The Latin American Studies program promotes a multidisciplinary approach to the history, politics, culture, and society of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latino communities in the United States. By emphasizing the inter-dependence of the Americas, it seeks to help students understand civic and social responsibilities in terms that go beyond national borders, preparing them for participation in a multicultural world.
Gettysburg College offers a minor in Latin American studies and a combined major in Spanish and Latin American studies, which draw on courses in the humanities and social sciences. Students who minor in Latin American studies are required to take six courses and are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad in Latin America or the Caribbean. The combined LAS/Spanish major requires a total of twelve courses, including one semester of study abroad in a College-affiliated program in a Latin American country. Approved College-affiliated programs currently include sites in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.
The College, the town of Gettysburg, and the greater Washington, D.C. area provide a stimulating environment for the study of Latin America. On campus, the program of activities includes lecture series, musical performances, panel discussions, art exhibits, and films focused on Latin America. Students have opportunities to interact with the growing Latino community in Gettysburg by participating in heritage festivals and service-learning-based courses and by volunteering with local community groups. Students can also pursue internships in Washington, D.C., with organizations such as the Organization of American States and the Washington Office on Latin America.