Our Mission

Our mission is to advance the study and teaching of Latin America at UBC and throughout the lower mainland. Our program serves as a hub for Latin American-related activities involving teaching, research and community outreach, and aims to facilitate the development of Latin America-related curriculum and public events. With over 35 faculty members ranging across 15 departments and 5 different UBC Schools, our program offers a wide variety of options to students interested in pursuing Latin American Studies. Many LAS Affiliated Faculty pursue interdisciplinary and transnational approaches, covering a variety of Latin American countries, regions and fields of study.

Our Major and Minor Programs

Our major and minor programs are an opportunity for students to take courses in multiple departments, providing students with an understanding of the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the region. The LAS major and minor are designed to provide students with the flexibility to pursue their interests through different disciplines, and opportunities to develop and fine-tune the language skills and intercultural competencies that serve as the foundation for multiple postgraduate and career pathways. In addition to our undergraduate programs, students can pursue graduate study in Latin America-related topics in a variety of UBC units.

Our Graduates

LAS students graduate with wide-ranging skills that are in demand in diverse industries and governmental settings. The Latin American Studies major and minor serve as the foundation for careers in public service, business, education, humanitarian work, law, health care, non-profit organizations, NGOs, foreign service, tourism, and many other fields. Students are strongly encouraged to combine the Latin American Studies major or minor with a major or minor in another discipline, to expand their multi-disciplinary skills even further.

Skills LAS Students Develop:

  • Diversity and (inter)cultural awareness
  • Language proficiency
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication, mediation and translation skills
  • Effective research and writing skills

Possible Career Paths:

  • Government and Politics
  • Foreign Service
  • Education
  • International Business
  • Global Health and Medicine
  • Public Administration
  • Tourism Industry
  • Land and Food Industries
  • International Law
  • Translator / Interpreter
  • Non-profits/NGOs


The Latin American Studies Program at UBC dates from the early 1990s. A group of leading Latin Americanists on campus—many of them now Professors emeriti, comprising Marvin Cohodas (Art History), Roderick Barman (History), Alfred Siemens (Geography), Rita De Grandis, Marian Coope, Antonio Urello, and Isaac Rubio (Spanish), Michael Blake and Blanca Muratorio (Anthropology), and former Dean of Arts Patricia Marchak (Sociology)—along with a number of current faculty, including William French (History), laid the foundations for what would become a dynamic, long-lasting and successful undergraduate interdisciplinary program in the Faculty of Arts. Since that time, it has evolved from a thematic option within the General B.A. to a program offering its own Major and Minor degrees.

Faculty members in the Latin American Studies Program in their respective disciplines also supervise a growing number of graduate students who have presented at interdisciplinary graduate conferences held at UBC and elsewhere.


Alessandra Santos, Chair
Latin American Studies program
University of British Columbia

Phone: 604-822-2346

Email: alessandra.santos@ubc.ca