The Center for Latin America Studies was established in 1974 as an interdisciplinary, academic unit offering an undergraduate major and a minor as well as a Master of Arts degree. It has grown into one of the leading area studies programs in the country. Composed of over 150 faculty members from 40 or more different disciplines and research institutes, the Center is dedicated to high quality teaching, research, and outreach. It coordinates a broad range of instructional, research and outreach activities relating to Latin America. The Center recently received a Title VI grant (2010-15) under the U.S. Department of Education’s National Resource Centers (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Programs. This grant enables the Latin American Studies (LAS) program to expand curriculum offerings and research and outreach programs in the region, as well as offer language and area studies fellowships to UA students.
LAS undergraduate majors are expected to undertake a learning experience that directly connects them with a Latin American country and its people. In most cases, this is achieved by participating in a study abroad program. LAS students are also encouraged to include an internship as part of their academic program. The majority of LAS graduate students undertake summer field research in Latin America and write a thesis. LAS has dual degree graduate programs with Law (J.D.), Public Administration (M.P.A.), Public Health(M.P.H) and Journalism (M.A.). It also offers a Ph.D. Minor in Latin American Studies.