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Latin American Studies
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr., LPW 4055

Los Angeles, CA 90032

[email protected]

Our Program

The Latin American American Studies Program at California State University, Los Angeles is among the first Latin American Studies programs to have been established in the United States. It is recognized nationally for the excellence of its faculty and the achievements of its alumni. As an interdisciplinary program, LAS bridges the social sciences and humanities, to provide students with a broad understanding of Latin America and its connections to the rest of the world.

Latin American Studies promotes activities and programs focused on students, designed to provide academic and community support throughout their stay at Cal State LA. Our program houses three endowed scholarship funds, specifically for Latin American Studies students. It encourages and supports the Latin American Studies Society, a student organization that sponsors educational and cultural programs on campus and provides students with the opportunity to work and socialize with each other and faculty. Latin American Studies majors may also join the campus chapters of Golden Key or Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies, which are open to qualified students in all academic disciplines.


group of students

The program is committed to working with local Latin American populations and community organizations, both within the United States and abroad. Southern California is home to the largest Mexican population outside of Mexico, the largest Central American populations outside of Central America, and substantial settlements of South Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans. This makes Cal State L.A. an ideal place to explore the diversity and learn about and from Latin American cultures and their increasingly complex transnational connections to the United States. 


faculty members

The Latin American Studies Program is deeply committed to activist research, social justice, and community empowerment. The program draws upon the expertise of over 30 affiliated Cal State faculty members whose work focuses on Latin America. As an interdisciplinary program, LAS faculty members are trained in a wide variety of fields, including History, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Central American Studies, Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, and Music, among others. They share their expertise on Latin America, the connection between Latin America and the United States, and Latinx populations in the U.S.

Our faculty members work closely with communities both in the United States and abroad in the Latin American region, providing support and acompanamiento to the communities, organizations, movements and collectives they belong and work with. As an academic program that both values and contributes to social justice and community-engaged research, Latin American Studies at Cal State LA is deeply grounded on three key principles: collaborative work (with colleagues in other disciplinary fields, communities, and social organizations), service (to our students and communities), and community building, offering an inclusive and supportive space for solidarity work, collective reflection, and the development of reciprocal relations beyond the academy. 


A degree in Latin American Studies affords students a wide range of career opportunities. Considering the historical and present-day importance of Latin America to the United States, in combination with the growing Latinx population in the country, there is an increasing need for trained professionals with a knowledge of the region to work in government, teaching, business, social services, community organizing, the arts, and other fields. OurStudents graduate from the Cal State L.A. Latin American Studies Program prepared for the many scholarly and professional opportunities this situation creates. Additionally, many graduates opt to continue their academic pursuits; they attend graduate school in Latin American Studies and related fields, often at prestigious universities, and are now found teaching at colleges and universities across the country.

The Bachelor of Arts degree includes courses in anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and Spanish, and allows students to select additional courses from other fields including art, literature, music, philosophy, and economics.

The Master of Arts degree includes advanced work in these disciplines, and is tailored to meet individual students’ interests and needs. Students complete the degree by passing a comprehensive examination or by writing a thesis. The program emphasizes strong working relationships between instructors and students, and encourages students to work cooperatively as they pursue their research interests.