Latin American and Iberian Studies

What is Latin American & Iberian Studies?

Latin American and Iberian Studies examines the whole culture or civilization, not only through the humanities and fine arts, but also through the social sciences and history. This allows students to explore a variety of topics—in addition to Spanish and Portuguese language and literature—such as Latin American anthropology, the history of Spain and Portugal, and the political life of Hispanic communities.

At UCSB, the Department of Latin American & Iberian Studies examines the peoples and cultures of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries throughout the world. Such study encompasses not only Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, but also Angola, Mozambique, the Philippines, Macao, and the U.S. Chicano and Puerto Rican populations. However, most students center their studies on Latin America.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Latin American & Iberian Studies?

Individuals who are interested in the workings of both national and international government systems and cultures and how they interact with each other are usually found in a major like this one. They usually take an active part in such things like school or community programs or political movements. They might have or be interested in holding an office either in the school where they attend or they have goals to be elected into office one day.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?

Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.

International Relations
Music/ Art/ Culture
Political History
Language and Literature
Comparative Politics

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.

- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.


General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be.  The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Latin American & Iberian Studies majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields.  Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include:

Diversity Recruiter                                 Study Abroad Counselor
Government Service                              Immigration Counselor
Political Advisor                                     Youth Service Coordinator
Community Organizer                            Management Trainee
Urban and Rural Planning                       Multicultural Program Leader
Public Health Educator                           Admission/Academic Counselor
Writer/Editor                                          Lobbyist
Policy Analyst                                       Foreign Service Officer
Civil Rights Attorney                              Human Resource Specialist
To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online
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Experience Search Strategies

Enlace Career Center
Listing of Latin American jobs.

This site specializes in joining Hispanic bilingual professionals with companies looking for diversity in the workplace

This site is an essential stop for someone looking for a Spanish degree career because it focuses on jobs specifically for Hispanic and bilingual professionals.

National Council of La Raza
The largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., working to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.

For resources and information on Immigrant Scholarships and Career.

Sources on Study, Work, Internships, and Service Abroad
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Professional Associations

Santa Barbara Latina Leaders Network
The SBLLN provides a venue for women to reconnect and establish new relationships and networking opportunities while developing professional competencies and skills

Latin American Studies Association
LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

Society for Latin American Studies
Founded in 1964, this now the principal association in the United Kingdom for those interested in the study of Latin American affairs.

Conference on Latin American History
A professional association devoted to encourage the diffusion of knowledge about Latin America through fostering the study and improving the teaching of Latin American history.

Business Association of Latin American Studies (BALAS)
BALAS is the first international business and economics professional association to focus exclusively on the study of economics, management, leadership and industry in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
A nonprofit, free-standing research organization that advances critical, insightful thinking on key issues affecting Latino communities through objective, policy-relevant research, and its implications, for the better of the nation.

Pew Hispanic Center
Its mission is to improve the understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the entire nation.

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Provides leadership and support for the development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and business communities in the United States.

Association for Contemporary Iberian Studies
ACIS brings together academics from a wide range of disciplines who share an interest in contemporary developments in Spain and Portugal.

American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese 
AATSP promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish and Portuguese languages and their corresponding Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and other related literatures and cultures at all levels of education.

UCSB Resources

UCSB Library Latin American and Iberian Studies Subject Homepage

Latin American and Iberian Studies Departmental Webpage

Career Resource Room

UCSB Campus Organizations

  • Latino Business Association (LBA)
  • Legal Education Association for Diversity (LEAD)
  • Los Curanderos (LC)
  • NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP)
  • Model United Nations (Model UN)
  • Mujeres Unidas por Justicia, Educacion y Revolucion (M.U.J.E.R.)
  • Chican@/Latin@ Cultural Resource Center (CLCRC)
  • Destino
  • El Congreso
  • Los Dramaticos

UCSB General Catalog

UCSB Office of Student Life

UCSB Minors