Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

Requirements for the Major

Introductory Requirement


Choose one of the following four options to fulfill the introductory requirement:




  1. History 260: Latin America: An Introduction
  2. Poli Sci 261: Introduction to Latin American Politics
  3. History 241: Latin America: 1780-1930
  4. History 242: Latin America: 1898-Present


Language Requirement


Students must either complete or test out of the fourth semester of Spanish or Portuguese as well as complete four courses in Spanish and/or Portuguese language, literature, and civilization above the second-year level. In addition to the four courses required for the program, non-Spanish/LACIS Double Majors are required to take a Spanish proficiency exam prior to graduation. Information about this exam (and the forms needed) can be found here. Please ask the examiner to forward your tests results to the LACIS Undergraduate Advisor, Sarah Ripp, 209 Ingraham Hall.


Area of Concentration


Students must take at least five courses with 25% Latin American, Caribbean, and/or Iberian content in an area of concentration which the student self-selects. The concentration may be disciplinary (history, anthropology etc.) or topical (poverty, gender, social justice etc). The courses in the area of concentration CAN NOT be Spanish or Portuguese language or literature courses. Study abroad courses often satisfy major requirements, but you should consult with your advisor before and during your study abroad program to be sure that the credits transfer (please note that questions regarding course equivalencies for approved study abroad programs should be directed to the International Academic Programs office. Courses for the concentration can be chosen from the LACIS Course Master List, but note that this list does not reflect current offerings. LACIS also publishes a list of courses that are being offered in the upcoming semester which count towards the major. Students are required to submit a proposed area of concentration statement to the LACIS Advisor shortly after declaring the LACIS Major. Please complete this form and email it to Sarah Ripp or turn it in to 209 Ingraham Hall. Ideally, students should submit a one paragraph description of their intended area of concentration to the LACIS Advisor prior to their junior year for approval. Here you can find sample areas of concentration.


Breadth Requirement


Students must complete three courses outside the area of concentration which can be either:

  1. additional courses in Spanish and/or Portuguese language, literature, and civilization over the 220 level; and/or
  2. courses in Quichua and Yucatec Maya; and/or
  3. additional Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian courses


Study Abroad


Students are encouraged, but not required, to study abroad. Living and studying in a foreign country provides a great introduction to the culture and valuable language practice. In addition, participating in a study abroad program often proves to be a valuable personal experience. For information about the multitude of UW study abroad programs in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, visit the International Academic Programs website.


Other Notes


Students are encouraged to declare this major by the end of their sophomore year if possible. Those considering a major in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian studies are encouraged to consult the undergraduate advisor during their freshman or early sophomore year, since a number of L&S requirements in humanities and social sciences may be met by some courses in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian studies. Students who enter the university without previous training in Spanish or Portuguese are urged to begin language study freshman year. All students are required to fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses designated as "advanced" (300-699, with the exception of Portuguese 301-302) count toward this requirement.