Students who major in Latin American Studies gain a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Latin American history, politics, economics, or related subjects; knowledge of one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials; and competence in Spanish or Portuguese as a tool for further work. The BA program in Latin American Studies can provide an appropriate background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences disciplines. Students who are more interested in the languages and/or literatures of Latin America may wish to consider the major in Romance Languages and Literatures. All students who are majoring in Latin American Studies are required to participate in the BA Colloquium and to submit a BA essay.
Distinguished faculty members at the University of Chicago have earned recognition for bringing particular thematic programs of study to prominence. The study of Mexico has a venerable history at UChicago, with particular emphasis on the Mexican Revolution, the history and sociology of the public sphere, the social study of migration and transnationalism, land tenure and the political economy of agriculture, democratic consolidation, and corruption and election fraud. The study of Caribbean cultures emphasizes Afro-Cuban religious formations, the uneven integration of Afro-Caribbean populations into the world economy, and cultural production and the formation of modern socio-political identities in 19th- and 20th-century Cuba. For more than 75 years, UChicago linguistic anthropologists have led the scholarly study of Latin American indigenous languages, particularly Mesoamerican indigenous languages. University of Chicago scholars are also leaders in the development of instructional resources in Yucatec Maya, K’iche’ Maya, N’ahuatl, and Aymara. Faculty from multiple disciplines research and teach on Latina/o studies, with particular emphasis on literary and cultural history, colonial social history, gender and family relations, and Mexican migration to the U.S.
A civilization abroad program is available in the Winter Quarter in Oaxaca, Mexico, fulfilling the Core requirement in civilization studies.
Students in other fields of study may complete a minor in Latin American Studies.