The Latin American Studies BA Program

The major in Latin American studies at Purchase College is designed as a multidisciplinary immersion experience that prepares students for life in a globalized world. Along with an introductory course on Latin American history, students are required to take courses in at least two different disciplines, drawing from courses on or related to Latin America in the social sciences, the humanities, or the arts. All students are required to attain language proficiency, defined as the equivalent of five semesters in Spanish or French. Experiential learning is a central and distinctive feature of this major: all students fulfill this requirement by completing a service-learning project or an internship in a local Latin American community, school, or nonprofit, or through a study-abroad program. Students synthesize this experiential learning with the knowledge gained from their coursework in an in-depth, two-semester senior project.

Graduates of this program will be able to demonstrate knowledge of Latin American history, geography, cultural traditions and innovations, political structures, and social issues and will possess an in-depth awareness of Latin America’s diversity as well as its role in global processes.

What can you do with a degree in Latin American studies? Opportunities exist in a wide variety of fields, nationally and internationally. With Latin American immigrant communities increasing in number throughout the U.S., there is a broad range of career and volunteer options available. Internationally, options include positions in government and in nongovernmental for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Students are also encouraged to double-major in another program to increase their opportunities after graduation.

Latin American Studies Faculty (Board of Study)

School of Film and Media Studies:
Agustin Zarzosa, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

School of Humanities:
Marc Brudzinski, PhD, Duke University
Paula Halperin, PhD, University of Maryland
Gari LaGuardia, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

School of Natural and Social Sciences:
John Gitlitz, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chrys Ingraham, PhD, Syracuse University
Susan Letcher, PhD, University of Connecticut
Alexis Maxine Silver, PhD, University of North Carolina
Liza G. Steele, PhD, Princeton University

Neuberger Museum of Art:
Patrice Giasson, PhD, University of Montreal (Curator of art of the Americas)

For additional information and updates during 2013-2015, please visit

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