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First-Year Focus

Welcome to Northwestern! We’re glad that you have an interest in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACS). The LACS program is comprised of a diverse and engaged community of students and scholars at Northwestern in a variety of departments including Anthropology, Art History, English, History, Spanish and Portuguese, Sociology and Political Science, to name a few. We hope to nurture and grow your curiosity about Latin America and the Caribbean during your time at Northwestern through a variety of social and educational events, colloquiums, courses, and special programming designed to expand your knowledge of the histories and cultures of these regions.

Why learn about Latin America & the Caribbean?

You can think about it in terms of numbers. Of the 35 sovereign states in the Americas all but two are Latin American or Caribbean. More than half of the population of the Americas lives in countries that have Spanish or Portuguese as a first language. You can think about it in terms of diversity. In Latin America and the Caribbean indigenous peoples have met with populations of European and African decent in a unique mixture of languages, cultures, religions and peoples. As a LACS minor you will delve right into the cultural, social, linguistic and political expressions of this diversity.

What can I study at Northwestern?

Northwestern offers an interdisciplinary minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies that combines core courses in History, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese and Anthropology with electives across a wide variety of these and other fields.

What can I do after I graduate?

The LACS minor is both a perfect complement to a humanities major or a social science major in that it gives your studies breadth and regional depths at the same time.

What are good classes for first-year students?

First year students might want to start with one or two of the four core areas in History, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese and Anthropology. LACS also assumes that students show proficiency in one the core Latin American languages, usually Spanish or Portuguese.

Study Abroad

Although study abroad is not a requirement of the minor we highly encourage students to research study abroad opportunities while at Northwestern. We believe a study abroad experience is a crucial component of a well-rounded undergraduate experience.  A study abroad experience will help you develop new perspectives on academic subjects and real world issues, achieve higher proficiency in your foreign language, experience personal and academic growth and develop valuable career skills.  Northwestern provides many opportunities and partnerships with peer institutions to offer study abroad programs catered to each student’s interests and needs. Along with the Study Abroad Office, Northwestern’s three unique departments, the Center for Global Engagement, the Global Health department and the International Program Development office provide coordination and support for students interested in global engagement or professional development study abroad programs. Each of these opportunities will help shape your world view and help you become tomorrow’s global citizen.