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U.S. Latino/a Studies Program

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U.S. Latino/a Studies is devoted to the study of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and other groups of people living in the United States who trace their ancestry to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and who comprise the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. U.S. Latino/a Studies is to be distinguished from Latin American Studies; the latter focuses on people living in Latin America. The methodologies of study in U.S. Latino/a Studies are cross-disciplinary, drawing from the methods established in psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, religion, philosophy, history, literary studies, and other fields.

The minor in U.S. Latino/a Studies is an excellent addition to any major. Virtually any professional, in any field, working throughout the United States, can benefit from a greater understanding of the Latino/a communities in our nation.

Students can also build a major in U.S. Latino/a Studies within the Interdisciplinary Studies major administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Interdisciplinary Studies Major, Track in U.S. Latino/a Studies

Students can work with the US LS program director and the Interdisciplinary Studies adviser to develop an individualized major program. In addition to meeting the general requirements for the Interdisciplinary Studies major, students wishing to complete a track in U.S. Latino/a Studies must complete a minimum of 36 credits in the area of U.S. Latino/a Studies. At least 15 of the 36 credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above and 6 credit hours must be earned at the 400-level. Students must also meet the upper-level communication proficiency requirement by taking English 302 or 314.

Required Courses (36 credits)

Prerequisite for all US LS courses: (3 credit hours):

US LS 211Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Studies3
Two of the following Historical Foundations of US LS6
Latina/o History
History of Latin America I
History of Latin America II
Two of the following Social Science Foundations of US LS6
The Latino/Latina Experience in U.S. Society
U.S. Latino/a Psychology
Topics in Latin American Anthropology
Latin American Civilization
Latin America Today
Two of the following Political Foundations of US LS3
Latin American Government and Politics
Civil Rights and Ethnic Power
Two of the following Literature and Language in US LS6
Religion and U.S. Latino/a Literature
U.S. Latino/a Literature
Seminar on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America
Spanish for Global Professionals
Special Topics in US LS (Optional; maximum of 3 credit hours per semester up to 9 credit hours total)3-9
Independent Study
Additional Credits for the Major (if not taken to satisfy areas above; four of the following courses)12
Latina/o History
The Latino/Latina Experience in U.S. Society
Religion and U.S. Latino/a Literature
Latin American Government and Politics
U.S. Latino/a Literature
U.S. Latino/a Psychology
Civil Rights and Ethnic Power
Independent Study
Topics in Latin American Anthropology
History of Latin America I
History of Latin America II
Latin American Civilization
Latin America Today
Seminar on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America

Notes

  1. The list of acceptable courses may include courses not currently listed above. Contact the Director of US Latino/a Studies for information on eligible courses.
  2. The student must have an average grade of C in the required courses of the major.
  3. Fulfillment of the foreign language requirement with Spanish is strongly recommended, but not required.  A limit of six (6) credits of approved Spanish courses (304, 322, 324, 445) may be used as supporting courses for the major. Spanish course credits counted toward the major may not be applied to any other degree requirement.

US Latino/a Studies Minor

The minor in US Latino/a Studies requires a minimum of 15 credit hours. University policy indicates that minors must include at least 9 credits that are not applied to any other degree requirement.

Required course work in core courses (9 credits total):

US LS 211Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Studies3
And six credits from the following:6
Latina/o History
The Latino/Latina Experience in U.S. Society
Religion and U.S. Latino/a Literature
Latin American Government and Politics
U.S. Latino/a Literature
U.S. Latino/a Psychology
Civil Rights and Ethnic Power
Independent Study
Total Credits9

Six (6) additional credits from the following list (if not taken to satisfy area above):

US LS 240Latina/o History3
US LS 332The Latino/Latina Experience in U.S. Society3
US LS 342Religion and U.S. Latino/a Literature3
US LS 343Latin American Government and Politics3
US LS 344U.S. Latino/a Literature3
US LS 347U.S. Latino/a Psychology3
US LS 473Civil Rights and Ethnic Power3
US LS 490Independent Study1-3
ANTHR 323Topics in Latin American Anthropology3
HIST 340History of Latin America I3
HIST 341History of Latin America II3
SPAN 304Spanish for Global Professionals3
SPAN 322Latin American Civilization3
SPAN 324Latin America Today3
SPAN 445Seminar on the Literatures and Cultures of Latin America3

Notes:

  1. The list of acceptable courses may include courses not currently listed above. Contact the Director of US Latino/a Studies for information on eligible courses.
  2. A limit of six (6) credits of approved Spanish courses (304, 322, 324, 445) may be used as supporting courses for the minor. Spanish course credits counted toward the minor may not be applied to any other degree requirement.
  3. A maximum of 3 credit hours of US LS 490 (Independent Study) may applied toward the minor.

Expand all courses

Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.


History and current lives of the Latino/a peoples in the United States, including Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and South and Central Americans, as well as information specific to Iowa Latino/as, will be covered. Through readings, class discussions, writing assignments, and guest speakers, students will acquire accurate information and a solid understanding of the US Latino/a population and cultural perspectives. Elements of Latino/a culture to be covered include historical, sociological, educational, psychological, economic, and political facets.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with HIST). (3-0) Cr. 3.


Historical and cultural heritage of Latinas/os in the United States. The histories of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and other Latin American peoples in the U.S. emphasizing political and cultural convergence and congruencies.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with SOC). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: SOC 134
Examination of the social, historical, economic and political experience of varied Latino ethnic groups in the U.S. - primarily focusing on Mexican, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with RELIG). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered odd-numbered years.


A study of the religious behavior and attitudes expressed in the literature of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and other groups of people living in the U.S. who trace their ancestry to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with POL S). (3-0) Cr. 3.


Political institutions, processes, and contemporary issues. Selected countries examined intensively to illustrate generalizations. Role of parties, military, church, human rights, women, environmental issues, interest groups, ideology, and globalization.

(Cross-listed with ENGL). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: ENGL 250
An introduction to the literature of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and other Latino/a sub-groups. Special emphasis on themes such as ethnic relations and comparisons with EuroAmerican literary traditions.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with PSYCH). (3-0) Cr. 3. S.

Prereq: Two courses in Psychology including PSYCH 101
Historical, political, and social contexts of psychological and mental health constructs in terms of their validity and utility for use with Latino/a people in the U.S. Unique aspects of psychological functioning particular to Latino/a people in the U.S.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with HIST). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered even-numbered years.

Prereq: 3 credits of 200-level HIST at Iowa State and sophomore classification.
History of the Mexican American community in the U.S. from the 1820s to the present. Topics include community development, employment, social marginalization, racism/discrimination, depression and world wars, civil rights, ethnic power and politics.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(Cross-listed with AF AM, HIST). (3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: Sophomore classification
Comparative history of the civil rights and ethnic power movements (African American, Chicano, American Indian, Puerto Rican, among others) in the U.S. from World War II to the present. Topics include institutional foundations, leadership, gender and racial dynamics, and the convergences and divergences of these differing ethnic struggles for rights.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits.

Prereq: permission of instructor
Independent study under supervision of instructor. No more than 3 credits may count towards the U.S. Latino/a Studies certificate.