Latin American & Caribbean Studies

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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a B.A. and Minor, as well as a graduate certificate and a M.A. in Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LAA). The LAA major offers a multidisciplinary understanding of a broad region stretching from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego.

LAA majors take courses in language, arts, science, history, geography, economics, and cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. They learn about global topics like migration, human trafficking, environmental policy, democracy development, human rights, natural resource management, and international affairs, as these issues relate to the Americas. The degree may be customized according to the student’s interest in one or more of these issues.

The language skills, analytical tools and cultural awareness gained in earning a LAA degree are compatible with a broad range of careers in the public or private sector. Program graduates have found employment in government, Non-Profits & NGOs, health, social services, education, business, media, and the arts.

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Sample of Related Skills

  • Demonstrate substantive knowledge of the history, concepts, theories, actors, events, and processes pertaining to analysis of the Latin American Region 
  • Demonstrate research, analytical, and communication skills of the field of Latin American Studies 
  • Engage with the integrative, multidisciplinary nature of Latin American Studies and learn to apply multiple perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, as well as compelling moral and ethical considerations, to their lifelong educational and professional commitments 
  • Develop conversational, grammatical, reading, and writing proficiency in Spanish 
  • Expand historical and cultural awareness of Latin America and apply it to the study of the region 
  • Discern the validity of popular and scholarly sources and arguments addressing contentious Latin American and Latino issues 
  • Present persuasively and accurately the results of their research in written and oral formats aimed at various audiences 

Popular Career Paths

Business, Commerce, Trade: Uses foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work with international partners in all aspects of global business, management, banking, and trade.

Communications & Media: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work for domestic or international employers in the areas of journalism, broadcasting media, communications, public relations, and advertising.

Foreign Relations: Works with US government agencies and international non-profit organizations to inform and enhance relations between countries through foreign diplomacy, intelligence, policy, and law.

International Development & Human Services: Works with US government agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and advocate for economic, political, and social quality-of-life issues on behalf of those living abroad and those immigrating to the US.

Research: Involves conducting research to inform educational programs, policy development, and other educational or political interests.

Teaching/Education Administration: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to build educational systems in developing countries, oversee educational exchange programs for students and educators, and teach language skills domestically or abroad.

Jobs to Consider

Immigration Specialist/Analyst


English or Foreign Language Instructor

Foreign Exchange Trader

Foreign Service Officer

Fundraising/Development Officer

Grant Writer

Human Rights Advocate


Intelligence Specialist/Analyst

International Correspondent

International Program Coordinator

Places to Seek Employment

Domestic/Foreign Banking & Financial Institutions

Consulting Firms

Domestic/Foreign Corporations

International Trade Firms

Multilateral Organizations


Newspaper, Magazine, & Book Publishers

Non-Profit Organizations

US Federal Government & Military

US State & Local Governments


Research Institutes & Foundations

Public/Private Schools

Travel & Hospitality Providers

TV Networks and Film Studios


View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  2. Register for and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  3. Immerse yourself in foreign cultures though study abroad programs, international internships, volunteer programs, and/or personal travel.
  4. Seek out opportunities to interact with others of diverse nationalities and cultures to develop your language skills and intercultural competencies.
  5. If majoring in International Studies, identify global issues and foreign languages that interest you and specialize in these areas.
  6. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your areas of interest, such as: Global & International Studies Student Organization, AIESEC, Amnesty International, International Friends, KU Model United Nations, and Students for Global Awareness.
  7. Take LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers as an elective.
  8. Complete KU's Global Awareness Program.
  9. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  10. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. List of practice questions: ESL/TESOL (pdf), general interview (pdf).
  11. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
  12. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.

Job and Internship Search Resources

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