Latin American and Latino Studies Courses and Requirements

Courses and requirements change occasionally. For complete and current information on courses please consult the course catalog.

Latin American and Latino Studies Major Requirements

The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) major consists of 36 hours of coursework, as follows:

Introductory course (4 hrs)

Students take one of the following courses:

  • LALS 301– Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies
  • SPAN 335 – Latin American Cultures and Civilizations

Language study (8 hrs)

Students take the following advanced language courses:

  • SPAN 331 – Advanced Spanish Conversation
  • SPAN 332 – Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition or SPAN 301 – Culture and Grammar Review

Note: Students with linguistic proficiency beyond the SPAN 301/331/332 level are exempt from this requirement and will take eight additional hours (28 total) from courses in the following section.

Latin American and Latino Studies Electives (20 hours)

Students select a minimum of twenty hours of electives from the following courses. (A maximum of eight hours can be counted from Category C.) The LALS program coordinator is available to advise on course selection.

a. (Category A) Courses that focus on Latin America or the Latino diaspora in the United States:

  • SPAN 335 – Latin American Cultures and Civilizations (4 hrs)
  • SPAN 337 – Survey of Spanish American Literature (4 hrs)
  • SPAN 357 – Latino Cultures in the United States (4 hrs)
  • SPAN 352/353/439 – Topics in Spanish Language and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures (2-4 hrs) when related to Latin America or Latino/as in the United States
  • SPAN 493 – Mentoring Seminar (4 hrs) when related to Latin America or Latino/as in the United States
  • HIST 292 – Latin American History (4 hrs)
  • HIST 391 – Topics in History - Latin American Christianity (2-4 hrs)
  • ANTH/HNGR 432 – Violence and Peace in Latin America (4 hrs)
  • IR 355 – Latin American Politics (4 hrs)

b. (Category B) Courses in approved study abroad programs, including Human Needs and Global Resources, Wheaton in México, and Modern and Classical Languages summer programs:

  • HNGR 484 – Global Christian Perspectives (4 hrs)
  • HNGR 496 – Internship in Development (4-8 hrs)
  • SPAN 338 – Intensive Advanced Spanish (4 hrs)
  • SPAN 389 – Mexican/US Relations (2 hrs)
  • GEL 321 – Engaging Mexican Cultures (4 hrs)
  • GEL 301 – Exploring Mexican Art (2 hrs)
  • GEL 302 – Exploring Mexican History (4 hrs)
  • SPAN 389 – Costa Rican Society and Cultures (4 hrs)
  • XXX 495 – Independent Study (2-4 hrs)
  • XXX 496 – Internship (2-4 hrs)


  1. XXX 495 and XXX 496 are independent studies and internships completed as part of the approved study abroad program. The credit can be granted by any major (e.g., HNGR, ECON, IR, SPAN, AHS, ANTH).
  2. Courses in the Wheaton in Spain and Camino de Santiago summer programs may count toward the LALS major when exploring topics related to Latin America.

c. (Category C) Students may count a maximum of eight hours from courses that focus more broadly on the majority world or immigrants in the United States if the course includes substantive content on Latin America and/or Latino/as in the United States and meets established program criteria. To receive LALS elective credit, such courses must be approved by the LALS coordinator during course registration. Some courses that may be considered include the following:

  • HIST 391 – “Topics in History – Majority World Indigenous Histories” (4 hrs)
  • PHIL 105 – “Race and Justice” (4 hrs)
  • BITH 342 – “Majority World Theology” (4 hrs)
  • PHIL 251 – “Global Justice” (4 hrs)
  • MUSC 264 – “World Music” (2 hrs)
  • ANTH 383 – “Cities in the Global South” (2 hrs)
  • ANTH 353 – “Biculturalism” (4 hrs)
  • ANTH 324 – “Anthropology of Global Christianity” (2 hrs)
  • ANTH 282 – “Culture, Travel and Tourism” (2 hrs)
  • ANTH/HNGR 114 – “Poverty, Justice and Transformation” (4 hrs)
  • HNGR 381 – “Topics in Development (2-4 hrs)
  • HNGR 385 – “Field Research and Intercultural Orientation” (4 hrs)
  • IR 379 – “International Political Economy” (4 hrs).

Senior Seminar/Capstone (4 hrs)

Students take the following course:

  • LALS 494 – Senior Seminar/Capstone

Study-Abroad Requirement

  • LALS majors are required to complete an approved study abroad program of at least a semester in length in Latin America (e.g., HNGR, Wheaton in México). (Note: LALS majors are not automatically accepted into these programs; they must apply and be accepted.)
  • Programs must be approved by the LALS Advisory Council with specific requirements.
  • Pre and post-assessment will be administered to evaluate linguistic and cultural learning.
  • In extenuating circumstances, students may submit an appeal to the LALS advisory council for an exception.

Spanish Coursework Requirement

The LALS major requires that students complete a minimum of 24 hours of courses in Spanish beyond the SPAN 201 level.