Effective Fall 2011

May be elected as an interdepartmental major

The Interdepartmental Program of study in a major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is designed to provide students with a rigorous, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Latin America and the Caribbean. A broad base of knowledge is established by the requirement of a core of upper-level work in languages, the social sciences, and the humanities. Analytical depth is demonstrated through the completion of a senior thesis under appropriate faculty supervision.

Prerequisites to the Major. None.

Requirements for the major. 30 credits above the 200-level, beyond the language requirement, are required to complete the major. Among the 30 credits, students must choose at least one course from each of the disciplines of Anthropology, History, Literature, and Political Science.

LACS Language Requirement for the Major. Competency in Spanish or Portuguese [equivalent to SPANISH 277 (or 275) or the intensive Spanish program at the Residential College, or PORTUG 232] should be achieved as early as possible in the program. Students are encouraged to go beyond this, either with further work in the language chosen, or by achieving competency in the other major language.

Required Courses. In choosing the 30 credits of upper-level courses, students must include at least one course from each of the following areas:

  • Anthropology:
    ANTHRCUL 319 (Introduction to Latin American Society and Culture), 414 (Introduction to Caribbean Societies and Cultures), or another upper-level Anthropology course on Latin America.
  • History:
    HISTORY 347 (Latin America: The Colonial Period), or 348 (Latin America: The National Period), or another upper-level HISTORY course on Latin America.
  • Literature:
    SPANISH 381, 382 (Introduction to Latin American Literature, I and II), or another upper-level course in Latin American literature.
  • Political Science:
    POLSCI 347 (Government and Politics of Latin America), or another upper-level course in Latin American politics.

Elective Courses. The remainder of the 30 credits may be drawn from upper-level courses, from any department, that deal with Latin America and the Caribbean. These change from year to year. The Center will normally make available during pre-registration a list of courses relating to Latin America and the Caribbean offered the following term. Accredited courses taken during Study Abroad programs in Latin America [administered by the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS), 764-4311] can in many cases count toward the major. Students should consult with their individual faculty advisor and with the Undergraduate Advisor for advice on selecting appropriate courses and developing an intellectually coherent and comprehensive program of study.

Advising. Prospective majors should consult  the department advisor for guidance on courses. Appointments are scheduled in the LACS office, (734) 763-0553 or lacs.office@umich.edu. Normally, a plan for the major should reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the program and the themes that a student wishes to develop. Students should file a tentative plan for the major with the Center in their junior year, and update it prior to graduation.

Honors Plan. LACS offers an Honors major to qualified LACS students. Application for an Honors major is usually made at the beginning of the third year. Participation requires a 3.5 grade point average. Graduation with Honors is recommended for students who complete all College and LACS graduation requirements, maintain a 3.5 GPA, and write a substantial LACS Senior Thesis that is judged worthy of Honors designation by the thesis advisor and at least one other faculty reader. An Honors major is not limited to students who have been in the College Honors Program in the first and second years. More details about the Senior Thesis and about applying for LACS Honors may be obtained from the department advisor.

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