BA in Latina/Latino Studies

About the Major

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The Latina/Latino Studies curriculum is critical, holistic, reflexive and community-centered. It is designed to develop the knowledge base and the critical skills that are necessary to pursue a variety of graduate and professional studies and entry level careers. Two factors that make the Latina/Latino Studies major particularly attractive and useful in the present context include the rapid demographic growth of the Latino population and the relationship of the program to the goals of community empowerment and social justice.

Latinos are the fastest-growing group in California and the United States.  It is now more important than ever to develop an area of expertise in Latina/Latino Studies and a background in equity and social justice issues.  Familiarity with the diverse cultures and histories of Latinos and other under-represented groups is important in virtually every sector of society. An understanding of diversity in the United States and fluency with a range of Latino histories, cultures and current issues equip our graduates with a unique body of knowledge, leadership skills and service ethic to make a difference for their own lives, for Latino communities and for society at large. Our graduates are socially conscious, critically astute, community-minded, and civicly engaged with the skills to create positive change wherever they go.

The second factor that makes the Latina/Latino Studies major attractive is that a career that draws on a Latina/Latino Studies major opens opportunities to contribute to the development of our communities, to have a voice, to shape public policy, and to serve local communities in ways that can make a real difference. Our graduates are role models for the youth in our communities who are on the brink of life-defining decisions.

The 42-unit major program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Latina/Latino Studies requires 12 units of core courses, 12 units of distributed courses, and 15 units of Latina/Latino Studies electives on advisement.

The 24-unit Latina/Latino Studies Minor program requires 9 units of core courses, 9 units of distributed courses, and 6 units of electives. Check the Minor page for more details.

Core Courses (all courses are three units unless otherwise noted)

Every major must take four core courses for a total of 12 units

  • LTNS 215 Introduction to Latina/Latino Studies*
  • LTNS 680 Community Organizing
  • LTNS 410 Seminar on Gender and Latinas/Latinos
  • LTNS 435 Oral History Methods: Theory and Practice

Distributed Courses  (see course lists below)

Every major must have a distribution of LTNS courses for a total of 12 units

  • At least one LTNS course chosen from the Arts and Humanities list
  • At least one LTNS course chosen from the History list
  • At least two LTNS courses chosen from the Behavioral and Social Sciences list

* LTNS 215 should be completed before enrollment in upper division core courses.

LTNS Arts & Humanities Course List

  • LTNS 110 Critical Thinking
  • LTNS 225 Survey of Latina/o Visual Images
  • LTNS 230 Intro. to Latina/o Literature
  • LTNS 270 Latina/o Arts and Humanities
  • LTNS 305 Latina/o Studies Creative Writing Workshop
  • LTNS 425 Popular and Traditional Music of the Latino Diaspora (CSL)
  • LTNS 455 Resistance Literature of the Americas
  • LTNS 475 Aztec Philosophy
  • LTNS 490 Latina/o Teatro Workshop
  • LTNS 520 North & South American Cultural Expression
  • LTNS 525 Policy Making and Latinos
  • LTNS 530 Latinas/os and the Media
  • LTNS 536 Latina/Latino Journalism
  • LTNS 560 Contemporary Latina/o Literature
  • LTNS 575 Latina/o Culture & Identity
  • LTNS 679 Central American Literature: Roots to the Present

LTNS History Course List

  • LTNS 315 Latina/os in California
  • LTNS 320 Latina/o Art History
  • LTNS 376 History of Latinos in the U.S.
  • LTNS 435 Oral History Methods: Theory and Practice
  • LTNS 440 Caribbean Cultures and Spirituality
  • LTNS 450 Indigenismo: Indigenous Cultures of the Americas
  • LTNS 460 Central Americans in the US: History and Heritage
  • LTNS 465 Mexican Americans: History and Heritage
  • LTNS 467 Caribbeans in the US: History and Heritage
  • LTNS 501 Latin America: The National Period
  • LTNS 533 History of Women in Latin America

LTNS Behavioral and Social Science Course List

  • LTNS 205 Cyber Raza: Culture & Community Online (CSL)
  • LTNS 210 Latino Health Care Perspectives
  • LTNS 276 U.S. Government & Constitution
  • LTNS 280 Acculturation and Latina/o Communities
  • LTNS 410 Seminar on Gender and Latinas/os
  • LTNS 415 Economic Progress of Latinos  in the U.S.
  • LTNS 430 Race, Crime & Justice
  • LTNS 445 Gendered Borders: Latinas & Globalization
  • LTNS 470 Latina/o Immigration to the U.S.
  • LTNS 500 Latina/o Community Mental Health
  • LTNS 505 Gender, Sexuality, and Latino Communities
  • LTNS 510 Latina/o Families Narrative
  • LTNS 580 Educational Equity (CSL)
  • LTNS 590 Environmental Justice
  • LTNS 640 Sociology of the Latino Experience
  • LTNS 660 Latino Politics
  • LTNS 670 The U.S.- Mexico Connection:  Peoples, Politics, and Cultures
  • LTNS 680 Latina/o Community Organizing
  • LTNS 685 Projects in the Teaching of Latina/Latino Studies
  • LTNS 690 Community Fieldwork in Latina/Latino Studies
  • LTNS 692 Cuba: Health, Education & Culture
  • LTNS 694 Community Service Learning
  • LTNS 698 Senior Seminar in Latina/o Studies
  • LTNS 707 Graduate Seminar in Latina/Latino Studies

