Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies 

Take a dynamic approach to learning Spanish and experiencing the culture of Latin America with the Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies in Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts. Since 1973, the 17-credit, interdisciplinary Latin American Studies Semester (LASS) certificate program provides a unique and enriching experience each spring semester for students interested in Latin American culture, economy, language, politics and society. This program is housed in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

You'll develop a deep understanding of Latin America and build language proficiency through an intentional array of interdisciplinary courses that meet five days a week and are conducted entirely in Spanish. Build a strong sense of community with classmates and instructors as you prepare for the semester’s culminating event—a 21-day trip to Quito, Ecuador in February and March.  

While abroad, students attend classes at the Andean Center for Latin American Studies, explore the country and live with a local family. The LASS program emphasizes language fluency in and out of the classroom, and it helps students form cultural empathy from a global perspective. Before and after their time abroad, students engage in community service opportunities in Philadelphia, allowing them to further explore the language and culture. 

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate and a waiver for the General Education World Society requirement.

Classes & Curriculum

The LASS program is an immersive and interdisciplinary sequence of study combining Spanish language and Latin American culture courses taught in Spanish. 

The semester includes nine credit hours of intensive Spanish; six credit hours focused on the geography, history and culture of Latin America; a seminar course; and a 21-day trip to Ecuador. Classes meet five days a week to promote Spanish language fluency and group cohesion.

The program’s curriculum comprises the following courses. 

  • Area Studies: Latin American Development
  • Intensive Practice/Four Skills
  • LASS Seminar
  • Latin America Through Film

No additional courses may be taken during the semester. Learn more about the Latin American Studies Certificate courses.

Related Graduate Degrees 

*Fox School of Business
**Lew Klein College of Media and Communication


Speaking more than one language can set you apart in today’s global job market. It can increase your marketability and opportunities for career advancement and promotion. Bilingual professionals can communicate with a larger population and help increase an employer’s competitive edge. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, acquisition of a second language may help improve standardized test scores, and it may improve memory and problem-solving skills.

Additionally, studying a language and its culture can help you develop empathy and global thinking. It can broaden your perspective and help you cultivate a greater understanding of people and, in turn, the world. The critical skills gained from learning a foreign language are directly applicable to today’s rapidly diversifying world and can be used across all fields and disciplines.

Undergraduate students in the LASS program are prepared to pursue graduate studies or enter the global workforce in the following professional areas.

  • Business
  • Government service
  • Nonprofits
  • Public relations
  • Sciences
  • Social work
  • Travel and tourism

Tuition & Fees

The tuition for this Certificate Program is based on school or college of your major, program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. You can view the full Cost of Attendance breakdown on the Student Financial Services website.