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Academics: Current: Undergraduate Major


To be admitted to the LAS major, students must complete HIST 181 (History of Early Latin America) or HIST 182 (Modern Latin American History).

The major requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of LAS-related coursework. Students must complete HIST 181, HIST 182, and either LTAM 354 (Introduction to Latin American Society I: Social Sciences) or LTAM 355 (Introduction to Latin American Society II: Humanities). These courses may be applied to either the 15 credit hours of Core Courses or the 9 credit hours of Electives (see below). Students are encouraged to take the interdisciplinary course (LTAM 354 or LTAM 355) that best supports their chosen core. Please note that 18 of the 36 credit hours completed for the LAS major must be at the 300 level or above. Also, courses completed for the Core and Electives must represent at least three different disciplines.

All students must submit to the LAS Advisor a paper written after the completion of 24 credit hours towards the major. The paper, written for a course completed for the major, should have at least 40% Latin American content, relate to the student's chosen core area of focus (either Humanities or Social Sciences), present an analytical argument based on data or texts, and be at least 5 pages in length.

Students are encouraged to pursue study abroad, if desired; however, per university policy, at least 18 of the 36 hours required for the major must be taken on the main campus of UNM.

The curriculum is comprised of 3 areas: language courses, core courses, and elective courses. Additionally, students may choose to obtain a concentration in Brazilian Studies.

Language Courses

Students are required to achieve proficiency in two Latin American languages. Twelve credit hours must be completed in one of the following 7 options.

  • Spanish concentration with Portuguese support skills: SPAN 301, SPAN 302, PORT 275
  • Portuguese concentration with Spanish support skills: PORT 311, PORT 312, SPAN 101, SPAN 102
  • Balanced concentration: SPAN 201, SPAN 202, PORT 276
  • Spanish concentration with Quechua support skills: SPAN 301, SPAN 302, LING 401 (Topics: Quechua I), LING 402 (Topics: Quechua II)
  • Spanish concentration with K'iche' Maya support skills: SPAN 301, SPAN 302, LING 401 (Topics: K'iche' Maya I), LING 402 (Topics: K'iche' Maya II)
  • Portuguese concentration with Quichua support skills: PORT 311, PORT 312, LING 401 (Topics: Quechua I), LING 402 (Topics: Quechua II)
  • Portuguese concentration with K'iche' Maya support skills: PORT 311, PORT 312, LING 401 (Topics: K'iche' Maya I), LING 402 (Topics: K'iche' Maya II)

Core Courses

  • Humanities: Courses must be selected from Art History, Brazilian Literature and Culture, History, Media Arts, Religious Studies, and Spanish American Literature.
  • Social and Natural Sciences: Courses must be selected from Anthropology, Biology, Community and Regional Planning, Economics, History, International Management, Political Science, and Sociology.
  • Core Area Focus: Students design a customized curriculum that focuses on a particular theme (e.g. environment and ecology, development, gender, US-Latin American relations). Students work with the LAS Advisor to develop their program of study. Students must demonstrate that faculty and courses will be available to complete their program of study in the customized area of focus.

Elective Courses

Students must complete 9 credit hours of LAS-related elective courses. Electives may fall within the humanities or social/natural sciences, regardless of the chosen Core.

Brazilian Studies Concentration

LAS majors may earn a Certificate of Concentration in Brazilian Studies by completing the Portuguese concentration language track and five of the following courses:

  • HIST 376
  • HIST 377
  • PHIL 388
  • PORT 335 Brazilian Popular Culture
  • PORT 335
  • PORT 414 Topics in Luso-Brazilian Literature and Culture
  • PORT 415
  • PORT 416 Brazilian Cinema
  • PORT 417 Popular Brezilian Music
  • PORT 421 Brezilian Theater
  • PORT 457 Encounters with the New World I
  • PORT 458 Encounters with the New World II
  • PORT 461 Topics in Brazilian Literature

Students may petition to include other courses with substantial Brazil content.