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  Academic Programs / Liberal Arts

Latin American Studies

Ronald Webb, Director
215-204–7527
rwebb@temple.edu
www.temple.edu/las

 

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.

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
Introduction to Latin American Studies - Select one: 3-6  
LAS 1001   Perspectives on Latin America
    or
The Latin American Studies Semester Program (LASS)
  IS
LAS   Writing Intensive course (options pending approval) 3 WI
LAS Electives Select eight courses, excluding LAS 1001 and 4097, from the approved
list of undergraduate courses in Latin American Studies. See advisor for
this list.
24  
         
Spanish-American Literature Courses - Select one: 3  
Spanish 3241

any 4000+ level
Spanish-American Culture & Civilization
    or
Spanish-American literature course taught in Spanish from the approved
list of undergraduate courses in Latin American Studies
   
         
LAS 4097 Latin American Studies Seminar (offered only one time per year) 3 WI*
         
Total     36-39  
* Indicates Writing Capstone for the Major    


Requirements for the Minor

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.

Department Course # Course Name Hours RCI
Select one Introductory Course: 3-6  
LAS 1001 Perspectives on Latin America
   or
Latin American Studies Semester Program (LASS)
  IS
         
LAS Electives Select four or five courses depending on number of credits of
chosen introductory course, from the approved list of undergraduate
courses in Latin American Studies. See advisor for this list.
12-15  
         
Total     18  
         
Students also must demonstrate reading knowledge and speaking facility of Spanish or Portuguese through one of the following methods:    
Spanish or Portuguese
          or
LASS
          or
Proficiency examination
  2000+
   or
Latin American Studies Semester
   or
Proficiency examination
3

6
 
       
Please note: LASS Program counts as one introductory course and one elective.    

 

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.

Latin American Studies Semester (LASS)

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.

  • Morning sessions held from 9:00 to 12:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays offer language instruction and conversation practice at intermediate and advanced levels guided by native or near native speakers.
  • Morning sessions held from 8:40 to 10:00 and from 10:10 to 11:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays focus on Latin American culture and economic development.
  • A LASS Seminar held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:10 to 3:00 highlights a series of topics in Latin American and Latino studies, includes presentations by guest speakers, and also provides for personal contact with the Latino community of Philadelphia.

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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