In 2007, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School approved the Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies doctoral minor. It became the first such program to be offered in this field at UW–Madison as well as the University of Wisconsin System. The Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies minor program offers a comparative and transnational approach to the study of Mexican- and Latin-American-origin communities in the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to study issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The interdisciplinary program is designed to provide students with an extensive knowledge base and the intellectual tools to understand the unity and diversity of US Latina/o populations. The primary objective of the program is to offer students a multidisciplinary, broad-based perspective on the study of Chicana/os and Latina/os, as well as to introduce them to the central questions, topics, and applications within this field of inquiry. Chicana/o and Latina/o studies maintains a central focus on US Chicana/o and Latina/o populations, offering a variety of courses, some focusing on particular national-origin groups or specific academic disciplines, and others organized comparatively and across disciplinary boundaries.

Graduate students interested in a minor in Chicana/o and Latina/o studies are required to take a minimum of 12 credits of graduate-level coursework (numbered 300 and above) that has been reviewed and approved for its relevance to the CLS program. A list of current CLS courses can be found here. In addition to these courses, CLS faculty members offer courses in their home departments which may count toward the minor.  

These courses have a specific emphasis on Chicana/o and Latina/o issues or have a central focus on comparative cultures with which Chicana/o and Latina/o issues are emphasized. Graduate students are expected to complete graduate-level work (e.g., research and/or scholarly papers and classroom presentations) and meet with faculty to supplement their graduate learning experience. Because many courses taught by faculty across the campus can fulfill these criteria, the program has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate students’ primary fields of study and interests. Each student’s focus will be determined in consultation between the student, the CLS faculty mentor, and the CLS director.

Faculty: See Faculty on the program website.