Undergraduate Minor in Latin American Studies

Available to the Class of 2026 and beyond

The minor in the Program in Latin American Studies is designed to encourage and support new scholarship, spark dialogue and promote first-hand engagement with leading scholars and creative thinkers. Coursework spans topics and disciplines and sheds light on multiple facets of the region. The program aims to foster greater knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and the contributions of these areas to the global community. 

Goals for Student Learning

  • To identify some of the main cultural, historical, political, economic, environmental, and social configurations of Latin America.
  • To understand the diversity and specificities of Latin America’s sub-regions and countries, such as the Southern Cone, Brazil, the Andean region, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  • To critically evaluate Latin America’s position in the Americas and within a larger international context.
  • To effectively apply interdisciplinary research methodologies and models of inquiry to understand cultural, historical, political, economic, environmental and social processes in Latin America and the Caribbean, including their diasporic communities in the United States.
  • To acquire international experience in Latin America and the Caribbean through travel and fieldwork.
  • To encourage advanced language proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, French or intermediate proficiency in a Native American language spoken in the region.

Admission to the Program

Students majoring in any department may enter the minor program. A student normally enters the program after declaring their major in their sophomore year, although entrance in the fall of junior year is not precluded. Reach out to Eneida Cordero Toner, PLAS Program Coordinator, with any questions.  

Program of Study

In order to receive a minor in Latin American Studies students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completion of the language requirement in Spanish, Portuguese, French, or two semesters of a Native American language such as Maya, Nahuatl, Quechua, or Mapuche. Students who placed out of the language requirement in Spanish, Portuguese, or French must take a 200 level, or higher, course in the same language, or a course in another language spoken in the region (for example, if the language requirement was fulfilled in Spanish, the students can take a course in Portuguese, French, or Quechua).
     
  • Five courses cross-listed with LAS or with a strong Latin American, Caribbean, or Brazilian component, of which one must be a seminar and one must be in the humanities. Students can double-count up to two courses with their major. Alternatively, students can fulfill the minor requirements by taking four courses and, in lieu of a fifth course, completing one of the following options:
  1. Complete a senior thesis on a Latin American or Caribbean topic, or with significant Latin American and/or Caribbean content,
     
  2. Have a meaningful, at least 6 to 10 week-long, structured experience in Latin America or the Caribbean through an internship, an independent research project, or a service project. After they return, students must submit a 1000-word memo describing their international experience and its relevance to the LAS minor. Participation in the Bridge Year Program in a Latin American country may count toward the fulfillment of this requirement.
     
  3. Write a 6000-8000-word research paper on Latin America or the Caribbean. Students can submit a relevant Junior research paper or expand a course final paper under the supervision of a PLAS faculty member.

All final written work (senior thesis or independent research paper) is due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, May 6, 2025 in PDF format to [email protected].

Minor Courses

A variety of courses are offered throughout the academic year. Course descriptions can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Enroll

Notify us of your interest in pursuing the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) minor at any time by completing this online enrollment form.

Class of 2026 students will be notified of their enrollment in the minor at the start of the fall 2024 term.

Course of Study

Interdisciplinary by nature, and undertaken in concert with the fulfillment of major requirements, the minor seeks to foster knowledge of and experience in Latin America and the non-English speaking Caribbean.

PLAS sponsors the Princeton in Argentina and Princeton in Brazil summer programs. Funds are available to support student travel to Latin America for research purposes. First year students and sophomores are eligible for exploratory research grants and juniors can apply for senior thesis research funding.