Students should contact the LACIS undergraduate advisor in order to declare the major.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree requirements.


Mathematics Complete two courses of 3+ credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level in MATH, COMP SCI, or STAT subjects. A maximum of one course in each of COMP SCI and STAT subjects counts toward this requirement.
Foreign Language Complete the third unit of a foreign language.
L&S Breadth Complete:
• 12 credits of Humanities, which must include at least 6 credits of Literature; and
• 12 credits of Social Science; and
• 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include 6 credits of Biological Science and 6 credits of Physical Science.
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework Complete at least 108 credits.
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced Coursework Complete at least 60 credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level.
Major Declare and complete at least one major.
Total Credits Complete at least 120 credits.
UW-Madison Experience Complete both:
• 30 credits in residence, overall, and
• 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
Quality of Work • 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
• 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level coursework at UW–Madison


Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements. They do not need to complete the L&S Degree Requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Introduction to Latin America (complete one course):3
Latin America from 1780 to 1940
Modern Latin America
The U.S. & Latin America from the Colonial Era to the Present: A Critical Survey
Latin America: An Introduction
Breadth/Interdisciplinary Requirement (Complete one course from each of the following two sequences)6
Humanities/Education/Politics (Human-Centered) (Complete one course)
Cultural Cross Currents: West African Dance/Music in the Americas
The Caribbean and its Diasporas
Cut 'n' Mix: Music, Race, and Culture in the Caribbean
Mexican-American Politics
Latinas: Self Identity and Social Change
Race, Ethnicity, and Media
Survey of Latino and Latina Popular Culture
Globalizing Education
Introduction to International Education Development
Globalization and Education
Women's International Human Rights
International Migration, Health, and Human Rights
Latinx Feminisms: Women's Lives, Work, and Activism
Introduction to International Studies
Social Movements and Revolutions in Latin America
Spanish Literary Masterpieces in Translation
Cultural Cross Currents: West African Dance/Music in the Americas
Latin-American Politics
Social Movements and Revolutions in Latin America
Environment/Economy/Health/Agriculture (Environment and Economy) (Complete one course)
Rainforests and Coral Reefs
Food, Culture, and Society
Forests of the World
International Development and Gender
Environmental Conservation
World Regions in Global Context
Latin America
World Vegetable Crops
Tropical Horticultural Systems
Tropical Horticultural Systems International Field Study
Labor in the Americas: US & Mexico in Comparative & Historical Perspective
Topics in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies 1
Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives
Food, Culture, and Society
Depth/Interdisciplinary Requirement (Complete three courses) 9
Contemporary African and Caribbean Drama
Music, Race, And Culture in Brazil
Elementary Quechua 2
Elementary Quechua 2
Intermediate Quechua 2
Advanced Quechua 2
First Semester Yucatec Maya 2
Second Semester Yucatec Maya 2
Primate Behavioral Ecology
Primate Conservation
Chicana/o and Latina/o History
Latino/as and Media
Colony, Nation, and Minority: The Puerto Ricans' World
Ethnicity, Race, and Justice
Immigration, Crime, and Enforcement
Sociodemographic Analysis of Mexican Migration
Dimensions of Latin@ Mental Health Services
Understanding Latino Families and Communities
Internationalizing Educational Knowledge
Latin American Economic Development
Chicana/o and Latina/o Literatures
Postcolonial Theatre: Drama, Theory and Performance in the Global South
People, Wildlife and Landscapes
Conservation Biology
The Humid Tropics: Ecology, Subsistence, and Development
American Foreign Relations, 1901 to the Present
Revolution and Conflict in Modern Latin America
Multi-Racial Societies in Latin America
Disease, Medicine and Public Health in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean
Mass Communication in Developing Nations
Topics in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies 1
Latino History and Politics
Contentious Politics
Sociodemographic Analysis of Mexican Migration
Sociology of Developing Societies/Third World
Language & Cultural Studies: Complete three courses.9
Elementary Quechua 3
Elementary Quechua 3
Intermediate Quechua 3
Advanced Quechua 3
First Semester Yucatec Maya 3
Second Semester Yucatec Maya 3
Third Semester Portuguese
Fourth Semester Portuguese
Portuguese for Business
Introduction to Luso-Brazilian Literatures
Third Year Conversation and Composition
Third Year Conversation and Composition
Intensive Portuguese
Intensive Portuguese
Fourth Year Composition and Conversation
Fourth Year Composition and Conversation
Portuguese Civilization
Brazilian Civilization
Historical and Cultural Traditions of Brazil
Survey of Portuguese Literature before 1825
Survey of Brazilian Literature before 1890
Lusophone African Literature
Survey of Portuguese Literature since 1825
Survey of Brazilian Literature since 1890
Topics in Portuguese: Study Abroad
Topics in Luso-Brazilian Literature
Topics in Luso-Brazilian Culture
Introduction to Hispanic Cultures
Introduction to Hispanic Literatures
Lying, Swearing, and Breaking the Rules: An Introduction to the Linguistic Study of Spanish
Intermediate Language Practice with Emphasis on Writing and Grammar
Advanced Language Practice
Spanish for Nursing
Topics in Spanish Language Practice
Survey of Early Hispanic Literature
Advanced Language Practice with Emphasis on Expository Writing
Survey of Modern Spanish Literature
Advanced Conversation
Survey of Spanish American Literature
Spanish for Business
Spanish Business Area Studies
Spanish Civilization
Spanish American Civilization
Survey of Latino and Latina Popular Culture
Literatura de la Edad Media Castellana (ss. XII-XV)
Literatura del Siglo de Oro
Literature of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Literature of the Twentieth Century
Literatura Hispanoamericana
The Spanish American Short Story
Spanish American Theater and Drama
Spanish American Poetry and Essay
Topics in Spanish American Literature
Topics in Hispanic Culture (The Beautiful Game, Human Rights: Argentina/Chile)
Topics in Latinx Culture
Undergraduate Seminars in Hispanic Literature/Culture/Linguistics
Hispanic Screen Studies
Study Abroad in Spanish Language Practice
Study Abroad in Spanish Linguistics
Study Abroad in Hispanic Literatures
Study Abroad in Hispanic Cultures
Latin American Rock Cultures
Latin American Literature and Human Rights
LACIS Seminar (Complete one course)3
Topics in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (Only topics offered for at least 3 credits may meet this requirement.) 1
Culture and the Environment in the Luso-Hispanic World
Undergraduate Seminars in Hispanic Literature/Culture/Linguistics
Total Credits30

