About Us

The Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies (LLS) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is dedicated to multi-disciplinary teaching and scholarship in the areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, Latinx in the United States, and race and ethnicity in the United States.

The mission of the LLS Department is to:

  • Offer a major and a minor that engages students in the study of Latin America and the study of persons of Latin American descent (Latinx) in the United States.  Our multidisciplinary major and minor exposes students to 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.
  • Equip our students with analytic tools for deep interpretation and critical thinking, information skills for self-guided research, and the communications skills essential for workplace success.
  • Provide our students access to experiential learning and other unique educational opportunities—internships, study abroad courses, law school preparation, and other programs to provide students with the intellectual start-up capital for careers in our 21st century, globalized economic order.

The curriculum is taught by faculty with expertise in a variety of disciplines including criminal justice in the United States, international criminal justice, law, history, culture, psychology, sociology, human rights, politics, and literature. The curriculum offered by the Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies incorporates innovative analyses, interdisciplinary approaches, global perspectives and best teaching practices in courses that promote a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and political forces that influence our society.

The department offers the following academic programs of study:

  • Major in Latin American and Latinx Studies
  • Minor in Latin American and Latinx Studies
  • Honors Minor in Latin American and Latinx Studies, and
  • Minor in U.S. Latinx Literature

Our major and minor offer students the opportunity to:

  • Develop an understanding of the growing Latinx presence in the United States
  • Explore the political, historical, socio-economic and cultural dimensions of Latin America
  • Analyze the possibilities and obstacles that face Latin American societies and U.S. Latinx communities
  • Understand U.S. Latinx and Latin Americans in the global and U.S. contexts
  • Engage in activities that develop writing, oral, research, and critical thinking skills—skills needed for careers in the 21st century

As part of our mission, the LLS Department offers its students access to experiential learning and other unique educational opportunities, including these special initiatives and programs:

  • Rising Scholars of Justice Law School Prep Program, in collaboration with St. John's University School of Law, offers a unique and comprehensive program to prepare students to apply for and succeed in law school.
  • The University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program, in conjunction with the University of Houston Law Center, is another program that provides a comprehensive preparation for students interested in law school.
  • Study Abroad Programs in Latin America offer students the opportunity to travel and learn throughout Latin America.
  • Internship and fieldwork opportunities are available to students in our major and minor.
  • Mentoring and Promoting Student Academic Success LLS faculty engage in mentoring students and participate in initiatives, such as Adelante, the First Year Seminars and Transfer Seminars, that implement best teaching practices and promote student academic success.
  • La Voz, a student-run club that sponsors events and an online newsletter in collaboration with the LLS Department.


For more information, contact . . .

Professor John Gutiérrez, Department Chairperson | jgutierrez@jjay.cuny.edu | 212.237.8667

Professor Brian Montes, LLS Major and Minor Coordinator: | bmontes@jjay.cuny.edu | 212.237.6809

Professor Belinda Rincón, U.S. Latina/o Literature Minor Coordinator | brincon@jjay.cuny.edu | 212.237.8750

Mr. José Bernal, Department Administrative Coordinator | jbernal@jjay.cuny.edu | 212.237.8749