Latin American studies is a dynamic, interdisciplinary area studies program focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean: their peoples, cultures, society, languages, literature, traditions, history, economy, and relations with other areas. Together with Hispanic studies, comparative American studies, and comparative literature, it is one of four academic programs available at Oberlin for students interested in studying the wider Spanish-speaking world.
Students majoring in Latin American studies explore the region from different disciplinary perspectives—from history to politics and literature to anthropology. In addition to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, we encourage majors to incorporate coursework and other areas of Spanish colonization in North America. We also study the peoples of Latin American ancestry currently living in the United States.
Oberlin students graduating with a major in Latin American studies have chosen a wide range of career paths including teaching, bilingual education, social work, government or international organizations, business, journalism, and specialized nonprofit organizations. Coursework also prepares students for further graduate education in Latin American studies or its related disciplines.
Our academic program is interdisciplinary and supports students with a strong interest in Latin America, its peoples, cultures, history, language, and traditions. Latin American studies places a strong emphasis on Spanish-language competency, which we believe is essential for anyone who wishes to study Latin America and Spain, to understand and appreciate its culture, or to function effectively in a Spanish-speaking environment.
We do not offer a minor in the program.
You can enrich your coursework in several ways: study abroad, an honors program, or living in La Casa Hispánica, a Spanish-speaking residence hall on campus.
We urge all students to spend at least a semester abroad. Our study abroad programs will provide you with the opportunity to perfect your communication skills and further your knowledge of contemporary life and culture in Latin America. Majors should consider existing opportunities to study in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Oberlin’s Office of Study Away offers a full listing of opportunities open to students in all courses of study throughout the year.