Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies


Distinguished Professor Emerita
Edna Acosta-Belén, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow and O'Leary Professor)
Columbia University

Professors Emerita/Emeritus
Christine Bose, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Johns Hopkins University
Colbert I. Nepaulsingh, Ph.D.
University of Toronto

Pedro Cabán, Ph.D.
Columbia University
Alejandra Bronfman, Ph.D. (Department Chair and Undergraduate Director)
Princeton University

Assistant Professor
Gabriel Hetland, Ph.D. (Graduate Program Director)
University of California, Berkeley

Library Bibliographer for LACS
Jesús Alonso Regalado, MA.
University of Pittsburgh

Associated Faculty (Jointly Appointed)
Jeanette Altarriba, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Vanderbilt University
Jennifer L. Burrell, Ph.D.
New School for Social Research
José Cruz, Ph.D.
City University of New York
Alexander Dawson, Ph.D.
SUNY Stony Brook
Joanna Dreby, Ph.D.
CUNY Graduate Center
Matthew C. Ingram, J.D., Ph.D.
University of New Mexico
Ilka Kressner, Ph.D.
University of Virginia
Walter Little, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Blanca Ramos, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Carmen Serrano, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine
Barbara Sutton, Ph.D.
University of Oregon
Francisco Vieyra, Ph.D.
New York University

Participating Faculty
Glyne Griffith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of the West Indies

Adjuncts (estimated): 1
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 5

The Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies has a cross-disciplinary faculty prepared to train undergraduates for research, service, and applied careers dealing with the U.S. Latino communities and with the Caribbean and Latin American regions.

The interdisciplinary major in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies is designed to prepare students for professional and research careers; domestic service with federal and state governmental agencies; careers in the United States foreign service; careers with business and educational organizations, public and private foundations, and other private or public agencies engaged in developing, improving, and promoting trade and the social, political, and economic life of the peoples of Latin America; editing and journalism; and paramedical and paralegal careers.

This major requires interdisciplinary course work with Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino content. Undergraduate students in the department are also provided with opportunities for community-oriented research, community service, and study abroad. LACS majors who study abroad to any country in Latin America or the Caribbean have the opportunity for their overseas credits to count toward graduation requirements in LACS.

The department also offers two minor sequences in either Latin American and Caribbean Studies or U.S. Latino Studies.

Courses focusing on cultures, peoples, and history of Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Latina/os are also offered in the Departments of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, History, Geography and Planning, Anthropology, Sociology, Africana Studies, Education, Economics, Political Science, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

An undergraduate degree in LACS provides students with the flexibility to pursue a wide variety of business, education, and government occupations, as well as for graduate or professional study in specific disciplinary interests in the social sciences, the humanities, or professional areas. Moreover, LACS majors can easily combine their culture and language interests and skills with a commitment to issues of diversity, civil and human rights, and social justice. Many students with a LACS degree pursue careers in law, journalism, marketing, business, social welfare, higher education administration, government, or education. LACS students have also pursued the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps. Faculty are available to consult with students about their career interests throughout their time in the department.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Latin American, Caribbean, & U.S. Latino Studies

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits, 18 of which must be at or above the 300 level, as follows:
Required core courses (9 credits): A LCS 100, A LCS 300, and one of the following capstone seminars: A LCS 411, A LCS 412, or A LCS 413.
Electives (27 credits): A total of 27 additional credits in Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies with A LCS prefix courses or any courses cross-listed with A LCS from other departments. The Undergraduate Director will assist students with an individually designed and cohesive curriculum comprised of these electives.       

The Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS) Departmental Honors Program

The Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS) Departmental Honors Program provides highly motivated undergraduate majors in LACS advanced training to enhance their research, writing, and analytical skills. LACS Honors Students conduct original, independent research and write a thesis (project) that is topically relevant to LACS as an interdisciplinary discipline. 

The LACS Departmental Honors Program offers personalized mentorship to students planning to enter graduate or professional school. Students in the Honors program acquire the knowledge and an array of skills that are essential to succeed in a wide range of professional endeavors. By working closely with active research scholars, LACS honors students learn to identify an original research topic, how to conduct a literature review on the subject, distinguish between primary and secondary sources and how they are used, develop an original research design, and conduct independent research. The projects are invariably interdisciplinary and tend to have broad appeal. LACS encourages students to contemplate undertaking research that is grounded in social justice and that offer unique perspectives on issues of contemporary relevance. 

Admissions and Administrative Procedures

LACS majors who are interested in enrolling in the LACS Departmental Honors Program must have (and subsequently maintain upon entry) an overall GPA of at least 3.25 and a 3.50 in their major (LACS). Students must email the Director of the LACS Undergraduate Program ([email protected]) to be considered for admission into the LACS Departmental Honors Program. 

Students enrolled in the LACS Departmental Honors Program will need the following 12 credits that are designed to enhance and intensify the undergraduate experience:

A LCS 300, The LACS Experience: Approaches to Interdisciplinary Knowledge (3 credits).
Recommended to enroll in the fall of the student's junior year. This course includes the successful completion of a research proposal associated with the project the student is completing for ALCS 495. This team-taught course is designed to introduce students to what LACS is as an academic discipline. A major component of this course is to understand how faculty research and think about topics related to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a Studies. Students will be exposed to different theories, methods, and epistemologies of both traditional disciplines (e.g., Anthropology and Political Science) as well as transdisciplinary fields of study (e.g., Latin America Studies, Latinx Studies, Africana Studies, etc.). Students will build information literacy skills, become familiar with different research methodologies, and learn how to develop, write, and professionally present components of an academic research proposal that is topically relevant to LACS. Offered fall semester only. 

A LCS 411, 412, or 413 (3 credits). Recommended to enroll in the spring of the student's junior year or fall of their senior year. This course includes the successful completion of an annotated bibliography that is associated with the project the student is completing for A LCS 495.

A LCS 495, LACS Departmental Honors Project (6 credits). Recommended to enroll in the spring of the student's senior year. This independent study is designed under the supervision of the LACS Undergraduate Program Director and/or their LACS Departmental Honors Project Advisor (i.e., a faculty member of the student's choosing). Students will present drafts, periodic progress reports, and present their projects upon successful completion of a working draft and/or their finished project either at the LACS Student Research Symposium (held every fall semester) and/or the annual CURCE Undergraduate Conference (held every spring semester). The goal of this project is to create a high-quality research document (and/or other creative endeavor of the student's choosing) to add to job portfolios that represents the best work of the undergraduates' career. This project can be used as a writing sample in any field entered. LACS encourages students to submit their projects to different competitions, journals, and conferences that may come up throughout the year and to stay in touch with the department after students graduate. In addition, students will receive special recognition at the commencement awards ceremony and will be able to include this distinction on their resumes.