Latino/a and Latin American Studies is an exciting interdisciplinary minor. Traditional disciplines (such as history, sociology, literature, and language) are organized into a program of study so that the student may develop familiarity with history, politics and social issues in Latin America as well as a knowledge of the complexity of Latino/a cultures and studies in the United States. Students who complete this minor should be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of U.S.-Latin American relations and sensitivity to the global, diverse nature of cultural issues in Latin America and those surrounding the Latino/a community in the U.S.
Latin America consists of many countries from the Rio Grande to the South Pole. Each of these countries possesses varied and dynamic cultures. For example, the best of the modern age can be found in the huge metropolitan centers of Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. The best of the ancient civilizations still survive, for instance, in the Maya of Mexico and Central America and the Inca and Tupi-Guarani of South America. The United States is home to often several generations of people of Latino heritage whose ancestors either precede the founding of the nation or who migrated and settled there bringing with them their cultural richness and creating new cultural expressions in the new land.
The minor is offered by a faculty with varied backgrounds. Classes are offered on a regular basis in sociology, history, Spanish language and literature. In addition, there are courses offered in art, music, media and migration, to name a few.
A program of Latino/a and Latin American Studies is highly recommended in combination with such majors as Spanish, Social Work, Communications, International Business, and International Studies. In fact, as the Latino population in the United States is now 54 million or 17% of the population and is expected to nearly double by 2050 (according to U.S. Census Bureau population projections), the college graduate will undoubtedly encounter people of Latino or Latin American origin in any area in which he or she works.