College of Arts and Sciences

Latin American Studies

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2020-2021 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Option

Latin American Studies Minor

World Languages and Cultures department home page

Program Overview

The Latin American Studies minor is a multidisciplinary program that offers students who have studied Spanish the opportunity to add a regional focus to their studies. The minor provides a coherent framework for the study of Latin America. It is designed to prepare students for becoming leaders with specialized knowledge of the peoples, cultures, languages, and social systems of Latin America. It is also intended for heritage speakers of Spanish who wish to gain greater understanding of their identity, as well as for those who simply wish to acquire more knowledge about Latin American.

Latin American Studies Minor

The Latin American Studies minor requires 19 credits of coursework, 12 credits of which must be taken at Drake. No more than nine credits may be completed in any single discipline. The courses listed below will count toward the minor, and the MLAS advisor may approve other appropriate courses.

Students who minor in Latin American Studies must complete at least one Spanish class above the SPAN 052-level (fourth semester) at Drake or one Portuguese class above the fourth semester at another institution.  

Study abroad in Latin America is strongly advised. The study abroad program in Latin America must be approved by both Drake and the Latin American Studies advisor (a tenured or tenure-track Spanish professor or the chair of WLC in consultation with the student’s primary advisor). Up to six credit credits from the study abroad experience may be applied toward the minor.

The student, in consultation with his or her Latin American Studies advisor, determines the distribution of courses comprising the minor. Together, student and advisee design a multidisciplinary program with courses chosen from at least two different disciplines. Courses chosen to complete the minor should fulfill the goals of the Latin American Studies minor specified in the Program Overview above.

Students are required to develop a special thematic or regional interest (potential tracks might include human rights in Latin America; politics in Latin America; the U.S.-Mexico border region and immigration; energy, resources and the environment; business in Latin America; and languages and cultures) and to pursue that interest through a relevant selection of courses. Students will either select one of these tracks or propose a different one, subject to approval by her/his MLAS advisor. Once the student has decided on a thematic or regional interest, s/he should compose a short paper in which the student’s individual objectives for the minor are articulated, as well as the rationale for the selection of particular courses. The MLAS advisor will approve the paper and/or suggest revisions.

The one-credit-hour WLC 147 capstone course will be supervised by a faculty member from World Languages and Cultures, in which the minor will be administered. Students will create an electronic portfolio that includes a collection of best work, demonstrating developmental progress and, most importantly, focusing on reflective writing to connect to the minor's learning outcomes.

Approved Courses

ACTS 198 - Family, Lifestyles, and Annuity Tables (J-Term) 3
COUN 145/245 - Counseling Diverse Populations (J-Term) 3
ECON 135 - Developing Economies 3
ENG 066 - Reading Race & Ethnicity 3
ENG 083 - English in America: Language, Citizenship, and Identity 3
ENG 163 - Transcultural Literature 3
ENG 164 - Latino/a Culture 3
HIST 123 - Modern Mexico 3
HIST 124 - Aztecs, Incas, Mayas 3
HIST 125 - Colonial Latin America 3
HIST 126 - Modern Latin America 3
HIST 156 - Sex, Power, and War - Aztec Empire 3
HONR 073 - US Latino Language and Culture 3
JMC 199 - Family, Lifestyles, and Innuity Tables (J-Term) 3
SCSA 002 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3
SCSA 150 - Migrant Oral History 3
SCSA 150 - US-Mexico Borderlands 3
SCSA 156 - Ethnographic Methods 3
SCSS 155 - Global Youth Studies 3
SCSS 196 - Contemporary Urban Mexico (J-Term) 3
SPAN 140 - Spanish Practical Speaking and Writing 3
SPAN 150 - Spanish Language and Culture 3
SPAN 151 - National Identity 3
SPAN 152 - Film 3
SPAN 153 - Culture and Society 3
SPAN 154 - Cultural Health Perspectives 1-3
SPAN 155 - Spanish for Business 3
SPAN 160 - Literature 3
WGS 111 - Latino/a Literature 3
WLC 148 - Intercultural Communication 3
WLC 150 - The Other Side of the Wall: The Presence and Effects of American Culture in Mexico 3
WLC 196 - Contemporary Urban Mexico (J-Term) 3

Additional courses may be approved by the World Languages and Cultures Department as necessary.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.