University of South Carolina

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Latin American Studies: What to Expect

The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) is a multi-disciplinary, broadly based undergraduate degree program that offers courses in Latin American history, politics, anthropology, geography, and literature. LASP majors at the University will benefit from a small program, which affords individual attention. You will also have great flexibility in the courses you choose to take and are encouraged to pursue study abroad and research opportunities. As an LASP major, you will develop cross-cultural skills, linguistic skills in Spanish and/or Portuguese, and interdisciplinary research skills. LASP majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in Latin America to enhance their academic experience, strengthen their language skills, and develop a great knowledge about the Latin American culture.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Latin American studies:

  • Interdisciplinary Study of Latin America
  • Latin America: The Founding of New Societies
  • Politics and Governments of Latin America
  • Modern Latin America
  • Politics of Revolution and Counterrevolution in South America
  • Latin American Cultures
  • Spanish American Civilizations

A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. LASP majors are encouraged to study abroad with the USC summer program in Mexico or undertake a semester-long program in Latin America.  LASP majors are eligible for some modest financial support for such educational endeavors in Latin America. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site to learn about additional opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of nearly 300 student organizations. As a LASP major, you can join Students Affiliated for Latin America (SALA), which promotes cultural awareness with regard to Latin American issues, countries, and people both on campus and outside of the classroom. Student organizations are a great way to meet new people, network within your field, and gain leadership experience. You can also find other student organizations on campus that interest you!
Graduate School is one of many possibilities following graduation. Many graduates go on to pursue graduate degrees in Foreign Languages, Area Studies, and Public Health. Law school is also a popular choice for LASP majors.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding entering freshmen or current students. The Latin American Studies Program offers the John J. Winberry Award each year, which serves as a travel award for students studying abroad.
Living and Learning Communities are an integral part of the university experience, providing you with the opportunity to live in an environment that promotes diversity, embraces excellence, encourages insightful faculty-student interaction and works to develop a strong sense of community. These academically themed communities also emphasize active service-learning experiences, study-abroad opportunities and undergraduate research. Upper-classmen may choose to apply to live in the Spanish House. The Spanish House provides cultural immersion experiences without going overseas, or as preparation for study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. As a resident of the Spanish House, you will gain international exposure, leadership opportunities, and valuable social interactions.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands-on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Career Opportunities

Latin American studies majors have a variety of career opportunities following graduation. Many graduates pursue careers in law, public service, higher education, and business.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the Latin American Studies Program

The Latin American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina is an interdisciplinary study of the histories and cultures of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of the Western Hemisphere. Many of the outstanding teaching and research faculty in their home departments are members of the LASP faculty. Students are able to create a highly individualized program of study as well as create a final research paper or project. The Latin American Studies Program is in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Points of Pride

  • The Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies at USC promotes and coordinates multi-disciplinary research related to Latinos in South Carolina and the Southeast.
  • The program sponsors public lectures, workshops, and symposia as well as supports faculty and student research on topics related to Latin America and Latino/a communities in South Carolina.

Additional Resources
Latin American Studies Website
College of Arts and Sciences Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin