Academic Programs

Academic Programs

Many of the courses offered by the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies can be used to fulfill requirements in other majors and minors or can be taken as electives. 


Bachelor of Arts in Latin American and Latina/o Studies 
This major explores the context and forces that have shaped the experiences of members of Latin American societies and U.S. Latina/o communities. The major engages students in the interdisciplinary study of the political, historical, socio-economic and cultural possibilities and obstacles for achieving social justice and equity; cross-cultural and intercultural understanding; respect for human integrity and dignity; and awareness of political and human rights. Students will gain an integrated understanding of two fields of growing significance: Latin American studies and the study of Latina/os in the United States.(Admissions Information).
Major Advisor: Professor Isabel Martinez, 212.237.8674

Latin American and Latina/o Studies Minor 
This multi-disciplinary minor and program includes courses in the areas of history, culture, law, psychology, sociology, politics and literature relating to the experience of Puerto Rican/Latinas/os in the United States and of Latin Americans in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Minor Advisor: Professor Isabel Martinez, 212.237.8674

Latin American and Latina/o Studies Honors Minor 
This minor seeks to encourage and assist students enrolled to excel in all their courses by providing research and writing skills workshops as well as workshops about graduate and law school studies. Coursework is centered on Latin America and the Caribbean, Latinas/os in the United States as well as race and ethnicity generally in the United States. For more details contact the minor advisor.
Honors Minor Advisor: Professor Isabel Martinez, 212.237.8674

Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program
This two-year program is a collaboration between the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John’s University School of Law.  It is designed to help increase underrepresented groups in legal education by providing eligible John Jay students (please see guidelines below) with an intensive summer program in the study of law at St. John’s University School of Law. The overall Program is a two-year Program that runs throughout the academic year and over the course of two consecutive summers.
Director: Professor Jodie Roure, 212.237.8672
Assistant Director:  Gabriela Ramírez Vargas,  212.237.8710

Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) 
The Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) is both a research and service project that examines the lives of unaccompanied child and teenage minors who have been apprehended, detained and placed in removal proceedings and their understandings while providing academic, social and legal support to them. Working in conjunction with Safe Passage Project, U-LAMP interns (all but one John Jay student) assist youth, families and attorneys with the preparation of status adjustment, placement in proper educational programs and overall social support and integration. John Jay students receive professional development via New York Law School Immigration Law courses and numerous workshops. CUNY Service Corps and the U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate Studies and Foreign Language program have provided funding.
Director: Professor Isabel Martinez, 212.237.8674

Quintana Roo, Mexico Study Abroad, Winter 2017

During the 16th century the Spanish encountered some of the most advanced civilizations including the Maya of Mexico and Central America. Disease and political conquest, however, rendered the Maya powerless and invisible.  This study-abroad program will integrate student learning through a pedagogical framework of cultural exchange that will make the Maya once again visible by allowing students to interact with modern day Maya communities, hear and learn Maya as a spoken language and participate in traditional Maya celebrations as practiced throughout the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Students will also visit the ancient Maya cities of Tulum and/or Uxmal as well as the Museum of Maya Culture in Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo.  In visiting these unique sites students will learn to appreciate difference and allow them to recognize—and then dismiss—stereotypes they may have held  about Mexico’s indigenous populations and see the Maya as part of a connected community of global citizens. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.
Contact: Professor Brian Montes, 

Cuba Study Abroad, June/July 2017

This program is 4-week long with the first week and last week spent on John Jay's campus and the middle 2 weeks spent in La Habana, Cuba. This program will be an opportunity for students interested in Latin America to see and experience firsthand the contours of modern Cuba and the results of a more than half-a-century
experiment, the most ambitious national project for social justice and sovereignty in the history of Latin America, one that has had global implications. Few Americans have the opportunity to experience Cuba firsthand. It is difficult to teach students about the Cuban Revolution and the current conditions in Cuba, given the selectivity of the information that emerges from the island, information filtered through the opaqueness imposed by an embargo and travel restrictions.
Contact: Professor John Gutiérrez,, 212.237.8667

Ecuador Study Abroad, June 2015
This second Study Abroad Program to Quito, Ecuador takes very serious the learning from experience methodology. We provide an educational experience that engages students in their personal, social, and intellectual growth by providing opportunities to explore and learn while studying in Quito, Ecuador. It is designed to give students a comparative view of Latin America, through the lenses of critical studies. We want to study the social dynamics of power, privilege, control, and inequality. In this occasion we chose Latin America as the most appropriate site for the summer program because of the high number of John Jay students from this region. In addition, many other of our students have been exposed to or influenced by Latin American culture living in New York City.  Therefore, our student population generally has a strong interest in or ties to the region, but often few opportunities to visit or study any country in Latin America.  Even in the case of students who have experienced life in Latin America, they typically have not studied it from a social-historical-political–racial critical standpoint.  This adventure and challenge combines rigorous academic study, practical on-site learning, seminars, and structured reflections that engage students in some of today’s most urgent social, ethic, political, economic, and ecological matters. In addition, Latin America is a vibrant and expanding area of academic activity attracting scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines and interests, including history, literature, economics, languages, geography, politics, philosophy and international relations. The program offers six undergraduate credits and three graduate credits. Contact: Professor Luis Barrios, 212.237.8747 

Dominican Republic Study Abroad (Summer 2013) 
This program is designed to give students a comparative view of the Caribbean through the lenses of crime, culture, history, politics and language. The program will appeal to students who seek a better understanding of criminology from a comparative perspective or who are interested in “Third World” criminological issues. Further, it will appeal to those who wish to increase their fluency in the Spanish language and deepen their appreciation of the diversity and culture of the Caribbean.
Contact: Professor Luis Barrios, 212.237.8747