Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the history, politics, social organization, economy, geography, music, religion, art, and literature of Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

A student may earn the certificate or the minor in Latin American Studies, but not both. Either program will help you prepare for graduate study and for careers in Latin America–related businesses, bilingual and bicultural education, teaching, communications, government, community organizing, and international work.

Latin American Studies Certificate

This certificate is open to undergraduate students, except those who are earning a major in international studies with a track in Latin American Studies or a minor in Latin American Studies, and to all individuals not enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program.

The certificate is awarded with or without an earned undergraduate degree. Review our Areas of Study to select a major. 

Students not affiliated with the University of Iowa who want to earn the certificate without a degree should apply to UI as a non-degree-seeking student.

Latin American Studies Minor

The undergraduate minor in Latin American Studies requires a minimum of 15 s.h. in Latin American Studies Program approved courses, including at least 12 s.h. of credit earned at the University of Iowa. 

A student earning the minor in Latin American Studies may not earn the Certificate in Latin American Studies and may not earn an undergraduate major in International Studies with the Latin American Studies track. 


Latin American Studies
Latin American Studies
Student Opportunities

The Latin American Studies Program organizes a range of public programming activities each semester, including film series, photography and art exhibits, conferences, roundtable discussions, and lectures. Recent events include public lectures on community media and violence in Mexico and Colombia and on the cultural legacies of the 1960s in Latin American, and the annual Charles A. Hale Lecture in Latin American Studies. 


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid also are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 


All students develop an individual certificate plan of study with the Latin American Studies Program academic adviser. 

In cooperation with the Office for Study Abroad, Latin American Studies Program faculty members facilitate student participation in programs in many different Latin American countries. Programs range from intensive language study to group programs with a special focus.

The Latin American Studies Program highly recommends study abroad in Latin America. Credit may be counted toward requirements for the certificate and the minor with prior approval by the Latin American Studies Program director. Contact the Latin American Studies Program for details. 

To learn about required course work, see Latin American Studies in the UI General Catalog