Courses & Requirements

The requirements below apply to those students with a 2022-2023 catalog year. Students are required by college policy to follow the major (and minor) requirements found in the catalog in effect at the time they declared their first major. To find your catalog year, please visit your Grades and Academic Records found in myOxy and access the catalog that matches your catalog year.

Latino/a and Latin American Studies

Overview

The Latino/a and Latin American Studies (LLAS) major offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the societies and cultures of Latin America and the Latino and Chicano experience in the United States. By extending the study of "Latin America" beyond the geopolitical borders of the region to include the Caribbean and the United States, the major emphasizes the importance of migrations, interethnic interactions, and cultural exchanges of Indigenous, European, African, and Asian peoples throughout the Americas. The LLAS program engages students with a variety of perspectives on the socio-political complexities and cultural traditions of the Americas, and the historical development of unique regional societies and cultures. The transnational perspective of our curriculum distinguishes the LLAS major from more traditional area studies programs.

Students in the major develop proficiency in Spanish and take courses from a broad range of academic disciplines and departments, including history, Spanish, sociology, English, music, politics, economics, psychology, and education. LLAS majors are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad and summer research programs in Latin America or Spain. Our program also encourages students to engage in community-based learning through the different activities available in the Latino and Latin American communities that are integral to the city of Los Angeles. The major prepares students for graduate school as well as for a variety of career paths, including community organizing, social work, education, public history (museums and cultural centers), government, law, public service, and business.

Requirements

Major

The Latino/a and Latin American Studies Major requires 44 units (or 11 courses). The course distribution requirements are: LLAS 101, one Methods course, two classes on Latin America, two classes on U.S. Latinx, three additional electives from any of the courses listed below, LLAS 490, and either SPAN 202 or SPAN 211.

 

Introductory Course

LLAS 101Introduction to Latina/o and Latin American Studies

4 units

Language Proficiency

Students must complete one of the following:

SPAN 202Advanced Spanish

4 units

SPAN 211Spanish for Heritage Speakers

4 units

Methods

Students must complete one of the following:
POLS 300Research Methods in Politics and Public Policy

4 units

SOC 304Sociological Inquiry

4 units

Latin American Studies Courses

Students must complete two courses on Latin America selected from the list below:

DWA 222Latin America Political Economy

4 units

DWA 224/POLS 221Latin American Politics

4 units

DWA 229/LLAS 229Introduction to Human Rights: Focus on the Americas

4 units

DWA 240/LLAS 261Human Rights in Colombia: Comparative Perspectives

4 units

DWA 286Public Diplomacy in the Americas

4 units

HIST 150/LLAS 150Colonial Latin America

4 units

HIST 151/LLAS 151Modern Latin America

4 units

LLAS 102/MUSC 102Music of Latin America

4 units

LLAS 210/SOC 210The Struggle for Human Rights in Mexico

4 units

LLAS 252/HIST 252Religion in Mexico, Pre-Columbian Times to Present

4 units

LLAS 254/HIST 254The History of Race in Latin America

4 units

LLAS 258/HIST 258Twentieth Century Mexico

4 units

LLAS 301Gender and Sexuality in Colonial Latin America

4 units

LLAS 302The Mexican Revolution

4 units

LLAS 355/HIST 355Indians of Mexico

4 units

LLAS 357/HIST 357Environmental History of Mesoamerica

4 units

LLAS 358/HIST 358Food and Drink in Mexican History

4 units

PHIL 223Mexican Philosophy, Culture, and Society

4 units

RELS 228/LLAS 228Religion, Liberation, and Latin American Social Movements

4 units

SPAN 303Introduction to Modern Latin American Literature and Culture

4 units

SPAN 313Latin American Film and Culture

4 units

SPAN 314Latin American Women's Voices in Fiction and Film

4 units

U.S. Latinx courses:

Students must complete two courses on U.S. Latinx selected from the list below:

ECON 324The Economics of Immigration

4 units

LLAS 202/AMST 202Latina/o Cultural and Intellectual History

4 units

LLAS 205/POLS 205Latino/a Politics

4 units

LLAS 206/EDUC 205The Politics and Pedagogy of First and Second Language Acquisition

