The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) of the University of Massachusetts Amherst promotes research, training, and public engagement on the histories, cultures, and politics of Latin American and Caribbean peoples across the Americas and throughout the world. Bridging the divide that historically has separated Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies as institutionalized knowledge formations with distinctive intellectual genealogies, political trajectories, and bureaucratic moorings at U.S. universities is central to our mission. The Center seeks to be a hemispheric, crossborder space for critical reflection, exchange, and intellectual production. We aim to engage in genuinely inter-disciplinary work, fostering the creative convergence of discipline-based knowledges. CLACLS is committed to sustaining links with Latin American and Caribbean communities in the U.S. and across the Americas, as well as to bringing the alternative knowledge produced in those communities to bear on our teaching and research.

Undergraduate Certificate and Minor 

The Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies certificate and minor, provide a comprehensive view of Latin America from the perspectives of anthropology, geography, political science, economics, Spanish and Portuguese literatures, communication, history, sociology, and other fields. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the University's Study Abroad Programs in Latin America and to spend a summer, semester, or year abroad. 

Career Opportunities 

The main goal of the Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies Certificate and Minor Programs is to enable students, regardless of their major, to develop a concentration in the area as a supplement to their regular disciplinary studies. This concentration has proved very helpful in preparing students for the following types of occupations: U.S. Governmental Agencies (State Department, Foreign Service, U.S. Information Service, Agency for International Development, etc.); International Development Organizations (Organization of American States, Inter-American Development Bank); multinational corporations with branches in Latin America; and domestic, state and local agencies serving Latinos. For some jobs, additional graduate work in either Latin American, Caribbean and/or Latino Studies or a traditional discipline may be necessary. Many students go on to pursue M.A. or Ph.D. degrees.