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Latin American Studies


History, anthropology, and political science, but with a Spanish accent.


It's a small world. Everybody says it. The thing they don't mention is that sometimes small worlds are huge. Consider the region that's collectively called "Latin America."

That's a subsection of our planet that covers over seven million square miles, consists of more than twenty countries, and has a population of oh, we dunno, only about 604 million people.

In the U.S., people of Latin American descent make up a whopping 17% of the population, which makes them the largest ethnic or racial minority in the country.

That's a pretty big small world.

So what do we know about this big small world? A bunch, it turns out. So much, in fact, that Latin American and Latino studies is a full-fledged major offered in dozens of colleges throughout the U.S.

As a Latin American and Latino studies major (or LALS, not to be confused with truly epic lulz), you'll dig into Latin American culture, politics, arts, literature, history, anthropology, and sociology. You'll come out the other side with an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for the single largest ethnic group in the country.

Graduates of LALS can go on to pursue careers in education, media, law, social services, public policy, urban planning, and higher education (there are over 100 graduate programs for Latin American and Latino studies).

We know what you're thinking: how does Latin American and Latino studies prepare me for teaching, law, or social work? Well, it doesn't. However, that doesn't mean that the LALS major is useless to these fields. Quite the contrary. Often, students will pair it up with education or social work tracks in order to have a leg-up when it comes to job searching. And considering how huge the Latin American population is, it'd be pretty smart to get in good with them.

The LALS major is a dynamic one, and it always pays to have a specialization. Anything you can do to set yourself apart is a huge advantage. If you're interested in politics, education, social work, economics, sociology, or any number of other areas, and you want to come at it from a Latin American perspective, you'll have a huge advantage in the job market.

Think of it as that mushroom-boost in Mario Kart that gives you an extra surge of speed to cross the finish line in first place.

Out of our way, Princess Peach.

Famous People who majored in Latin American Studies

  • Maria Hinojosa, award-winning journalist and television anchor
  • Ida Altman, historian focused on Spain and Latin America
  • Ariel Dorfman, novelist and playwright
  • Arturo Escobar, professor of anthropology
  • Jorge Ramos, news anchor for Univision

Percentage of US students who major in Latin American Studies:


Stats obtained from this source.