Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies (LAS) offers students the opportunity to explore the cultures, languages, history, and societies of Latin America through a variety of lenses with a large and diverse faculty. The program provides a strong foundation in Latin American language skills and an interdisciplinary lenses to analyze complex issues that build skillsets that are increasingly valuable in business, public service or further professional training. 

LAS at UNM is regarded as one of the best LAS programs in the U.S., pulling together 100+ faculty members from over 30 departments across campus to allow students to build a program of study tailored to their interests and future career goals. UNM's Latin American library collections and resources are among the best in the country, with extensive print collections in Latin American and Iberian content, as well as Chicano, Indigenous, and Southwest studies.

We encourage students to learn Spanish and/or Portuguese (the primary languages spoken across Latin America), and also work with the Linguistics department to offer classes on Indigenous languages of Latin America, such as Ki'iche' Maya, Nahuatl, Quechua and Quichua (Language Descriptions).

LAS is the ideal major for students who want to learn more about a world region that is critically important to both New Mexico and the US. Our students choose LAS for a variety of reasons: to learn more about their heritage, to gain practical skills to make a change in the world, to deepen language proficiency, and to develop critical thinking and cultural competencies. Students choose from one of the following concentrations to build a meaningful program that combines interdisciplinary study with geographic expertise:

  • Arts, literature and cultural studies 
  • Conflict, peace and rights 
  • Environmental governance and resilience 
  • History and society 
  • Indigeneity in the Americas 
  • Markets and development 

Latin American content courses can be found in a variety of other UNM colleges and departments, including, but not limited to, Anderson School of Management (International Management), College of Education and Human Sciences, School of Law, College of Population Health, College of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Planning; the Departments of: Anthropology, Economics, Geography and Environmental Studies, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese

The undergraduate program in Latin American Studies provides a solid foundation in language skills and cultural competence for careers in business, education, public service, humanitarian work, and health care, among others, or for further graduate/professional training. For students who choose to study abroad in a Latin American country, the LAS degree can deepen their understanding of the region before departure and upon return.   

We also award funding for students to study foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies through a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for those who study Portuguese, Quechua, Nahuatl, and Yucatec Maya.

Undergraduate Program

Departmental Honors

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • B.A. Latin American Studies
  • Latin American Studies

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
Department Email:
Department Location:
801 Yale Blvd NE - LAII (Latin American / Iberian Institute, Bldg 165)

Department/Program Website