Latin American & Caribbean Studies
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.
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
Places to Seek Employment
Domestic/Foreign Banking & Financial Institutions
International Trade Firms
Newspaper, Magazine, & Book Publishers
US Federal Government & Military
US State & Local Governments
Research Institutes & Foundations
Travel & Hospitality Providers
TV Networks and Film Studios
View specific employers by state.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Immerse yourself in foreign cultures though study abroad programs, international internships, volunteer programs, and/or personal travel.
- Seek out opportunities to interact with others of diverse nationalities and cultures to develop your language skills and intercultural competencies.
- If majoring in International Studies, identify global issues and foreign languages that interest you and specialize in these areas.
- 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.
- Take LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers as an elective.
- Complete KU's Global Awareness Program.
- 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.
- 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).
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Brookings - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign policy, economic studies, and global economy/development
- Cultural Vistas - non-profit organization that offers international internships, fellowships, and other global programs
- Central Intelligence Agency Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the CIA
- Council on Foreign Relations - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign relations
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) - offers teaching programs in nearly 10 countries around the world
- Dave's ESL Cafe - comprehensive website about teaching ESL; includes job postings, discussion forums, and certification program information
- Department of Homeland Security Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the DHS
- Department of State Careers - explore career paths and current jobs and internship openings within the DOS
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the FBI
- Foreign Policy Research Institute - non-profit devoted to research and public education on international affairs; includes jobs, internships, and a think tank directory
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more from career.ku.edu
- Human Rights Watch - non-profit organization that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in human rights advocacy
- International Job Links - more from career.ku.edu
- Internships USA - internships in international affairs, law & policy, and human rights
- MakingtheDifference.org - job profiles of education jobs in the federal government including available positions and number of positions by region and governmental agency
- LanguageCorps - programs for teaching English abroad in 19 countries around the world
- LatPro - free job board for Latino/a and other Spanish-speaking bilingual professionals
- NABE: National Association for Bilingual Education - professional association for bilingual education administrators and teachers; includes a free job board
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators - career information and job listings for international educators
- PeaceCorps - federal service program that currently sends US volunteers to serve abroad in over 75 countries; Connect with KU's PeaceCorps representative
- Peru Volunteer and Travel - program that offers opportunities to volunteer in several different fields while immersing oneself in the native culture of Peru
- RAND Corporation - think tank that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in international affairs and national security
- TwoLingos.com - free job board for bilingual professionals
- United Nations - explore UN career paths and current job and internship openings; Connect with KU's Model UN group
- US Citizenship & Immigration Services - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the USCIS
- Working Abroad Resources - more from career.ku.edu
- Youth at the United Nations - list of internships through the United Nations system and other international organizations.