Majoring in Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies Certificate


Major in Latin American studies and you gain a solid understanding of the economics, politics, history and cultures of the region, along with proficiency in Spanish. You come to know and understand many global and multicultural communities. Your professors guide you in your projects, give you theoretical information and real-world resources, review your writing and discuss important contemporary issues with you. Armed with both academic and real-world experience, you can excel in education, business, government, social work, healthcare, law, media, travel and more.

International opportunities and study abroad

Most Latin American studies majors spend a semester or summer in the region. You might travel with your class and a Connecticut College professor, enroll in a separate program or take an internship to do work or research. Recently, our faculty have led semesters in Mexico and Spain. Our students have interned with grass-roots organizations in Chile and recorded oral histories of disenfranchised women in Nicaragua.

Special opportunities

Proyecto Comunidad gives you the opportunity to work three to six hours a week in New London's Hispanic community. You may also wish to try the Proyecto Comunidad Shadow Program, which can help you explore career interests, meet potential mentors, do research, gain insight into issues pertinent to the Hispanic community and better understand practical applications of classroom learning.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Latin American Studies?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Latin America Partner – Support Representative, EMC Corp.
  • Reporting Analyst, United HealthCare
  • Product Manager, ATO Records
  • Law Student, University of Arizona
  • Second Grade Teacher, Pohakea Elementary School
  • Program Coordinator, Leadership Arlington
  • Bilingual Outreach Worker, Housing Opportunities Unlimited at Harbor Point
  • Real Estate and Corporate Legal Assistant, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • Youth Service Trip Leader (El Salvador), Companion Community Development Alternatives
  • Sixth Grade Math Teacher, Harlem Village Academies
  • Senior Correspondent, Voice of America
  • Vice President, MicroFinance Transparency International
  • Green Business Program Coordinator, Sonoma County Economic Development Board
  • Technical Adviser, HIV/ AIDS Care & Treatment Program
  • Marketing Manager and Events Coordinator, Tanteo Spirits
  • Legal Assistant
  • Structured Credit Specialist, ICAP
  • Talent Acquisition Specialist, Pepsi Bottling Co.
  • Principal, GRID Impact
  • Senior Manager, Robert Allen Group


Leo J. Garofalo, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity

Leo J. Garofalo, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity
Latin American and Caribbean history • The history of race and ethnicity • African diaspora and Afro-Latin America • Peru and the Andes

Robert Gay, Professor of Sociology

Robert Gay, Professor of Sociology  (On sabbatical Spring 2015)
Democracy • Civil society • Organized crime • Violence • Brazil

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Spanish American cultures • Popular Catholicism in Spanish America • Undocumented migration

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latin American literature and culture • Caribbean literature and culture • Critical theory

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations  (On sabbatical Fall 2014)
U.S. Foreign Policy • International Relations Theory • Democracy in Latin America

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015
Gender, Culture and Race Studies in Spanish America • Orientalism in the Hispanic tradition

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latino cultural studies • Critical race theory • Masculinity theory

Student profile

Lizzy SpeeceLizzy Speece

Latin American studies

Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: I transferred to Conn after my freshman year, so I'd learned what I liked at my previous school and what didn't work for me. I wanted small classes and an engaged campus community.

Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied in Lima, Peru, for a semester. It sparked my interest in Sendero Luminoso, or the Shining Path, and the armed conflict in Peru. My research became my senior project. I focused on Sendero Luminoso and the contradictions within their ideology.

Q: What role has CELS, the college's career and internship program, played for you?
A: My CELS counselor has really gotten to know what kind of person I am and what jobs would best suit my interests and personality. I spent two months before my semester abroad working for the Pulsera Project in West Chester, Penn., as the first part of my CELS internship. After my semester abroad, I finished my internship with Pulsera in Nicaragua. I got a better understanding of how non-profits function and what challenges come with working in multiple countries.

Selected courses

  • Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • Hispanic Cultures
  • Latin America in Film
  • An Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean History
  • Religion and Violence in Latin America
  • Growing up in Latin America: The Bildungsroman in Latin American Narrative
  • Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spanish America
  • Economics of Latin America
  • Democracy in Latin America
  • Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean
  • Rebellion and Revolutions in Latin America


Student research


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