Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Union College's thriving Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) program offers a major, an interdepartmental major, and a minor in the study of Latin America, Caribbean and LatinX populations, histories and regions.
The LACS program embodies an interdisciplinary approach to the history, politics, cultures and societies of Latin America, the Caribbean and the LatinX communities that are part of the United States. The program offers more than 60 courses, which are part of the Common Curriculum, fulfilling requirements in the humanities, linguistic and cultural competency, and connections across disciplines.
LACS students can pursue careers in one or several of a number of related tracks in connection to specific regions, themes or communities:
- Education, law and/or government
- International affairs and globalization studies
- Medicine and health-related professions
- Domestic and international finance and economics
- Politics and power in Latin America, the Caribbean and/or the diaspora
- Gender, Women and Sexuality studies
- Interdisciplinary, organized theme track
Our faculty members have diverse international and national backgrounds and experience, and work within a variety of disciplines and departments, including Anthropology, Geosciences, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Political Science, Visual Arts and others. Having researched extensively topics related to Latin America, they offer exciting interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the communities associated with those regions.
Beyond the classroom
In addition to enjoying small classes with professors who care about students’ success and finding opportunities for experiential learning locally, students can round out their academic experience with study away. We offer a full term in Cordoba, Argentina (with Union faculty and students), a full term in São Paulo, Brazil (in conjunction with Hobart and William Smith Colleges), and mini-term experiences in Buenos Aires and Patagonia, Argentina and the U.S.-Mexico border, among other opportunities.
LACS majors get involved in a number of campus groups, including CaribSA (Caribbean Student Association) LASO (Latin American Student Organization), the Spanish Club and the Spanish Language Table, and World Around U (International Students Association). The College regularly presents lectures, films, exhibits and visits by Latin American and LatinX writers, artists and scholars.
Of special note for those with an interest in LACS and graduate school is Union's 5-year partnership M.A. degree program with Georgetown University’s CLAS. This agreement enables qualified undergraduate students majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies to receive a master’s degree from Georgetown’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies program in one academic year and a summer, rather than in the typical three or four semesters of master’s coursework.
Graduates who are proficient in the history, politics, languages and cultures of Latin American countries, the Caribbean and the diaspora pursue promising careers in business, finance, government, journalism, law, education, translation, psychology, health professions, public policy and much more.
What some of our graduates are doing:
- Teacher, Cambridge Friends School
- Managing director, BNY Mellon Corporate Trust Division, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Regional assistant, Latin America & Caribbean, USAID
- Senior Associate, KPMG LLP
- Chief immigration advisor to U.S. Representative (Oakland, Calif.)
- Independent consultant, Impactivo Consulting, Puerto Rico