4 units

LLAS 213/EDUC 213Chicano Education

4 units

LLAS 259/HIST 259Health on the Move: Immigrant and Refugee Resilience

4 units

LLAS 260/AMST 260United States Latino Literature and Cultural Studies

4 units

LLAS 304/HIST 300Mexico-U.S. Borderlands

4 units

LLAS 321/SOC 321Immigration to the United States from Mexico and Central America

4 units

MUSC 386Performance and Politics of the United States-Mexico Border

4 units

PHIL 322Latinx Philosophy

4 units

SPAN 342Spanish in the United States

4 units

SPAN 383Survey of Chicano Literature

4 units

Senior Seminar

LLAS 490Senior Seminar

4 units

Electives

Three additional electives from any subject area listed above.  At least one such elective must be at the 300-level (to satisfy the College's Second-Stage Writing Requirement).

Minor

To complete the LLAS minor, five courses (20 units) are required in the following distribution: LLAS 101 plus four LLAS electives selected from any of the courses above.

Second-Stage Writing Proficiency

LLAS majors satisfy Occidental College's Second-Stage Writing Requirement by earning the grade of B- or better in any 300-level LLAS course or a course cross-listed with LLAS that is writing intensive (and in which writing is in English). Students are expected to complete this graduation requirement before the beginning of their senior year.

Comprehensive Requirement

To satisfy the comprehensive requirement students will produce a senior thesis in the Senior Seminar. Declared majors propose the topic of their thesis before the end of their junior year. The thesis is a research-based essay of approximately 30 pages integrating both primary and secondary source materials. Successful completion of the senior thesis along with a public presentation of it in the spring semester will satisfy the LLAS comprehensive requirement.

Advising Information

Students interested in the LLAS major should consider taking LLAS 101 (Introduction to Latina/o and Latin American Studies) and/or HIST 150/LLAS 150 (Colonial Latin America) during their first year. The LLAS major also requires students to complete SPAN 202 (Advanced Spanish) or SPAN 211 (Advanced Spanish for Native Speakers). LLAS majors are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad and summer research programs in Latin America or Spain. Our program also encourages students to engage in community-based learning through the different activities available in the Latino and Latin American communities that are integral to the city of Los Angeles.

Placement Information

Students interested in the LLAS major who have previous experience with the Spanish should take the online Spanish Placement Exam prior to Orientation. Students who grew up speaking Spanish at home should enroll in SPAN 211. Students studying Spanish for the first time can enroll in SPAN 101 without taking the exam. 

Exceptions: You do not need to take Occidental’s Spanish Placement exam if any of the following are true: 

  • Students who received a 4 on the AP Spanish exam are placed into SPAN 201.
  • Students who received a 5 on the AP Spanish exam are placed into SPAN 202.
  • Students who received a score of 560-689 on the Spanish SAT Subject Test are placed into SPAN 101.
  • Students who received a score of 690 or above on the Spanish SAT Subject Test are placed into SPAN 102.  

Note: To use a standardized test score for placement you must have the official score report sent to the Registrar’s Office. 

Sample 4-Year Plan


Fall

Spring

Year 1

  • Fall FYS course

  • Core Requirement (4 units)

  • SPAN 101

  • General Elective

  • Spring FYS course

  • LLAS 101 (CPGC)

  • SPAN 102 (Foreign Language)

  • General Elective (4 units)

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

  • LLAS 490 (Senior Seminar)

  • LLAS Elective

  • General Elective

  • General Elective

  • LLAS Elective

  • LLAS Elective

  • General Elective

  • General Elective

The plan above assumes no previous study or experience with Spanish. Students should start with the language course in which they are placed. 

Transfer Credit Policies

The Latino/a and Latin American Studies program policy on transfer credit conforms to College Policy. Courses that address topics central to Latino/a and Latin American Studies approved for transfer by the appropriate department or program will be considered to apply toward the Latino/a and Latin American Studies major and minor. Students should reference the Transfer Credit section for more details.

Courses

Latino/a and Latin American Studies Courses