a minimum of eight subjects (96 units) beyond the introductory course, 17.55J, “Introduction to Latin American Studies,” pre-thesis, and thesis. Remaining subjects include two language subjects in Area I (or equivalent proficiency), and six subjects selected from at least two of the three disciplinary areas (Areas II-IV).

Area I: Language

Area II: Humanities and the Arts

Area III: Social Sciences

Area IV: Historical Studies

Up to six subjects (72 units) may be used for both the major and the GIRs, but the units from those subjects may not count toward the 180 units required beyond the GIRs. No more than one HASS Distribution class may be counted towards the major and towards the HASS Distribution Component of the GIRs. Of the subjects required for the major, at least eight must count only toward this major (and not toward any other degrees, major or minor).

Subjects in Latin American and Latino/a Studies are also available from Harvard University and Wellesley College through cross-registration.  Students must receive permission from the major advisor prior to registering for a subject at another institution.

Click here for the latest listing of eligible subjects and the current degree chart.

This list is not exhaustive. Relevant subjects that are no longer offered and subjects with variable topics (such as “special subjects” or “selected topics” courses, for example) may also be counted at the discretion of the major advisor.

Additional information may be obtained by emailing