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This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Honors in Latin American Studies

The Honors Program in Latin American Studies is open to majors in any field. The aim of the honors program is to prepare students to pursue individualized research on Latin America, culminating in the preparation of an honors thesis written 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), in the 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: HISTORY 70, Culture, Politics, and Society in Latin America
    2. For breadth: two 4-5-unit courses at the 100 level or higher with a focus on the region. These courses are normally taken during the sophomore and junior years. See courses listed as cognate course options under the Master of Arts program.
    3. For depth: one 4-5-unit course at the 100 level or higher with a focus on the region that explores an issue in depth of particular interest to the student, approved by the honors adviser. See courses listed as cognate course options under the Master of Arts program.
    4. LATINAM 198. Honors Thesis (1-10 units), under the supervision of the student's faculty 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. Core Latin American Studies course: LATINAM 201/301. Social Change in Latin America Since 1900. This Autumn Quarter honors seminar must be taken in the senior year.
    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. See courses listed as cognate course options under the Master of Arts program.
    7. Of the courses applied to 'b' and 'c' above, 10 units may be completed in Overseas Studies and 5 units may be taken as directed individual study. See OSP courses listed as cognate course options under the Master of Arts program.
  2. Fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement (See below and see courses listed under PORTLANG, PORTLIT, SPANLANG, and SPANLIT.)
  3. Submit an honors thesis which meets standards of scholarly excellence and is approved by the thesis adviser. If graduating in June, participate in the LAS honors symposium at the end of May.

More information about the honors program is available at


The minimum requirement for completion of the honors program is advanced proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese by any one of the following means:

  1. Completion of seven quarters of college-level study of Spanish or Portuguese.
  2. Completion of a course on Spanish or Portuguese language or literature, or on some other subject but taught in Spanish or Portuguese, at the 100-level or higher, with a letter grade of 'B' (3.0).
  3. Achievement of the advanced proficiency level on the ACTFL scale in a test administered by the Language Center.

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