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Latin American Studies

Overview of the Program

Students who major in Latin American studies gain much more than fluency in Spanish. Students immerse themselves in Latin America's history and development and gain a thorough understanding of the people and culture. They also become familiar with all sides of current issues such as rain forest preservation and waterway development.

Knowledge of this increasingly powerful economic and political region will be critical for students who pursue a career in international business, Latin America's growing tourism industry, or other various fields in the United States or abroad.

In the Classroom

Students who major in Latin American studies study anthropology, art, economics, geography, history, sociology or political science, as well as Spanish literature and language.

All courses and labs in Spanish studies are conducted in the language, primarily by native speakers, each of whom travels yearly to a Spanish- speaking country to stay aware of cultural changes. Faculty enrich their courses with the help of their contacts in the many embassies and political organizations in Washington, D.C.

Required courses within this major include:

  • Hispanic and Latino Film
  • Latin America Today
  • Latin American Literature and Popular Culture
  • Latin American Fiction

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students also take courses in economics and management, political science and sociology, history, literature, music, art, theater and cinema during the semester or year abroad.

Students are required to study abroad for at least one semester at a Latin American university. The highlight for many LAS majors is the semes- ter or year they spend in the area of concentration in the Dominican Republic, Chile or Peru.

Real-world Experience

Students learn more about Latin America and attain a high level of flu- ency in Spanish by living in the Spanish House, where the language is spoken exclusively. Students in the Spanish House present films, music, cooking demonstrations and other events to promote awareness and a greater understanding of Latin American customs and culture.

Internships and Study Abroad

Students intern at various sites in the Washington, D.C., area such as the Washington Office for Latin America, the Organization of American States, the Human Rights Commission of Guatemala and the Library of Congress, as well as other bureaus and organizations that have close ties with the region.

Latin American studies majors may study at Universidad Catolica Madre y maestra in the Dominican Republic; Pontificia Univesidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru; Santiago de Chile, Chile; or any approved program of study in consultation with an academic adviser.

Alumni Success Stories

A Latin American studies degree prepares students for advanced study or a career in education, government, business, tourism and many other fields in the United States and abroad. Hood's graduates are:

  • Researchers in nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C., area dedicated to Latin America
  • Graduate students studying international law and migration
  • Language teachers in Chile and Argentina
  • Continuing graduate studies in law, international relations and Latin American studies at The American University, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland
  • Serving in nonprofit organizations and government bureaus as consultants, researchers or special projects coordinators

Learn more about the major.