Undergraduate Opportunities

Latin America Studies Program

The Latin American Studies Minor promotes opportunities for students  to deepen their understanding of the region through a variety of courses, campus activities, internships, and firsthand overseas learning experiences. 

Enrollment Info

Program Description

Through the Kellogg Institute, the program offers a calendar of cultural events, summer research and internship grants, current affairs panels and regular talks on Latin America by Notre Dame faculty and visiting lecturers. In addition, the Institute brings several Visiting Fellows each semester who are from Latin America or who specialize in the region; these fellows visit classes and meet with students.

The core of the program is a minor in Latin American Studies. The minor aims to give students well-rounded training that complements their major area of study and to make this training easily recognized on a graduating student's transcript. The minor integrates diverse university coursework related to Latin America. Latin American Studies are of increasing importance in the  [LASP] United States, where Hispanics are rapidly becoming the largest minority group and domestic politics, economics, and culture are continually interwoven with those of Latin America. The concentration seeks to provide the critical international perspective increasingly demanded of informed citizens.

Interested students should contact LASP Acting Director Holly Rivers to enroll in the program and select courses. Students with foreign program experience in Latin America may receive credit toward the LASP minor. 
Students may replace one of their five required content courses with an essay on a topic related to Latin America. 

Learn More

The Latin American Studies Program is administered by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Latin American Studies Minor - Enroll

Fill out a form in the Dean of Students' office to add the minor. (The dean can verify how your courses are being counted toward College, major and minor requirements.) Bring the form to the LAS Office, 130 Hesburgh Center. You may also begin this process in the LAS Office. For more information, see:

Holly Rivers
Acting Director, LAS
130 Hesburgh Center
631-6023 • hrivers@nd.edu

What is required for the Latin American Studies minor?

1.) Four area studies courses (12 hours), distributed over three different departments. These courses may not be double-counted toward other requirements. Click here to see the Fall 2015 list of classes or find courses that meet the requirements on Inside ND in “Class Search” and search for “Latin American Studies (LAST)” in the Subject Category. Two of the four courses may come from study abroad.

2.) Senior Thesis or Essay. The Latin American Studies Program requires that all minors complete high quality research through one of the following options:

a.) A senior thesis in the major department that incorporates the study of Latin America into the research question. Integrating research of Latin America into the senior thesis allows students to spend significant time developing a well-researched thesis and is an excellent way to culminate the student’s academic experience. (Students choosing this option have a main adviser with expertise in Latin America or a second adviser with this expertise.)

A fifth course (3 hours) is required of these students.

b.) A senior essay written for the Latin American Studies Program. Students opting not to write a senior thesis or writing a thesis on a topic that does not incorporate the study of Latin America write a 30-page essay on a topic chosen by the student. Students selecting this option register for “Area Studies Essay: Latin America” course (AL 48003) and must have an adviser who ultimately grades the essay. More information regarding the requirements can be found here.

3.) Two semesters of Spanish or Portuguese, or demonstrated proficiency in either of these languages.

John J. Kennedy Prize for the Best Essay on Latin America

Each year, LASP awards the John J. Kennedy Prize for the best senior essay on Latin America. The award is named after a Notre Dame Political Science Department professor who did much to develop Latin American studies on this campus. It carries a monetary value of $300 and recognizes the recipient’s high quality work at Notre Dame. To qualify for this competition, papers must be submitted to the director of LASP. A faculty committee will review the essays and make the award. Winners will be recognized in the graduation program and during Senior Week ceremonies.


The Considine Award for Outstanding Student Contributions to the Study of or Service to the Catholic Church in Latin America

LASP and the Kellogg Institute bestow this annual award, comprising a certificate and a $500 cash prize, during commencement activities in the spring. Established in 2002-03 to commemorate the late Rev. John Considine, a Maryknoll Missioner who made pioneering contributions to the building of strong ties between the US Catholic Church and the Catholic Church in Latin America, the award recognizes a student whose activities and studies reflect Rev. Considine’s aspirations and lifework.


Experiencing The World (ETW) Fellowships

The Kellogg Institute offers an exciting opportunity for freshmen and sophomores to engage in initial exploratory projects in Latin America. The award funds exceptionally qualified and committed undergraduates who seek to undertake innovative projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. These may include research, non-profit work, study, or other activities that will increase their commitment to and knowledge of the region. Award recipients may receive up to $5000 to pursue field projects for up to three months in the region.


Quechua Summer Language Fellowships

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies offers several summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who would like to pursue the study of Quechua, the language of the Incas and of millions of indigenous peoples living in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Students attend classes at the Centro Tinku in Cusco, Peru. Classes are available at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Students participate in a 7 week study of the language and culture. For more information about the program, see http://www.centrotinku.com/.



Latin America Studies Program


Upcoming Deadlines

No Deadlines In The Near Future