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 have or to attain language proficiency, defined as the equivalent of five semesters in Spanish, French, or Portuguese. 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/Latino 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. In a world that is increasingly transnational and cross-racial, individuals with a solid knowledge of Spanish, French, and/or Portuguese and an understanding of Latin American and Latino history and major contemporary issues, including immigration, are needed for this century’s jobs and careers. In addition, 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.