The Latina/Latino Studies Major program can be structured and tailored to the special interests of students. For example, a tailored Major for a student interested in a career in human services could include the following course offerings: LTNS 210: Latina/o Health Care Perspectives, LTNS 280: Acculturation and Latina/o Communities, LTNS 430: Race, Crime and Justice, LTNS 510: Latino Family Narratives, LTNS 680: Latina/o Community Organizing.  Student interested in pursuing a graduate degree in law or public policy could include LTNS 276: Government and Constitutional Ideals, LTNS 315: Latinas/or In California, LTNS 660: Latino Politics, LTNS 470: Latina/o  Immigration, and LTNS 430: Race, Crime and Justice. Other tailored majors can be developed along the same lines. Students should consult with advisors to consider the possibilities.

Community Service Learning

The Latina/Latino Studies major offers a number of special features that add insight and community involvement to your undergraduate experience. For example, the Latina/Latino Studies Department offers more community service learning courses than any other major on campus. The pioneering Latina/Latino Studies Community Service Learning Program, coordinated by Professor Brigitte Dávila, offers students the opportunity to participate in internships developed to add dimension to the content of selected Latina/Latino Studies courses. The department fields student placements at over 60 agencies in the Latino community of the greater Bay area. Students who are willing to make a 35 hour commitment to their agency are also eligible for an additional 3 units of course credit by enrolling in the on-line course LTNS 694: Community Service Learning. Students who are interested in this option should contact Professor Brigitte Dávila.

International Study Tours

One of the special features of the Major program is the international component of optional study tours to Cuba and Mexico.  Professor Felix Kury originally developed a Study Tour to Cuba in 1997, beginning a tradition in our department of tours of mutual solidarity to Cuba connected to LTNS 692: Cuba: Health, Education and Culture. Dr. Teresa Carrillo also offers LTNS 670: The US-Mexico Connection: Peoples, Politics, and Cultures. Upon completion of the course, about 15 students travel to Mexico City for a 12 day study-tour focused on Mexican community-based organizations creating political change. Students who complete and excel in LTNS 692 or LTNS 670 are eligible to become a part of the Solidarity Study Tours to Cuba and Mexico.

Major Advising

All  Latina/Latino Studies majors must have an advisor. The major advisor is the student's primary connection to the Department, the major and the field. They are responsible for helping students plan their academic careers. They are prepared to help students sort through course options and choose distributed and elective courses. The choices of courses and their sequencing are important for efficient progress through the major and to insure timely graduation. Advisors can also help students with academic and bureaucratic problems that students might encounter. Many University forms and the application for graduation must be signed by an advisor. Advisors can also be a source for reference letters for graduate schools or employment applications. Advisors may be mentors as well.

Major advisors are generally available throughout the semester.  Students are required to see an advisor at least three times during their university careers - when they enroll, when they declare a major and when they are ready to graduate.

Students have the option of choosing their major advisor and should choose based on shared interests and focus. Students should inform the Department of their choice of advisor or if they do not have a preference, they will be assigned by the Department Chair according to areas of expressed academic interests and with attention toward equalizing advising roles among the faculty. For maximum benefit you should keep the same advisor throughout your progress at SFSU. Latina/Latino Studies advisors will advise only about the Latina/Latino Studies major and minor degree programs. We encourage students to consult with advisors in the Advising Center (Old Adm 200) for questions regarding GE and other general graduation requirements.  

Please visit the faculty directory for information about each advisor and their posted office hours for the semester. The advisors are as follows:

  • Katynka Martinez, Chair
  • Teresa Carrillo
  • Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade
  • Melissa Guzman-Garcia
  • Alejandro Murguia
  • Belinda Reyes

Advising Centers

Undergraduate Advising Center

Graduate Advising Office

College of Ethnic Studies Student Engagement Center


Advising Checklists 

Please download, add your information, and rename the forms before saving.

Click for Major Checklist

Click for Minor Checklist

Click for Departmental Intake Form

If you experience any problems with the department forms, please contact the Latina/Latino Studies Department Staff at (415) 338-6160.