Studying The Culture, Politics, and History of Latin America: Latin American Studies

Are you passionate about the languages, people and culture of Latin American Countries? Would you like to work in Academia, the public sector or at international agencies? Can you speak, read and write Spanish and would like to incorporate these skills in your career? If this sounds like you, then a degree in Latin American Studies might be a great option for your studies. Degree programs in Latin American Studies tend to be interdisciplinary in nature and exposes students to a wide range of disciplines, such as history, political science, economics, gender studies, literature as well as sociology. It is also an ideal degree to combine with a major or minor in a discipline to ensure that you not only have discipline-specific skills, but also the required cultural competency and language skills needed for working in Latin America or with Latino populations.

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Latin American Studies Degree Information

Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies is a degree program that is aimed at students who aspire to teach social science or language, or who would like to embark on a business, international agency or government career. Courses for this degree may include Introduction to Latin American Studies, Latin American History, Elementary Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, Reading in Portuguese, as well as electives. These electives may range from Political and Economic Development in the Third World, and Central American People and Cultures to Cuba, the United States and Cuban Americans.

Master of Arts in Latin American Studies

The Master of Arts in Latin American studies is a degree program that is aimed at students who are interested in working in the educational sector, research institutions, government agencies, private companies or international organizations either in the United States or in Latin America. This degree typically consists of 30 credit hours and requires students to have advanced proficiency in Spanish and Portuguese. In addition to core courses, such as Culture & Power in Latin American, students may also be able to select courses that are sub-region or country-specific, or deals with anthropology, development, history, government or political economy.

Doctoral Program in Latin American and Latino Studies

Students with a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree can also go on to complete a doctoral program in Latin American and Latino Studies. This type of degree requires great reading writing and speaking abilities in Spanish as well as English. Courses may include Culture & Society, Politics & Society, Comparative Methods, Races in the Americas, Political Ecology in Latin America, along with independent study and thesis research.

Latin American Studies Certificate

Latin American Studies is also available as a certificate program that is aimed at students who would like to complement their existing undergraduate programs. This type of certificate typically feature courses that covers both language and Latin American Studies. Courses may include Latin American Political Systems, Latin America and Cultures of Latin America while electives could range from US-Latin American Relations and Literature of Non-Western Cultures to Archeology of the Americas and South American Archeology.

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Latin American Studies Degree FAQ

Is It Possible To Earn My Latin American Studies Degree Online?

The interdisciplinary nature of a Latin American Studies degree means it is difficult to find programs that are 100% online. However, students may be able to enroll in hybrid degree programs where a portion of the coursework is done online and the rest at a campus. Although this is not as flexible as a completely online degree program, these types of courses can still be useful to students who are unable to attend full-time campus based classes. Online courses may also be available where students are able to select individualized coursework in order to tailor a masters degree according to their interests. In addition, it may be possible to take part in an online International Relations program that has a regional affairs concentration and then use this to select Latin American courses.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For A Latin American Studies Degree?

Typically, one of the major requirements for a degree in Latin American Studies is a high level of competence in either Portuguese or Spanish. This means being able to both speak the language as well as reading and writing. You should also be open to meeting and interacting with people from a wide variety of cultures. This is definitely the type of degree that will appeal the most to students who have a keen interest in Latin America.

What Type of Career Paths May Be Available With A Latin American Studies Degree?

As Latin American Studies is such an interdisciplinary degree, there are numerous careers where you can benefit from the knowledge and skills you'll gain. The world is also becoming more interconnected, which means being proficient in more than one language can be a big advantage. Some of the most common career paths followed by people with this type of degree include translator, cultural affairs officer, interpreter, journalist, hospitality manager, human resources professional, community affairs expert and consultant. Of course, this degree can also be combined with other degrees or experience to open up even more career possibilities, such as becoming a teacher, researcher or even working in multicultural programming. Because Latin American countries are such hubs for tourism, it also means that you may be able to enter many of the jobs in tourism, hospitality and travel.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn With A Latin American Studies Degree?

Because students often combine their degree in Latin American Studies with another major or minor, it is difficult to estimate exactly how much you might be able to earn when you embark on a career. There are so many different career paths available that your salary will depend on a variety of factors. These include the type of degree you have, the level of experience you have, the type of career path that you have chosen as well as the geographical location of your place of employment.

What Are The Other Advantages of Earning A Latin American Studies Degree?

One of the biggest advantages of earning a degree in Latin American Studies is that you'll be broadening your horizons and gain valuable skills in cultural awareness as well as sensitivity. In addition, this degree can help to greatly enhance your language competency, provide you with an appreciation for cultural differences and help you to work with diverse populations.

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