Program Details


Rationale for a LAS Major

The region of Latin America has experienced two dramatic economic and political experiments since the late 1980s. The emergence of large economies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile has made the region more important for the US economic health. In fact, Brazil is routinely predicted to be a top six economy in terms of total GDP in the next decades by economic analysts. This would mean that there would be a continental shift in the economic balance of power in Latin America. Politically, the region has been amazingly receptive to democratic governance in recent decades. It has seen regular and peaceful transition of power from one contender to another after a particular electoral cycle, a fact unseen in the previous 200 years of political history. These two facts, together with the relative decline of US influence in the region, could become a catalyst to innovative economic and political experiments that a Major in Latin American Studies would most credibly focus and analyze.

Upon satisfying the intermediate level foreign language requirement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Spanish students may pursue a LAS Minor with a minimum of 12 credits:

  • Four electives (4 courses)

Latin American Studies offers a major as a specialization in Global Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) major.  The major in Latin American Studies provides an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to deepen students' understandings of the history, culture, religion, politics, literature, and society of Latin America.    Students may sign up for the major and choose their Latin American Studies specialization through the Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies in 36 Garey Hall.  The GIS Chair and the  Program Director of Latin American Studies will work closely with each student to develop their individual interests, abilities, and career goals while fulfilling the requirements for their major.   

The specific requirements for the major in  Latin American Studies can be found on the GIS website.



The Latin American Studies program has been operational at Villanova since 1988. It promotes an inter-disciplinary understanding of the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean. To that end, the Program offers a Major and a Minor. Over the years, the Program has widened its curricular offerings and overseas academic presence in countries, such as Chile and Costa Rica. The recipient of two Title VI grants since 2003 from the US Department of Education, the program is one of the more comprehensive area studies programs in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Key Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Upon completing the LAS Major, students will be able to:

Write research papers on Latin America with the sensitivity to the peculiarities of the region.

Converse about the major economic, political, and social problems bedeviling the region of Latin America.

Speak Spanish or Portuguese language with fluency.

Acquire knowledge and linguistic skills appropriate for jobs in international, governmental, multilateral, and non-governmental agencies focused on the region.

Engage in policy relevant discussions and debates about US-Latin American relations.