The concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is designed to help students develop an interdisciplinary understanding of culture, history, and contemporary issues in Latin America. Social, political, economic, literary, and cultural factors combine to explain the Latin American and Caribbean societies of today. The concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies provides the opportunity to use the methods of various disciplines and integrate different ways of knowing.
Requirements are intentionally broad and flexible to accommodate the interests of students in understanding the diverse reality of Latin America, yet the concentration also encourages focus. Concentration requirements cover four general areas: language, area studies, research, and professional experience.
Competency in Spanish or Portuguese is developed through intermediate and advanced coursework. Many concentrators also study in Latin America for one or both semesters during their junior year to advance their language skills.
A wide selection of courses from departments in the humanities and social sciences expose students to the methods and materials of different disciplines and provide a background in the contemporary and historical contours of Latin American society.
The Senior Thesis or Project (optional) is designed to assure integration of appropriate knowledge and skills. The Senior Thesis is an original research project, which must be researched and written up in accordance with normal academic standards. The Senior Thesis may be considered for Honors if the student's academic record meets the Honors requirement and if the faculty readers judge the Senior Thesis to be of Honors quality.
An internship or volunteer work (required of all students) in Latin America or with a local organization that primarily serves Spanish or Portuguese speakers puts students in direct contact with the realities of Latin America and its people and builds professional skills and experience.
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