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Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program

Career and Professional Preparation

UWM graduates in the 21st century will participate in a globalized economy with corresponding internationalization of the mass media, education and the arts. As the United States draws even closer to its neighbors in the Americas, students in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate Program (LACS) will be especially well prepared for this complex and ever-changing world.

Like a departmental minor, the LACS certificate offers a specific academic focus but differs by being interdisciplinary, allowing students to combine related courses in different disciplines to explore common themes. Students who earn a certificate demonstrate their intellectual commitment to a subject and their competence in scholarly areas, which can prove valuable at the graduate level or in the workplace.

All individuals in liberal arts or professional schools, intent on internationalizing their university education by strengthening language skills and area studies knowledge, benefit from participation in the program.


The Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to those who previously received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. To be admitted to the university as non-degree students, individuals must meet regular university admission requirements.


Students must complete 21 credits in Latin American and Caribbean content courses, 12 of which must be at the 300-level or above.

Students must take courses in at least two curricular areas, although three areas are recommended. No more than 12 credits in any one curricular area may be counted towards the certificate program, and no more than 3 credits may be in independent study courses.

Language proficiency in a language (other than English) widely spoken in Latin America or the Caribbean is required. The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will determine which languages will satisfy the certificate. This requirement may be fulfilled by either: 1) successful completion (grade of C or higher) of any upper level (U/G) course in the target language; or 2) successful completion of a language proficiency examination. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the LACS Certificate Committee.

In addition to any Latin American content courses taken in semester-length UWM approved study abroad program in Latin America or the Caribbean, an additional three credits for participating also may also be counted, if courses are taken within an immersion setting (as determined by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies).

A 2.75 GPA or better must be achieved in all UWM course work and in all certificate credits.

At least 12 credits of the Latin American content courses must be completed at UWM.


The complete list of courses that may be applied toward the LACS Certificate can be obtained from the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies office or the website. In addition, each semester's Schedule of Classes contains the current offering of LACS courses.

Personal experience and interests are considered in each individually-designed plan of study. Students are encouraged to consult with the Advisor and to petition for the inclusion of relevant courses.

For more information:

Alida Cardós Whaley, Advisor
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
NWQ B, Room 2484
2025 E. Newport Ave.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
phone (414) 229-4703
fax (414) 229-2879