Latin American Culture

The study of Latin American culture focuses on the diverse regions of North and South America, where Spanish and Portuguese are predominantly spoken, as well as, to a lesser extent, French. Read on to learn more about career and education options for students of Latin American culture.

Is Latin American Culture for Me?

Overview of the Field

Latin America encompasses the Caribbean Islands and countries from Mexico to Chile in North and South America. Spanish and Portuguese are the primary languages spoken in Latin America, with French and local dialects spoken less frequently.

Education Overview

Students who major in Latin American studies focus on the diverse societies and cultures of this part of the world. Coursework is usually interdisciplinary and might cover topics in American history, globalization immigration and transnationalism. Programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and can lead to a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Some colleges and universities also offer dual degree programs, which can culminate in a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and a degree in law, business administration or community and regional planning.

Career Options

Successful completion of a degree program in Latin American studies may lead to careers in business, the nonprofit sector and education. Other career tracks include working for government agencies like the Foreign Service and Peace Corps, as well as international organizations, such as the United Nations and World Bank.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), university professors who teach area, ethnic and cultural studies earned a mean annual wage of $77,550 in May 2013. In the same year, lawyers earned a mean annual wage of $131,990, while management analysts earned $89,990 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Latin American Culture?

Undergraduate Programs

You can begin by pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Iberian and Latin American Cultures. Over the course of four years, you'll most likely take courses in Latin American history and literature, art, music and folklore. Cultural perspectives and topics in government and politics will also be covered, along with instruction in Spanish and Portuguese. Studying abroad can be beneficial; destinations can include Santiago, Chile or Barcelona, Spain, as well as Brazil and Portugal.

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees are also available in Iberian and Latin American cultures, with a working knowledge of Spanish required for the latter. Graduate courses can include topics in literary and cultural theory, as well as advanced language courses in Portuguese or Catalan. Courses devoted to art history, linguistics, education and philosophy may also play a major role in the curriculum. Areas of specialization associated with a Ph.D. program can include medieval Iberian literature, colonial culture or U.S. Latin/Chicano relations. As a Ph.D. candidate, you'll also research, write and defend a dissertation related to your field of special interest.

Related Articles for Latin American Culture

View More Articles

Related Videos

  • What Does a Certified Reading Specialist Do? - Video

    A Certified Reading Specialist is a licensed teacher who helps aid in reading instruction for kindergarten through twelfth grade. CRS certification is often earned as part of a master's degree program or in addition to such a program.
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Vanderbilt University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • University of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville