About the Latinx & Latin American Studies Major

Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) is an interdisciplinary major designed for students interested in critically examining the diverse ­­­histories and cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Latinxs. Students in the major gain breadth and depth of learning through courses in the humanities and the social sciences that situate these histories and cultures within local, national, regional, hemispheric, and global contexts over time. Practical experiences, such as community projects and study abroad, provide opportunities to apply this learning in transformative ways.

Major Program:  Majoring in LLAS requires the completion of nine courses: seven courses as described below, plus two additional courses to be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

  • One required course: “LLAS 200: Major Debates in Latinx and Latin American Studies. Note: LLAS 200 might not be taught every year, therefore students should plan to take it in their first or second year at Amherst
  • One course on U.S. Latinxs in any department.
  • One course on Latin America in any department.
  • One course on the Caribbean in any department.
  • Two courses taught in one of the languages spoken in Latin America and the Caribbean, other than English. These courses may focus on the development of language skills, and/or they may be content courses on a subject relevant to the Major.
  • A research or methods seminar in any department, with completion of the written project on a topic relevant to LLAS. In order to ensure that the research will be on a topic relevant to LLAS, the research or methods seminar must be approved by both the Major advisor and the professor teaching the course.

LLAS majors may credit up to three courses from another major, provided they fall into one of the categories listed above. 

In addition, majors must have:

  • A concentration with at least three courses in one of the following areas: U.S. Latinxs, Latin America, or the Caribbean.
  • At least two courses in the humanities and at least two in the social sciences.
  • Coursework in at least three departments.
  • Residency Requirement: At least five of the nine courses must be taken at Amherst College.
  • Capstone Requirement: The capstone requirement will be met through a portfolio of work done in the Major, introduced by a reflective essay that addresses how the interdisciplinary nature of the coursework informs a question or topic of special interest to the student and their long-term plans. Students will publicly share these reflections during a LLAS Major Capstone Symposium.