Undergraduate Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies

Certificate Goals

The goal of the CLACS undergraduate certificate program is to provide students with knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean through a wide variety of interdisciplinary courses that students can choose from according to their academic and professional needs. 

The CLACS certificate is Duke's only Latin American Studies program that is both fully interdisciplinary and designed exclusively by Latin American and Caribbean specialists. The program encompasses all areas of academic inquiry at the university including the humanities, social sciences, arts and culture, natural sciences, and professions such as law, global health, and medicine. The certificate program benefits from CLACS’ status as Duke’s primary administrator of Latin America-related research funding and events programming; our students become part of a network that offers them learning opportunities outside the classroom as well as possibilities to obtain funding for research, service learning, and social entrepreneurship.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop knowledge of commonalities among and differences between several Latin American regions and their historical and contemporary development
  • Effectively apply interdisciplinary research methodologies and models of inquiry to understand social, political, and cultural processes in Latin America & the Caribbean
  • Develop strong oral and written communication skills in one or more of the following languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mayan languages, or Haitian Kreyol
  • Engage in "global learning" by understanding the interdependent relationship between the countries of the Western Hemisphere and the world; learning diverse economic, political, cultural, and environmental systems and practices in Latin America; and using their studies to think about and address pressing and enduring global issues.

Certificate Requirements

Introduction to Contemporary Latin America (LATAMER 121): This course will serve as an introduction into a number of problems and themes that currently shape Latin American society and culture, including efforts to come to terms with recent political violence, environmental change, economic transformation, migration, and cultural expressions. Offered once a year. 

Capstone Seminar in Latin American Studies: Each semester, several 400- and 500-level research-heavy courses from different departments will be designated as capstone seminars.

Three additional courses in which at least 50% of the student's graded work deals with Latin America and the Caribbean, two of which must be at or above the 300 level. 

Language Requirement: Meet the Trinity College Language Requirement in a Latin American or Caribbean language: https://trinity.duke.edu/undergraduate/academic-policies/foreign-language

Special Rules: 

  • To stress the interdisciplinary aspect of the certificate, at least three different departments must be represented overall. 

To officially enroll students should return their completed application form to Senior Program Coordinator Patrick Cheney, patrick.cheney@duke.edu. Undergraduate students must also contact the Registrar's office: 919-684-2813 or registrar@duke.edu to officiallly enroll in the undergraduate certificate program.

CLACS undergraduate certificate application form

Course approval form for undergraduate certificate