About the LALS Department
Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) is an interdisciplinary department grounded in the conceptual bridging of the fields of Latino Studies and Latin American Studies. Our undergraduate and newly constituted graduate program in LALS provide students with unique interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives that investigate the historical, economic, social and cultural processes and forces that are shaping and transforming regions across the Américas.
The LALS department was founded in 1971 as an undergraduate teaching program in Latin American Studies, and in 1994, the program became one of the first in the country bridge the fields of Latin American and Latino Studies. In 2013, we are launching the first Latin American and Latino Studies PhD in the country.
Our curricular offerings focus on transnational migration, social inequalities, cultural politics, and collective action, as well as the new forms of cultural and political identifications that are shaping and transforming the territorial boundaries of the nation-state in an increasingly interconnected world. Our department offers both an undergraduate major and minor, as well as combined majors with the departments of Global Economics, Literature, Politics and Sociology (with possibly more to come). Many LALS majors choose either the combined or double major pathway, which allows them to combine our interdisciplinary approach with an academic discipline
The major in LALS offers opportunities to pursue careers in education, media, law, social services, health care, public policy, translation, urban planning, and higher education. LALS also encourages community service through faculty sponsored internships or study in Education Abroad and the UCDC program.
Our department consists of eleven core faculty with expertise in the social sciences, cultural studies, history, ethnic studies, literature, media, public policy, sociology, anthropology, and politics. Forty-three “participating” and “affiliated” faculty based in other departments are associated with LALS. Most of their courses count automatically towards the LALS major.
We invite you to explore our website and/or visit us during office hours.