Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies

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2018 Program in Latin American Studies certificate students, and faculty.

The Program in Latin American Studies promotes interdisciplinary study and seeks to inspire knowledge of and experience in Latin America. Get an up-close view of Latin America through compelling coursework that sheds new light on multiple facets of the region. Seek funding for study abroad and service opportunities that expand the boundaries of the classroom. One of the largest area studies programs at Princeton, PLAS awards some 30 certificates annually.

Course of Study

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

PLAS supports enrollment in the Princeton in Cuba spring term program held in Havana, and sponsors the Princeton in Argentina and Princeton in Brazil summer programs. Funds are available to support student travel to Latin America for research purposes. Freshmen and sophomores are eligible for exploratory research grants and juniors can apply for senior thesis research funding. Seniors are encouraged to apply to Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) for postgraduate opportunities. 

You may elect to focus on Latin America as a whole, or narrow your lens to study Brazil. Please refer to the Undergraduate Announcement for complete requirements.

Latin American Track

  • Completion of four courses across several disciplines
    • One humanities course cross listed with PLAS and/or with strong Latin American content
    • Two courses from any field cross listed with PLAS and/or with strong Latin American content 
    • One seminar course with strong Latin American content
  • Proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or French (for students focused on the French Caribbean)
  • A thesis on a Latin American topic, using primary materials from the region, supervised by a faculty adviser, and combined with a departmental major*

Brazilian Studies Track

  • Completion of three courses across several disciplines
    • One humanities course cross listed with PLAS and/or with strong Brazilian content
    • Two courses from any field cross listed with PLAS and/or with strong, Brazil-related content
  • Proficiency in Portuguese
  • A thesis on a Brazilian topic, using primary materials from the region, supervised by a faculty adviser, and combined with a departmental major*

*Students whose departmental obligations preclude a thesis on a Latin American or Brazilian topic may complete the program requirements by writing an independent research paper or completion of an additional approved course determined in consultation with the director and program faculty.

Coursework

Undergraduate courses are offered by an increasing number of campus departments and programs, as well as by PLAS. Through various approaches in the humanities and the social and natural sciences, the program guides an understanding of Latin American culture, history, socioeconomic conditions, politics, and society. Coursework is supervised by a departmental adviser and combined with a departmental program in a regular field of concentration.

Travel

Although experience abroad is not required, PLAS strongly urges students to travel, work, study, and conduct research in Latin America, especially during freshman and sophomore years. Whether it’s through the Princeton in Cuba or other opportunities available during your studies, the impact of a summer or semester abroad in generating new understanding cannot be understated. To support that aim, competitive funding is available.

Featured Certificate Students

Diego Negrón-Reichard

Diego Negrón-ReichardNegrón-Reichard is a senior from San Juan, Puerto Rico concentrating at the Woodrow Wilson School. He is also pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies, Entrepreneurship, and French. For the past three years, he has led Princeton's Model United Nations Team in both national and international competitions. On campus, he sits on the Projects Board, on the USG Treasury Committee, and was recently elected a U-Councilor for the Undergraduate Senate. Finally, he is part of a Tiger Challenge team that works with the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity to help the university better engage low and medium income tiger families.

Samuel Vilchez Santiago

samOriginally from Venezuela, Samuel VIlchez Santiago is a third-year student pursuing a concentration in Politics with certificates in Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, American Studies, and Spanish. At Princeton, Samuel is the current co-President of Princeton Latinos y Amigos, Princeton's undergraduate pan-latinx student organization. He also served as the Chapter Liaison for the QuestBridge Scholars Network. Next year, Samuel will be serving in Princeton's Undergraduate Student Government as one of ten U-Councilors. Outside of Princeton, Samuel is involved in different community organizations, focusing on advocating in favor of latinx and immigrant populations.

Enroll

You may apply for the certificate program at any time using our online enrollment form. Have questions about the program? Email PLAS to make an appointment.

There are no prerequisites needed to enroll.  The sooner you apply the sooner we can help you focus your interest and provide funding for research opportunities.