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Academic Programs / Liberal Arts
Latin American Studies
Latin American Studies offers three academic programs for undergraduates: the Latin American Studies Major, the Latin American Studies Minor, and the Latin American Studies Semester (LASS). We also offer two certificates, in association with other academic departments, in Spanish & Latin American Studies for Business and Latino Studies & Spanish for the Health and Human Services Professions.
The Latin American Studies Major is an interdisciplinary program with a focus on the study of social problems of Latin America. Latin America's art, literature, and religious thought have been universally recognized for their high quality and contribution to world civilization. At the same time, extreme social inequality persists in Latin America in addition to rapid urban growth, dramatic ecological change, and political upheavals with powerful local and global implications. The Latin American Studies major offers a variety of courses that examine these issues. To complete the major, students must take twelve 3-credit courses in Latin American Studies and demonstrate a reading and speaking knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.
Requirements for the Major
All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses. The specific writing-intensive courses required for this major are listed below and are identified by "WI" in the RCI column.
The Latin American Studies Minor enables students to combine the requirements of their majors with the study of Latin America. It is designed to be of particular value to students who intend to engage in technical, professional, business, or government work involving Latin America. To earn the minor, students must complete six 3-credit courses in subjects with a Latin American emphasis and demonstrate a reading knowledge and speaking facility of Spanish or Portuguese.
Distinction in Major
Latin American Studies majors may graduate with distinction in the major if they have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
The Latin American Studies Semester (LASS) has been offered every spring semester since 1973. It is a program designed to provide an intensive experience in the study of the Spanish language in combination with an interdisciplinary study of life and contemporary issues in Latin America.
LASS is an integration of several courses, totaling 17 semester hours credit, and must be taken as a package. Because of the credit-hour load and because the objective is to concentrate on Spanish and Latin American Studies, no other courses may be taken without prior approval.
The prerequisite for participation in LASS is two semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent. Students with more advanced levels of course background are encouraged to participate in the program as well. All participants in the program may expect to achieve marked improvement in Spanish fluency in only one semester.
An integral part of the LASS program is a two-week trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico during the spring semester recess. The trip is akin to a laboratory in which students can practice their developing language skills. Students are placed in local homes where the only language of communication is Spanish. They experience at first hand something of one Latin American country's culture, history, and social development.
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