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Honors in Latin American Studies

The Honors Program in Latin American Studies is open to undergraduate students in any major. The aim of the honors program is to prepare students to pursue individualized research on Latin America, culminating in an honors thesis completed under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The honors program is particularly suited to the student who wishes to go on to graduate school or pursue employment in an institution emphasizing research and independent work. Although not required, students are encouraged to undertake independent field research in Latin America for their thesis. It is strongly recommended that students enroll in HISTORY 299X, Design and Methodology for International Field Research (1 unit), during their sophomore or junior year for an overview of research design and methods for international field research.

Admission to the honors program is by application by the end of the junior year. Applications are reviewed and approved by the CLAS director and associate director. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 (B+) or higher and maintain this average in courses taken to satisfy the requirements. Courses must be taken for a letter grade where that option is available. Courses credited toward LAS honors may be double-counted toward the student's major requirements.

To graduate with interdisciplinary honors in Latin American Studies a student must:

  1. Complete a total of 35 units in courses certified for honors by the Center for Latin American Studies, distributed as follows:
    1. A 5-unit survey course, normally taken in the sophomore year: either HISTORY 170B, Culture, Society and Politics in Latin America or an approved substitute.
    2. For breadth: two 4-5-unit courses at the 100-level or higher with a focus on Latin America. These courses are normally taken during the sophomore and junior years. For approved courses, see the "Latin American Studies Cognate Courses" section of this bulletin.
    3. For depth: one 4-5-unit course, approved by the honors adviser, at the 100-level or higher with a focus on Latin America that explores in depth an issue of particular interest to the student. See the "Latin American Studies Cognate Courses" section of this bulletin.
    4. LATINAM 198, Honors Thesis (1-10 units), under the supervision of the honors adviser. Normally these units are spread over two or three quarters of the senior year and are devoted to the completion of the honors thesis.
    5. Honors Seminar in Latin American social history, taken in the senior year. Please consult the Center for Latin American Studies website for the 2012-13 honors seminar.
    6. Additional courses at the 100-level or higher focusing on Latin America to bring the total to 35 units. Up to 5 units may come from study of Spanish or Portuguese beyond the seventh quarter. For approved courses, see the "Latin American Studies Cognate Courses" section of this bulletin.
    7. Of the courses applied to 'b' and 'c' above, up to 10 units may be completed in Overseas Studies, and up to 5 units may be taken as directed individual study. For approved Overseas Studies courses, see the "Latin American Studies Cognate Courses" section of this bulletin.
    8. All courses to be counted toward the honors program must be taken for a letter grade.
  2. Fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement. The minimum requirement for completion of the honors program in Latin American Studies is advanced proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese by any one of the following means:
    1. Successful completion of seven quarters of college-level study of Spanish or Portuguese.
    2. Completion of a course taught in Spanish or Portuguese at the 100-level or higher, with a letter grade of 'B' (3.0) or higher. This may be a course on Spanish or Portuguese language or literature, or another subject, as long as it fulfills the above criteria.
  3. Achievement of the advanced proficiency level on the ACTFL scale in a test administered by the Stanford Language Center. Contact the Language Center for test dates and procedures.
  4. Submit an honors thesis that meets standards of scholarly excellence and is approved by the thesis adviser. If graduating in June, participate in the LAS honors symposium in late May or early June.

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