Jul 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Latin American Studies, BA

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Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies is a multi-disciplinary program designed to advance students’ understanding of Latin America and people of Latin American heritage.  It seeks to provide both broad, general knowledge of the Latin American region as a whole and an in-depth knowledge of specific countries, regions, cultures, and communities.  Students in the program are encouraged to double-major and/or minor in the wide array of disciplines offered at The University of Scranton and to study abroad in Latin America for at least one semester.

Coursework in History and Political Science provides the foundation for understanding the historical, political, cultural, and economic development of Latin America.  These classes provide an introduction of various cultures and civilizations as well as familiarity with those factors that have shaped the experiences of individuals, groups, and countries.  Students learn about the social significance of concrete events in the past and the present.  These courses enable students to appreciate more fully the specific learning objectives in upper-division courses in these same subject matters as well as specialized topics in the supporting course area.

Examining the role of philosophy and religion within the context of Latin American Studies allows students to appreciate how persons in other cultures have contemplated the human condition and the need for self-transcendence.  Instruction in these courses should engender cultural sensitivity to the intellectual traditions, beliefs, and practices of others while enriching students in their quests to answer fundamental questions about themselves.

The natural history of Latin America has had a tremendous influence on the development of the cultures of the people who live there.  Biology, anthropology, and geography courses provide students with a robust knowledge of the geological, geographic, biological, and cultural diversity of Latin America, and demonstrate how these dimensions have influenced the ways that humans have adapted to and altered their environment.

Literary works represent cultural, social, and political issues such as the articulation and negotiation of class, racial, and sexual identities.  The study of literature enhances an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of the cultures and histories of the different regions of Latin America and Latino/a communities.  Analysis of literary texts facilitates the acquisition of language skills and promotes effective written and oral expression.

Supporting courses allow students to acquire a general knowledge of the region by taking classes in a wide range of disciplines or to gain a deeper understanding of Latin America by focusing on one or two particular areas of interest.

Five Content Areas

Area 1: History and Political Science (minimum 12 credits)

Area 2: Philosophy and Theology/Religious Studies (minimum 3 credits)

Area 3: Biology, Anthropology, and Geography (minimum 3 credits)

Area 4: Literature (minimum 3 credits)

Area 5: Supporting Coursework (9 credits)

* Restricted to Senior History majors or students with a Latin-American Studies concentration or major, and only possible when content of the course is Latin American history.

** Taught in conjunction with LAS 295 .

Please note: Students who exceed the minimum credit requirements in areas 1-4 may reduce their requirements in area 5 accordingly.  Students who study abroad and take appropriate coursework with an emphasis on Latin America may petition to substitute classes and are encouraged to speak to the director of the program.


Cognate for Major in Latin American Studies

Proficiency in Spanish is essential to a fuller understanding of the cultures, histories, intellectual traditions, and peoples of these countries.  With the twin goals of cultural and linguistic fluency, the Department strongly encourages at least a semester of study abroad in an immersion program in Spanish.

Students must satisfy one of the following cognate options:

Students who study Spanish must satisfy one of the following:

  1. 12 credits of Spanish if student begins at the 100 level. Options: 101 , 102 , 211 , 212 , 295  
  2. Demonstrate proficiency by earning a grade of “C” or better in 311  or beyond OR by challenge exam

Please note: Placement in a language class is determined by testing in the University’s Language Learning Center.

Latin American Studies Curriculum

  Department and Number - Descriptive Course Title Fall Cr. Spr. Cr.

First Year

MAJOR HIST 125 - (CH,D) Colonial Latin America  - HIST 126 - (CH,D) Modern Latin America   3 3
FREE ELECT Free Electives   3
GE WRTG-SPCH WRTG 107 - (FYW) Composition  - COMM 100 - (FYOC) Public Speaking * 3 3
GE C/IL C/IL 102/102L - (FYDT) Computing and Information Literacy * 3  
COGNATE (SPAN) Cognate (SPAN)** 3 3
GE PHIL-T/RS PHIL 120 - Introduction to Philosophy  - T/RS 121 - (P) Theology I: Introduction to the Bible   3 3
GE FSEM First Year Seminar 1    
    15 15

Second Year

LAS ELECT                 LAS Electives 3  
COGNATE OR LAS ELECT Cognate (SPAN) or LAS Electives** 3 3
HUMN ELECT HUMN Electives 3 3
GE PHIL-T/RS PHIL 210 - Ethics  - T/RS 122 - (P) Theology II: Introduction to Christian Theology   3 3
MAJOR - QUAN ELECT PS 219 - (S,D) Latin American Politics   QUAN Electives 3 3
 MAJOR ENLT 129 - (CL, D) Literature and Social Justice , ENLT 251 - (CL,D) Borderlands Writing  or LIT 205 - (CL,D) Modern Latin-American Literature in Translation  or SPAN 320 - (CL) Introduction to Hispanic Literature     3
    15 15

Third Year

MAJOR LAS 295 - (S,D) Mexican Culture and Language  or PS 323 - (S,D) Central America  or PS 333 - United States-Latin American Relations  or another approved course   3
MAJOR T/RS 250 - (P,D) Latin American Liberation Theology and Beyond  or PHIL 242 - (P,D) Latin American Thought     3
LAS ELECT LAS Electives 3  
MAJOR BIOL 204 - (E,D) Environmental Issues in Latin America   3  
FREE ELECT Free Electives 12 12
    18 18

Fourth Year

NSCI ELECT NSCI Electives 3  
LAS ELECT LAS Electives   3
FREE ELECT Free Electives 12 12
                                                                                                                                                                   15 15

Total: 126 Credits

1 The selection of a First Year Seminar is likely to fulfill requirements both for the First Year Seminar and a General Education Requirement.  Thus, the First Year seminar will not add to the total credits for the semester.  Talk with your advisor if you have any questions.

*An approved 3-credit EP Foundation Course may be substituted for COMM 100  and C/IL 102/102L -C/IL 104 .  In this case, the total needed for graduation in this major may be reduced to 123 credits.  Consult with your advisor if you have questions.

**Starting at SPAN 100 level, SPAN 311  or beyond, or taking and successfully passing the language challenge exam will affect the credits listed in these semesters.

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