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Explore the Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Explore Latin American history, culture and society with a Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. One of only a few programs like it in the region, our unique major is designed for those who are less interested in developing Spanish language skills and more interested in learning about Latin America and Latinx people, including those in the U.S. (For those who are interested in developing their Spanish language skills, see our Latin American and Latinx studies - language emphasis major.) 

Through engaging coursework, taught by supportive faculty experts, you'll be immersed in all things Latin American. A large number of electives allow you to personalize your education and study topics that interest you. Explore classes in art history, public health, sustainability, geography and more. This flexibility opens doors to new job possibilities and helps you to find your niche. 

An exciting and key component of this program is that all Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis majors are required to participate in a cultural immersion experience, such as study abroad, an international internship, a faculty-led international immersion experience, or a domestic immersion experience focused on Latinx/Hispanic communities in the U.S. Over the course of three or more weeks, you'll gain a deeper cultural awareness and a better understanding of Latin America and its people — both in the U.S. and abroad. Possible destinations include both Spanish- and English-speaking countries of the Americas, such as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Belize and Jamaica.

Because of the broad, interdisciplinary nature of the major, students are introduced to an array of subjects and career paths. Prepare for a career in the nonprofit sector, education, healthcare, law, journalism, international business or any other field in which knowledge of Latin America and its people abroad or in the U.S. can be an asset. With a Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis degree, you'll find a world of opportunity available to you. 

Erin Kelly in front of Target Field

The value of a versatile education

After graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Latin American studies, minors in Spanish and international business relations and a certificate in advanced business communication, Erin Kelly entered the job search with quite the resume. And it wasn't long before she landed her dream job. 

Working as an intern for the Minnesota Twins, Erin worked on diversity marketing for the team, with duties ranging from writing articles and scripts about Latin American players to coordinating a Jackie Robinson-themed literacy program in local elementary schools in the Twin Cities. The job aligns well with her passions for baseball and cultural studies — and proves just how worthwhile a degree in Latin American studies is. 

“People are skeptical about a major like Latin American studies. They don’t think it’s going to be as relevant as a major in something like science or technology,” Erin explained. “Science and technology are very important, but so are international affairs and intercultural communication. If you don’t know how to adapt and interact with emerging markets, your static skills in a globalizing workplace become irrelevant.”

Why Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis at UW-Eau Claire?

Cultural immersion experiences. Covering almost 13% of the Earth's land surface area, there is a lot of ground to cover in Latin America. And we encourage you to explore it. Recent immersion experiences have taken students to Nicaragua, where they learned of the social struggle for women's rights, and Ecuador, exploring global forces impacting the Andes Mountains and Amazon Jungle. These programs often leave quite an impression on students, helping them grow on both a personal and professional level. 

Course variety. A large number of electives allow you to personalize your education and study topics that interest you. Focus on Latin American and U.S. Latino music and dance and their influence in the United States, the socioeconomic realities of women in Latin America, or the challenges of water use and management in the U.S. and worldwide.

Research opportunities. As a Latin American and Latinx studies major, you'll have a variety of research opportunities available to you, from exploring Latin American and Latinx culture to studying interdisciplinary topics related to Latin America and its people. Our collaborative faculty will do all they can to ensure you get the most out of your UWEC education.

Outside-the-classroom learning. Each year, the Latin American and Latinx studies program hosts Latin American and Latinx Studies (LAS) Week, which includes a number of events related to Latin American and Latinx topics. This is an exciting way to learn even more about Latin American and Latinx people as the week often includes opportunities to hear from renowned speakers, experts, artists, educators and students.

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Quick facts

Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major requires a minor or certificate.
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Related student organizations
  • Latinx Student Association
  • Spanish Club
  • Sigma Delta Pi

What can I do with a Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis degree from UWEC?

Latin American and Latinx studies graduates are prepared well for graduate school and a variety of jobs. Given the increasing interdependency of nations and economies, as well as the growth of the Latinx/Hispanic population in the United States, a degree in Latin American and Latinx studies can open doors to nearly any career path.

Our grads go on to work in healthcare, economic/international development, environmental organizations, immigration services, nonprofits and a variety of other fields and industries. Many Blugolds have also received Fulbright awards and fellowships, making it possible for them to teach or conduct research abroad.

Studying abroad was a truly eye-opening, life-changing experience for me. I was immersed in Costa Rican culture and the Spanish language, and I learned to think more globally. I was humbled when I came to realize how narrow my thinking had been prior.

Eric Duwe Latin American Studies
Anna Waller

Using lessons learned to help others

Anna Waller never dreamed of traveling to another country to conduct research that could improve the quality of life for a generation of newborn babies — but that is exactly what the Blugold alumna did. Recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright research grant, Anna, a triple major in chemistry, Spanish and Latin American studies, used lessons learned throughout her UWEC education to conduct her Ph.D. research in Mexico.

Anna's goal is to develop a portable vitamin A sensor to test the nutritional value of breast milk. Breastfeeding rates in Mexico are among the lowest in Latin America, with only 14% of women breastfeeding their children exclusively in the first six months, according to a recent National Public Radio story. Poverty and poor nutrition are among the main reasons why, and after Mexico banned the giveaway of free infant formula in 2015 in an effort to increase the number of mothers breastfeeding, Anna’s work to develop technologies that address nutritional gaps for infants and mothers is not only relevant but critical to future generations.

“The development of technologies that are simple, inexpensive and require little-to-no personnel to operate are practical for many settings, but particularly resource-limited settings,” she said. “We are trying to address both of these points for the context of Mexico, and hope that it can be applied to other foods as well as implemented in other parts of the world.”

Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis bachelor’s degree program curriculum

The Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis major will provide you with a broad, solid grounding in the culture, politics, economics and social life of Latin America and Latinx populations in the U.S. today and in the past. Students gain an understanding of the region and its people, develop skills in critical thinking, and discuss and evaluate broad issues from interdisciplinary perspectives. 

The major is sometimes paired with other majors, including geography, social work, history, chemistry, English, business or Spanish, providing students with even more career opportunities. A Peace Corps Certificate is also available.

What classes do Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the Latin American and Latinx studies - culture and society emphasis major in the UWEC course catalog.

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Department information

Photo of flags from Latin American countries

Latin American and Latinx Studies

Hibbard Humanities Hall 384
124 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Latin American and Latinx Studies department website

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