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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Latin American, Latinx and the Caribbean Studies (LALC) program? 

To assist students, faculty and administrators in identifying and coordinating courses with Latin American, Latinx and the Caribbean Studies content; to organize and publicize co-curricular activities related to LALC; to educate the campus about study abroad opportunities in Latin America; to foster ties with the greater Worcester and New England Latino communities.

Why should I become a LALC concentrator or major? 

The concentration and the major exist to provide an academic home for all students with an interest in learning more about the histories, politics, religions, arts, and cultures of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, as well as about communities of Latin-American heritage in the United States.

Can I major in LALC? 


Can I use LALC courses to satisfy common area requirements? 

Yes. As a multidisciplinary concentration, LALC courses provide an excellent opportunity for comparing and contrasting varied disciplinary perspectives, which is one of the purposes of the common area requirements. While not all LALC courses carry common area designations, many of them do, especially in the following categories: Arts (A), Cross-Cultural Studies (C), Historical Studies (H), Literary Studies (L), Social Sciences (S).

Can I count courses in my major/s towards a LALC concentration? 

Yes, although it is important to note that students are limited to two LALC courses in any given major. The rationale for the two-course limit is that LALC is a multidisciplinary concentration and, as such, students who complete only six courses need to demonstate engagement with at least three distinct disciplines. For the same reason, students who major in more than one LALC-related discipline can count two courses from each of their majors.

Why are concentrators and majors required to take at least one course in History? 

LALC faculty consider a grounding in the history of Latin American, Latinx and the Caribbean communities to be fundamental to an understanding of the field.

Why is there a separate LALC language requirement? 

LALC faculty also consider language study to be an integral part of the field. Courses taken at the elementary level do not fulfill the requirement because the ability to communicate orally and in writing on academic topics necessitates an advanced intermediate command of the language (202 level). The language requirement is counted separately from the six required multidisciplinary courses for concentrators and ten for majors.

Is it possible to fulfill the LALC language requirement in a language other than Spanish? 

Yes. Most concentrators complete the language requirement with Spanish 202 or French 202.  However, these are not the only languages in use in Latin America and within Latinx communities in the US. Although Portuguese is not currently offered at Holy Cross, concentrators and majors can transfer advanced intermediate level credit from another accredited academic institution for this purpose. Others with a strong interest in indigenous or Afro-Latin communities can transfer college credits in Quechua, Nahuatl, one of the Mayan languages, Garifuna, etc. or apply to the LALC Director for permission to accept evidence of competency in lieu of college-level coursework.

Why is Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies, LALC  101, recommended rather than required? 

Since LALC 101 is typically offered only once every other semester, many students cannot fit it into their schedules. HIST 127 Modern Latin America, HIST 128 Latino History, ANTH 266 Culture & Politics in Latin America or POLS 251 Latin American Politics, are examples of courses that provide broad overviews of either Latin American, Latinx and the Caribbean Studies.  Other courses with a broad focus on the field may be used to fulfill the requirement per the approval of the LALC Director.

Can I count courses taken at other accredited institutions of higher education in the US towards a LALC concentration or major? 

Yes. You will need to apply through the Registrar's Office to transfer credit to Holy Cross, whether from another college or university in the US or abroad. Be sure to indicate on your application that you want the course to count for LALC credit, so that the Registrar's Office can arrange for the requisite permissions to be processed.

Can I count courses taken abroad towards a LALC concentration or major? 

Yes. Up to two courses can be applied towards the concentration for students studying abroad in Europe and up to three courses for students studying abroad in Latin America. For more information on semester plus and yearlong study abroad opportunities in Latin America, click here.

I have already declared a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies or Africana Studies, what do I need to do to declare a second concentration in LALC?

So long as you meet the requirements for both concentrations, you are all set. 

When should I declare a concentration or major in LALC?

Whenever you feel ready to do so. Although most students declare the concentration or major during their sophomore year, it is possible to declare the concentration as a first year student, junior, or senior.

Why aren't a greater range of courses offered in the various disciplines? 

As a multidisciplinary program, LALC is largely dependent on individual departments, who are responsible for hiring new faculty and allocating them to teach courses in Latin American, Latinx and the Caribbean Studies. 

Who should I ask if I still have unanswered questions? 

Prof. Maria Rodrigues, Associate Professor of Political Science, is the Program Director, and Prof. Susan Cunningham is Associate Director of Concentrations for the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Prof. Lorelle Semley is Director of Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and may also provide information about declaring a major.