Program Description

The Department of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS) at the University at Albany is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive program of its kind within the SUNY system. LACS has a cross-disciplinary faculty prepared to train undergraduates and graduates (MA and Ph.Ds.) for research and applied careers in service of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino communities. Areas of expertise of LACS faculty include cultural studies, cultural anthropology, history, political science, and sociology.

LACS also offers many courses that are interdisciplinary in context. Courses that focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Latinos are cross-listed with the Departments of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, History, Geography and Regional Planning, Anthropology, Sociology, Africana Studies, Education, Economics, Political Science, and the Department of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

LACS courses focus attention to the way globalization, (im) migration, and transnationalism are forging new hemispheric visions of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. Considering this reality, our research and teaching agenda is also focused on the U.S. Latino experience and its relationship to the countries of origin. This feature of our undergraduate and graduate programs reflects faculty interest and expertise and distinguishes LACS from graduate programs in other institutions.

The department offers an undergraduate major in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (36 credits). This interdisciplinary major in LACS has been designed to prepare students for professional and research careers; for careers in federal and state governmental agencies; and  the United States foreign service; careers with business and educational organizations, public and private foundations, editing and journalism; paramedical and paralegal careers; and other private or public agencies engaged in developing, improving, and promoting trade and the social, political, and economic life of U.S. Latinos and the people of Latin America and Caribbean.

This major requires interdisciplinary course work focused on Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino content. Courses required for the major classes are offered in English. Undergraduate students in the department are also provided with opportunities for community-oriented research, community service, internships, and study abroad.  Opportunities for study abroad are available through the University’s Office of Education Abroad and include overseas opportunities to Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad. Please see the department’s Undergraduate Program website for more details about the requirements needed for the major: LACS Major Requirements

There are two minor sequences in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies to choose from Latin American and Caribbean Studies (18 credits) or U.S. Latino Studies (18 credits).  Please see the department’s Undergraduate Program website for more details about the requirements needed for each minor: Requirements for the Minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Requirements for the Minor in U.S. Latino Studies.

In addition to undergraduate majors and minors, the Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies is the only academic department that currently offers a doctoral concentration, a MA degree, and a graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. *More about graduate programs here.