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Why Latin American Studies?

Why Study Latin America?

The Latin American Studies major is designed to provide students with critical language and cultural skills that serve as the foundation for careers in public service, business, humanitarian work, law, and health care, among others, in Latin America and with Latino populations at home. Students are strongly encouraged to combine the Latin American Studies major with a major (or minor) in a discipline, so that graduates can combine discipline-specific skills with a high degree of language and cultural competency.

According to the 2012 census, out of over a million residents in Salt Lake County, nearly 200,000 (17.5%) identify as Hispanic or Latino. Latin American culture and languages are becoming more and more relevant to our everyday lives, including employment in education, health care, social work, and business. Graduates who are able to interact with diverse populations and understand their cultures, backgrounds and languages will be able to provide valuable contributions to diverse industries.

VIEW THE Latin American Studies MAJOR MAP  Hear From Our Alumni

Benefits of this Major

The center houses an interdisciplinary Latin American Studies program that offers the B.A. and M.A. degrees, with coursework that provides students with an understanding of both the shared traditions and the astounding cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the region.

These degrees are designed to provide students with critical language and cultural skills that serve as the foundation for careers in public service, business, non-profits, among others, in Latin America or working with Latino populations at home. Students can also pursue undergraduate and graduate study of Latin America in other interdisciplinary and Latin American language programs, including the major in International Studies, major, MA and PhD in Spanish, minor in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, and MA and PhD minor field in Latin American History.

Skills You Will Develop

  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Language competency
  • Effective research and presentation skills
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Ability to work with diverse populations
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Appreciation for cultural differences
  • Effective adaptation skills

Possible Career Paths

Our graduates work in a wide variety of fields, including foreign service, law, tourism, and humanitarian work, and our graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate programs at such institutions as UCLA, Pennsylvania State University, Georgetown University and the University of Florida.

  • Global Health
  • Foreign Service
  • Government/Politics
  • International Sales/Business
  • Tourism and Travel Industry
  • Education/Language Services
  • Public Administration
  • Medical Professional
  • International Law
  • Non-profits

*Note: many careers require additional study and/or training. 

Last Updated: 11/4/21