Latin American Studies
Can you major in this program? No
Can you minor in this program? Yes
Emphasis within the major: determined by the student
Popular second majors: Spanish, international studies, environmental science
This program is valuable to students planning to live and work in areas with strong Hispanic ties.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
Latin American Studies at Stetson University is a multidisciplinary and experientially oriented program that develops students’ understanding of the region's social, cultural, political and economic systems.
The minor is particularly valuable for students planning to live and work in the region or in states with strong Hispanic ties. Latin America is an area of ever-growing importance to the United States, and Florida is a primary gateway to the region.
A Distinctive Program
Stetson University's Latin American Studies program is enhanced by the many opportunities afforded to students to study and experience life directly in the region. Students must complete at least one experientially oriented credit-bearing course as part of the minor. This can include the Mentored Field Experience, study abroad in Latin America and approved internships.
Students in the Latin American minor have studied and completed internships in countries including Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Belize, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. Most students who take part in our internships return to the United States changed forever.
Academics and Research
All students are encouraged to do independent research. Participants in internships and the Mentored Field Experiences do extensive independent work.
Facilities and opportunities
Students have the opportunity to participate in Mentored Field Experience field courses in Latin America. The program is offered every year to four students. Students also have the opportunity to earn academic credit in the Internship in the Mexican-American Community course, which allows students to use their developing language skills among members of the local Mexican-American population.
Preparation for graduate study
The minor provides general background preparation for those planning on working in Latin America or with Latin Americans.
Awards and Recognition
The program has a diverse faculty with varied fields of interest. Courses are taught by specialists in economics, environmental science, language, literature, political science, sociology and theatre arts. Our faculty members include a winner of the university's McEniry Award, the most distinguished award for teaching offered by Stetson University. Faculty include:
- J. Anthony Abbott, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; carbon footprints and accounting, renewable energy systems and policy, sustainable agriculture, Latin American geography, political ecology
- Pamela Cappas-Toro, Ph.D., University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign; elementary Spanish, reading culture
- Ana Eire, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University; Hispanic poetry, Spanish and Spanish-American twentieth-century literature, film studies and cultural history
- Kenneth W. McCoy, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University; Latin American theater (website)
- Nicole Mottier, Ph.D., University of Chicago; early world civilizations, Latin America
- William R. Nylen, Ph.D, Columbia University; democratization in Latin America
- Robert K. Sitler, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; the 2012 phenomenon, Maya culture, local Mexican-American community, language acquisition
Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), which provides funding for equipment, room and board and travel.
The department gives the annual Robert L. Smith Award for outstanding student in Latin American Studies.
Beyond the Classroom
Students have the opportunity to work in the summer at the Instituto Campechano in Campeche, Mexico, and to participate in semester-long internships at facilities in the local Mexican-American community.
The choices afforded to a student in this program are varied. Our graduates have gone on to pursue graduate studies in Latin American Studies, work in Colombia at a language school, join the Peace Corps and become a medical missionary in Haiti.