Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Major

The Latin American & Hemispheric Studies major begins with a foundation that builds intellectual skill in the topics that are important to international issues: economics, history, political science, and anthropology. It complements that core with courses specific to the region: local politics, security of the southern cone, human movement, and the region's relationships with its northern neighbors.


Foundation (3 Credits)

The foundation course should be taken before junior year.

IAFF 2090: Latin America: Problems and Promise

Foreign Language

Students must prove 3rd year proficiency in a modern foreign languages by examination or coursework. If you would like information on the Elliott School foreign language examinations, please contact your academic advisor.

Spanish or Portuguese

SPAN 1011, 1012, 1013, 1014, 2005, 2006 or (2056)
– OR –

PORT 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1012, 2005, 2006
*Portuguese courses offerings are dependent on faculty availability* 

Regional Foundation (3 Credits)

Students must take one course from the lists below to gain an understanding of a region of the world outside of Latin America and the United States.

Select One:


IAFF 2093: Africa: Problems and Prospects
IAFF 2190W: Special Topics: *

  • North Africa and the World

IAFF 3189: Special Topics in African Studies:*

  • Transnational Justice in Africa

ANTH 3708: Cultures of Africa
GEOG 3164: Geography of Africa
HIST 3501: Special Topics in African History *
PSC 2381: Politics of Middle and Southern Africa
PSC 2482: African International Politics


IAFF 2091: East Asia Past and Present
IAFF 3186: Special Topics in Asian Studies: *

  • Development Issues in Southeast Asia
  • History and Politics of South Asia
  • Memory & Reconciliation: Asia
  • Politics and Conflict of South Asia

IAFF 3190: Special Topics in International Affairs: *

  • Human Rights and Democracy in Southeast Asia

ANTH 3703: Cultures of the Pacific
GEOG 3165: Geography of South Asia
HIST 3601: Special Topics in Asian History*

  • Two Koreas: Identities & Divisions
  • World War II in the Asia Pacific
  • History of North Korea
HIST 3640: History of Southeast Asia
HIST 3650: Modern South Asia, 1750-Present
HIST 3840: History of Central Asia
PSC 2369: Comparative Politics of South Asia
PSC 2373: Comparative Politics of South & Southeast Asia
PSC 2475: International Relations of East Asia

Europe and Eurasia

IAFF 2092: Russia and Eastern Europe: An Introduction
IAFF 2094: Europe: International & Domestic Interactions
IAFF 4191WResearch Seminar: Europe
HIST 1121: Europe's War of Ideas 1750-Today
HIST 3101: Special Topics in European History*
HIST 3125: Europe in the 20th Century
HIST 3126: European Integration: A History
HIST 3168: The Two Germanys and the Cold War
HIST 3178: The Making of the Modern Balkans
PSC 2330: Comparative Politics of Western Europe
PSC 2331: Comparative Politics of Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East

IAFF 2040: Basic Topics in International Affairs: *

  • Middle East: An International Affairs Survey

IAFF 2190W: Special Topics: *

  • Arab Politics
  • Challenges and Change in the Middle East
  • Politics and Culture in the Middle East

IAFF 3188: Special Topics in Middle East Studies: *

  • Political Islam
  • US Policy in the Gulf

IAFF 4191Research Seminar: Political Islam
ANTH 3707: Anthropology of the Middle East
GEOG 3154: Geography of the Middle East and North Africa
HIST 3801: Special Topics in Middle Eastern History: *

  • Gender and the Middle East

HIST 3811: Middle East in the 20th Century
PSC 2377: Comparative Politics of the Middle East
PSC 2478: International Relations of the Middle East

Academic Advisor Approval required for courses not listed here.

Research Methods (3 Credits)

Students must complete one course pertaining to qualitative or quantitative social science research methods.

  • Credit for only one of the following courses may be applied toward a degree: STAT 10511053, or 1111.
  • STAT courses may not be double-counted between the Math requirement and the Research Methods requirement.

Select One:

IAFF 2040: International Affairs Research Methods
ANTH 3531: Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology
ECON 2123: Introduction to Econometrics
GEOG 2104: Introduction to Cartography/GIS
GEOG 2105: Techniques of Spatial Analysis
PSC 2101: Scope and Methods of Political Science
PSYC 2101: Research Methods in Psychology
PUBH 3131: Epidemiology: Measuring Health and Disease
SOC 2101: Social Research Methods
STAT 1051: Introduction to Business & Economic Statistics
STAT 1053: Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
STAT 1111: Business and Economic Statistics I
STAT 2112: Business and Economic Statistics II

Latin American Literature (3 Credits)

Select One:

Another 3000- or 4000-level literature course may be substituted for the courses below with the approval of the Program Director.

PORT 4800: Independent Study *
SPAN 3100: General Readings in Spanish Literature
SPAN 3410: Latin American Short Fiction
SPAN 3420: The Essayist Tradition in Latin America
SPAN 3600/4600: Special Topics in Spanish-American Literature
SPAN 4800 Independent Study *

* Program Director pre-approval required.

Multi-disciplinary Core (21 Credits)

History (3 Credits)

Select One:

HIST 3001: History of Argentina
HIST 3701: Topics in Latin American History
HIST 3710: History of Latin America (I)
HIST 3711: History of Latin America (II)

* Program Director pre-approval required for courses not listed here.

Political Science (3 Credits)

Select One:

PSC 2383: Government and Politics of Latin America
PSC 2484: International Relations of Latin America

Economics (3 Credits)

Required: ECON 2151: Economic Development

Geography (3 Credits)

Required: GEOG 3161: Geography of Latin America

Anthropology (3 Credits)

Select One:

ANTH 3702: Anthropology of Latin America
ANTH 3891: Special Topics in Archaeology

  • Courses with Latin American content Pre-Approved by the Program Director

ANTH 3991: Special Topics in Anthropology

  • Courses with Latin American content Pre-Approved by the Program Director
    – OR –
  • another 3000-level anthropology course with Latin American content approved by the Program Director

International Affairs (6 Credits)

Select Two:

IAFF 2190W: Pre-Approved Special Topics Courses with Latin American content. Program Director approval required for courses not listed here.

  • Latin American Populism

IAFF 3183: Pre-Approved Special Topics in Development Policy Courses with Latin American content. Program Director approval required for courses not listed here.

  • Post Disaster Development: Haiti

IAFF 3187: Special Topics in Latin America and Hemispheric Studies
All IAFF 3187 courses, including those not listed here, may be used for this requirement and are repeatable for credit with different titles. *

  • Brazil Rising: Possibilities & Constraints
  • Central American & Caribbean Perspectives
  • Historical Memory and Human Rights in Chile (GW Study Abroad)
  • Latino Migration
  • Mexico Since Independence
  • Politics of Transnational Migration
  • Political Economy of Latin America
  • The OAS and Democracy in the Americas

* Undergraduatuate students may be able to enroll in LAHS graduate courses with professor approval.

Select two courses related to Latin America from any discipline and submit a Related Coursework Form to Academic Advising with the Program Director's signature.



Contact Academic Advising

Academic Advising and Student Services
1957 E Street, NW, Suite 302
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-3002
Fax: 202-994-9537

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (during the fall & spring semesters)
UNDERGRADUATE Express Advising: Monday - Friday, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
» Schedule an Appointment