Residence and quality of work

  • 2.000 GPA in all LACIS and major courses
  • 2.000 GPA on at least 15 credits of upper-level work (courses with intermediate or advanced designation) in the major, in residence 
  • 15 credits in LACIS, taken on the UW–Madison campus

Honors in the Major

Students may declare Honors in the Major in consultation with the LACIS undergraduate advisor.

Honors in the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Major Requirements

To earn Honors in the Major, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 University GPA
  • Earn a 3.400 GPA for all major courses
  • Complete 18 credits, taken for Honors, with individual grades of B or better, to include:
LACIS Introductory Course, taken for Honors (Complete one course)3-4
Latin America: An Introduction
The U.S. & Latin America from the Colonial Era to the Present: A Critical Survey
Latin America from 1780 to 1940
Modern Latin America
LACIS Seminar, taken for Honors (Complete one course)3-4
Topics in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (Only courses that count for at least 3 credits will meet this requirement.) 1
Culture and the Environment in the Luso-Hispanic World
Undergraduate Seminars in Hispanic Literature/Culture/Linguistics
A two-semester Senior Honors Thesis, taken for Honors (Complete both courses)6
Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis
Additional LACIS courses taken for Honors to achieve 18 credits


University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. (Interdisciplinarity) analyzing contemporary political, economic, and cultural realities in the LACIS regions from multi-disciplinary perspectives, ideally including humanities, social sciences and sometimes natural science approaches.
  2. (Depth of knowledge) mastering at the undergraduate expert level a particular disciplinary (e.g. history, anthropology etc.) or topical (e.g. poverty, gender, social justice etc.) theme in the LACIS regions by taking five courses in an area of concentration.
  3. (Historical and cultural grounding) understanding the historical, political, and cultural forces and conditions that have given rise to the unity and diversity in LACIS regions today.
  4. (Language knowledge) mastering at the undergraduate generalist level a particular facet of life in one or more LACIS regions by studying a foreign language to the advanced (3rd year) level and beyond.
  5. (Analytical skills) demonstrating the ability to think critically and analytically, the capacity to write clearly and effectively, and the ability to identify and evaluate research methods and outcomes.

Sample Four-Year Plan

This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.

Introductory Course for the Major4Breadth/Interdisciplinary Course4
Communication A4Ethnic Studies3
Quantitative Reasoning A3Biological Science Breadth4
 15 15
Breadth/Interdisciplinary Course
Communication B4
Elective3Depth/Interdisciplinary Course3
INTER-LS 2101Physical Science Breadth4
Quantitative Reasoning B4SPANISH 2044
Science Breadth4 
 16 15
Recommend Study Abroad Recommend Study Abroad and Apply for Summer Internship
Depth/Interdisciplinary Course3Depth/Interdisciplinary Course3
Elective3Spanish, Portuguese, Yucatec Maya, or Quechua language course4
Science Breadth 4I/A Level Comp Sci, Math, or Stat (if B.S.)3
Spanish, Portuguese, Yucatec Maya, or Quechua language course4Electives6
 14 16
Spanish, Portuguese, Yucatec Maya, or Quechua language course4Electives12
I/A Level Comp Sci, Math, or Stat (if B.S.)4LACIS Seminar Course3
 14 15
Total Credits 120

Students should contact Sarah Ripp, the LACIS undergraduate advisor, at skripp@wisc.edu, to determine which courses may satisfy major requirements.

Students are encouraged to seek the assistance of SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science early in their academic career. Take advantage of all the services offered such as mock interviews, resume and cover letter review sessions, career preparation workshops, and so on.

Students interested in international internships should contact the International Internships Program office. 

L&S career resources

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.

The Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS) teaching staff consists of more than 100 faculty who teach Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian language and area content courses.
LACIS also has a Steering Committee.

Undergraduate students (from any major or discipline) can apply to receive one-time funds for internships or volunteer programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula. Domestic programs will be considered if the work is related to the LACIS field of study. The internships and volunteer programs will be carried out in public institutions, or well-established NGOs. Students from any nationality and citizenship are eligible to apply. Please note that preference is given to declared LACIS majors. Please check with the LACIS undergraduate advisor, Sarah Ripp, about your plans before submitting an application to ensure it meets our criteria. Read post-internship reports from former grant recipients. We also encourage our students to explore funding options available through the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) Awards Office.