Special Programs

As part of the undergraduate program, student are able to take the following special programs and apply it towards their major or minor unless otherwise noted.


Honors is only available to students in the major. To receive honors, a student must:
  • Satisfy all lower-division requirements of the major program.
  • Complete 36 of the upper-division units.
  • Complete 12 units in a three-course sequence in the senior year consisting of LATI 199: Individual Study, LATI 190: Senior Seminar, and LATI 191: Honors Seminar.
  • Produce an original thesis based on primary research under the direction of a mentor selected from the Latin Americanist faculty and defend this thesis during the Spring Quarter before an interdisciplinary faculty committee.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major.

Independent Study - LATI 199 & 198

Independent Study courses give students the opportunity to explore in more detail what they have learned in the classroom. Students engage in field research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a faculty member. If a student wants to work individually with a professor, they enroll in LATI 199, Independent Study. If several students want to work as a team on the same project, they take LATI 198, Group Independent Study.

To enroll, a special studies application must be submitted to the Registrar's Office before the end of the add/drop period. Fill out the special studies application Special Studies 199 Form, taking care to read the instructions and requirements. Students should meet with a professor who has either performed research in an area they would like to pursue, or a professor whose course they have previously taken and enjoyed. The student and professor will decide together on a project proposal, including the objective, the method by which it will be carried out, and the type of finished product (paper, artifact, etc.) that will be submitted. The instructor must provide a reading list. Once both student and faculty sponsor have completed and signed the special studies form, it should be given to the undergraduate coordinator, who will obtain the necessary approvals in the department. When this is completed the form will be ready to take to the Registrar's Office for official enrollment in either LATI 198 or LATI 199. Plan early, allowing time for the proposal to be developed, signatures to be obtained, etc. Applications must be submitted by the end of week 1 or they will not be accepted.

Special study courses are highly recommended by the program. A special studies course may be used to satisfy an upper-division elective. Remember, special studies courses are taken P/NP, so only one may be used towards the major.

Study Abroad

Students in Latin American studies are encouraged to participate in the Education Abroad Program (EAP) in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, or Mexico, or in other study abroad programs offered by the Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Subject to approval by petition after courses have been completed (based on syllabi and course work); courses taken through EAP/OAP will be accepted for credit toward the major or minor.  A maximum of six UCSD upper-division courses can be petitioned for credit toward the major, and a maximum of two UCSD upper-division courses can be petitioned for credit toward the minor.

Students interested in studying abroad should see the Latin American Studies Student Affairs Coordinator to discuss their plan of study before they leave.  Information on EAP/OAP is given in the “Education Abroad Program” section of the UC San Diego General Catalog. Interested students should contact the Study Abroad Office. Financial aid can be used for EAP/OAP study, and special study-abroad scholarships are also available.

UCSD offers several ways for students to study abroad:

UCSD Department Opportunities:

Join us for the UCSD archaeological field school in Peru this summer! Students will participate in a new field investigation in the Locumba valley and study artifacts and remains from a Tiwanaku culture town and cemetery dating to the 8th century AD. You will learn archaeological research design, and methods of survey, field data collection, laboratory curation and analysis of ceramics, human skeletal and mummy collections, textiles and wooden and metal artifacts.
All students register for ANAR 119S, Archaeological Field and Lab Class (8 credits). Students may also optionally register for ANAR 157 Early Empires of the Andes (4 credits) which will require additional readings and meeting time. Prerequisites are Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

Academic Internship Program (AIP)

In partnership with the Academic Internship Program (AIP), the Latin American Studies program offers opportunities for practical learning through internships in community settings, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and businesses with activities related to Latin America, immigration, or Latino/a groups in the U.S.

To participate in the program students enroll in the upper division course AIP 197. Internships usually require an availability to intern 10 hours per week for the entire quarter. Interns work closely with faculty who supervise the research paper/project. AIP 197 can be counted as one of the elective courses required by the Latin American Studies major or minor. For detailed information, interested students should seek advice from the Latin American Studies Student Affairs Coordinator. They can also visit the website of the Academic Internship Program at http://aip.ucsd.edu.

Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP)

Latin American Studies majors and minors can participate in an in-depth, hands-on research experience through the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP). Call for applications will be sent out in Spring for the following year.

The MMFRP course offering below completes the requirements for the Minor in International Migration Studies when taken with one lower-division and one upper-division course:

•       LATI-122A (fall – 4 units): Teaches survey research methods used by social scientists

•       LATI-122B (winter – 12 units): Offers fieldwork experience focused on migration and education

•       LATI-122C (spring – 4 units): Focuses on analysis of primary data and preparation of publications 

Participation in all three quarters is mandatory, although exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Spanish proficiency is highly recommended. Students will work in binational teams with partners at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC). 

*LATI 122A/B/C can be counted as part of the elective courses required by the major in Latin American Studies.

Scholarships are available to cover travel and other expenses during fieldwork. For detailed information about the program's conditions and requirements, interested students should seek orientation from the Latin American Studies Student Affairs Coordinator. 

MMFRP Info for 2016-17

In the News:

USMEX Releases Preliminary Findings of Binational Education Study (2016)