Latin American Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

BA in Latin American Studies

The BA in Latin American studies looks at contemporary Latin America and its progress through a long and turbulent history of conquest, resistance, and cultural mixing. The result is a rich and unique blend of African, indigenous, and European cultures. Majors develop a broad expertise in the region while also pursuing an individualized program of study that suits their interests. Students improve their language skills and take courses in many disciplines, including anthropology, dance, economics, folklore, geography, government, history, and literature. All students have opportunities for research, global engagement, public service, and career preparation.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses in the Major

Required Introductory Course

LAS 300 Latin American Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives 3
Total Credits 3

Required Courses in History

HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 6

Social Science Courses Related to Latin America

Select two courses from the following: 6
Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)
Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)
GGS 316
Geography of Latin America
GOVT 331
Government and Politics of Latin America
Total Credits 6

Humanities Course Related to Latin America

Select one course from the following: 3
Folklore and Folklife
Introduction to Latin American Culture (Mason Core)
Major Hispanic Writers (Mason Core)
Total Credits 3

Seminar Course

LAS 499 Research Seminar in Latin American Studies (Mason Core) 3
Total Credits 3

Language Requirement

All Latin American studies majors must demonstrate reading, speaking, or writing knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese by exam or achieving a minimum grade of 2.00 in a 300-level course in the language selected. Upper-level Latin American literature or culture courses taught in Spanish or Portuguese may be used to satisfy the electives requirement.

Electives in Latin American Studies

Select four electives in Latin American studies 1 12
Total Credits 12
1

Students may satisfy the electives requirement with any course that contains a significant emphasis on Latin America or the culture, politics, sociology, or history of Latinos living in the United States. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to use an internship (LAS 490 Internship) or a study-abroad program to fulfill some of these credits. The electives must be approved by the director of the program.Upper-level Latin American literature or culture courses taught in Spanish or Portuguese may be used to satisfy the electives requirement.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their major at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in Latin American studies should consult with the director for a course to fulfill this requirement.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
PHIL 1
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning
Geography of Virginia
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
American Sign Language (ASL) I
American Sign Language (ASL) II
American Sign Language (ASL) III
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 301 Native North Americans 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 303 Peoples and Cultures of the Andes 3
ANTH 306 Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 316 Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 323 Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 383 Cities of the Global South 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
DANC 118 World Dance (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 451 Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Non-Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 432 Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 426 The Russian Revolution 3
HIST 460 Modern Iran (Mason Core) 3
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Religions of the West (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 240 Death and the Afterlife in World Religions 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West 3
RELI 365 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 374 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 375 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 379 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 387 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication 6
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology 3-7
Core Requirements
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1
Synthesis/Capstone 3
Total Credits 40
1

minimum 3 credits

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with electives to bring the degree total to 120
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