Jul 22, 2024  

Latin American Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments and Interdisciplinary Minors

Faculty advisory group:

Chair:  Associate Professor Mangan
Professors: Maiz-Peña, Peña, Ringle
Associate Professors: Botelho, Crandall (on sabbatical 2014-2015), Willis (on sabbatical Fall 2014), Samson (on sabbatical Spring 2015)
Assistant Professors: Boyer, Fitz, González (on sabbatical 2014-2015) 

Major Requirements

I. Ten courses to include:

a. Introduction to Latin American Studies

e. No more than five courses may be credited to any one department.

f. Senior Capstone Seminar: a lengthy paper that demonstrates an understanding of how different disciplines can inform each other in the study of Latin America.

g. Honors in Latin American Studies

 A major desiring to become a candidate for honors in Latin American Studies must apply in writing to the department at the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.  Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.2 and a GPA of 3.5 in all course work taken in the major at the time of application.  In order to receive honors, a student must, in addition to maintaining this level of performance, complete an independent study dedicated to research and writing the honors thesis (LAS 495) during the fall semester.  Students will complete the written thesis in the spring as they complete the senior capstone course (LAS 490).  The independent study in fall of the senior year will be an additional course for the student, thus the LAS major seeking honors must complete 11 courses total for the major.  Furthermore, for honors, the thesis must receive a grade of at least A-, as well as a departmental recommendation.  The department may, upon awarding a thesis grade of A and given evidence of continued high academic achievement, recommend departmental high honors.

II. Satisfy the language requirement.

For Spanish: A 300- or 400-level Davidson College course taught in Spanish or an analogous course transferred, with the approval of the Chair, from another institution.

For Portuguese: Certification by the Chair, following consultation with a Portuguese language instructor.

III. Study Abroad or other significant off-campus experience

Approved study abroad in Latin American/Latino communities prior to graduation.  Extended stay in the region is essential for gaining linguistic and cultural fluency associated with an area studies major.  Students may appeal this requirement in exceptional circumstances.


  • One independent study can be included among the electives.
  • One course may be “Partial Latin American/Latino Studies Content.”
  • No more than two course may be counted toward other majors or interdisciplinary minors.
  • Normally, a maximum of three ungraded courses may come from another institution.  The Chair may approve a greater number under circumstances such as a rigorous year-long study abroad.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments and Interdisciplinary Minors