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Office of the University Registrar

2005-06 Undergraduate Catalog

Center for Latin American Studies


The Center for Latin American Studies coordinates teaching, research and service activities related to Latin America and the Caribbean. The center offers an undergraduate certificate and a minor through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the colleges of Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Education, Fine Arts, Journalism and Communications, and others by arrangement.

The center has 14 core faculty members and more than 130 affiliates from 40 departments, who teach more than 227 undergraduate and graduate courses available to undergraduates in Latin American and Caribbean studies.

The center sponsors speakers, an annual conference, a film series, art exhibits and musical performances. It supports publication of scholarly work and a newsletter, provides an educational outreach service, and cooperates with other units of the university in overseas research and training programs. Most of these activities are open to undergraduates.

Academic Programs

The Center for Latin American Studies offers a minor and an undergraduate certificate program. The undergraduate minor and certificate are designed for students interested in Latin America and/or the Caribbean and who intend to pursue graduate studies or a career in Latin American or Caribbean-related business, government service or teaching. The certificate is a diploma-like document issued by the center to acknowledge a concentration within and beyond a studentís major.

An individually designed major in Latin American Studies is possible through the interdisciplinary majors program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for students whose academic goals cannot be achieved with the existing academic programs in Latin American Studies. A major is possible only by acceptance into the CLAS interdisciplinary studies program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, refer to Center for Latin American Studies, Grinter Hall, Room 319, 352-392-0375, Ext. 807. Students interested in the minor, certificate or major should first consult their department's undergraduate adviser, then the center's undergraduate adviser, Cristina Espinosa, at

Study in Latin America

Candidates for both the minor and the certificate are encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or an academic year living in a Latin American country.

The Center for Latin American Studies supports three overseas language and culture study programs: in Brazil, Mexico and Miami/Haiti. The UF programs and other SUS (State University System) programs are usually the best possible value in overseas study and are catered to area-studies students. The Brazil and Mexico programs feature immersion through homestay housing with local families, and all three programs provide language training customized to a studentís needs and contextualized within a concurrent study of the culture. Intermediate-level language study may count as elective credits and advanced level as core credits toward the minor or certificate in Latin American Studies. Guaranteed loans may be used for these programs.

Credits obtained from similar programs offered by other institutions may transfer to UF and may be applied to the minor or certificate with prior approval from the UF International Center, the studentís major department and the undergraduate adviser at the Center for Latin American Studies.

Rio de Janeiro: This summer program in Brazilian Portuguese and Brazilian culture, established in 1978, is co-sponsored by Florida International University and held in Rio at the Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos. The six-week program yields six credit hours. To participate, students must have completed one semester of Portuguese (intensive Portuguese POR 3010 is offered Summer A) or two semesters of Spanish.

Mérida (Yucatán), Mexico: Since 1985, the center has sponsored a summer and semester or academic-year program at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Summer-program students receive nine credit hours, five in Spanish conversation (intermediate or advanced level) and four in either ecology or anthropology. Students in the semester or academic-year program, which is designed for students with advanced Spanish-language proficiency, take regular courses at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Two university semesters of Spanish are required for the summer program and four semesters for the academic semester or year programs.

Miami and Haiti: This summer program for the study of Haitian Créole language and Haitian culture is co-sponsored by Florida International University (FIU). It is held in Miami and includes a fieldtrip to Haiti. Participants are housed on the FIU campus.

For related study-abroad options, please refer to Study Abroad Services or contact the study-broad adviser at