Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology Combined B.A.

A combined degree in Latin American and Latino studies (LALS) and sociology allows students to combine their interest in Latina/o/x studies and Latin American studies with sociology. Students are able to focus on the methods and theories of the discipline of sociology within the broader interdisciplinary field of LALS.

Information and Policies

Academic Advising for the Program

LALS Undergraduate Adviser and Program Coordinator:
32 Merrill Academic Building
(831) 459-2119

Sociology Undergraduate Adviser and Program Coordinator:
Rachel Carson College Rm 224/226

Getting Started in the Major

Students interested in the LALS/sociology B.A. are encouraged to enroll in LALS 1, Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies, and two of the required lower-division sociology courses - chosen from SOCY 1, SOCY 10, or SOCY 15 - at their earliest opportunity.

Program Learning Outcomes

LALS Program Learning Outcomes:

We expect that all graduating LALS seniors will have gained proficiency or competency in the following five areas: critical thinking, research methods, communication, language, and lifelong learning skills.

  1. Critical Thinking. Ability to analyze from a transnational/transborder/translocal perspective—to see the interconnections between Latin American and Latino issues, people, ideas, problems and solutions. This includes key skills, such as understanding sources, comparing arguments, analysis, and historical perspective.
  2. Research Methods. Working knowledge of social scientific and/or humanistic approaches to LALS relevant topics. This includes acquiring qualitative and quantitative skills, gathering or obtaining research data, finding/using primary sources, and other research methods.
  3. Communication. Key communication skills, including written, oral presentation, and digital, including an understanding of media sources and ability to apply media literacy to cross-cultural analysis.
  4. Language. Fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese, in addition to English.
  5. Lifelong Learning Skills. Acquisition of practical hands-on skills in community engagement, cross-cultural fluency, familiarity with Latin America, and familiarity with Latino experience acquired through experiential learning while working with community and civic organizations.

Sociology Program Learning Outcomes:

Students graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology will:

Demonstrate critical thinking and critical citizenship skills intended to promote social justice through the ability to analyze and evaluate social , political, and/or cultural arguments.

Demonstrate sociological understandings of phenomena, for example, how individual biographies are shaped by social structures, social institutions, cultural practices, and multiple axes of difference and/or inequality.

Formulate effective and convincing written and/or oral arguments.

Demonstrate an understanding of, and the ability to use, several of the major classical and/or contemporary perspectives in social theory. 

Demonstrate an understanding of several of the major social science research methodologies.

Demonstrate knowledge of some of the key substantive areas within the field of sociology. 

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

Students must complete the lower-division sociology courses, two chosen from SOCY 1, SOCY 10, or SOCY 15, and LALS 1 with a grade of C or better, and both departments must approve a study plan before the major can be declared.

Appeal Process

Students who are notified they are not eligible to declare major appeal this decision by submitting a letter of appeal to the department chair within 15 days of notification. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal letter, the department will notify the student and their college of the appeal decision.

How to Declare a Major

Students must follow the declaration procedure for both LALS and sociology, beginning with the Sociology Department. Find more information on department websites or by speaking with the LALS or sociology undergraduate adviser.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

Students planning to apply  in this major are not required to complete specific major preparation courses for consideration of admission to UC Santa Cruz. 

LALS welcomes transfer students. Students interested in transferring in to UCSC as a LALS and sociology combined major are encouraged to enroll in courses related to both disciplines prior to transfer. Visit Assist.org to review our transfer articulations.

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students must complete LALS 1, Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies, and two courses chosen from SOCY 1, SOCY 10, or SOCY 15 (or transferred in with equivalent credit) to declare the LALS/sociology combined major. LALS 1 is offered in fall and winter quarters and during Summer Session. To make timely progress in the major, transfer students often opt to enroll in LALS 1 and the first course in our core series, LALS 100, Concepts and Theories in Latin American and Latino Studies, in their first quarter.


For combined majors, academic performance must meet the criteria in both departments to be awarded honors. Honors can only be conferred if both departments agree.

For LALS, honors are awarded based on performance in courses taken for the major. Students who achieve a 3.7 or higher in their coursework are awarded honors; those who achieve a 4.0 are awarded highest honors. LALS also awards honors for the thesis, or creative or community action projects by the recommendation of the faculty adviser. 

For sociology, honors are awarded based on the student’s cumulative GPA for all courses taken to satisfy the program’s major requirements, excluding the comprehensive requirement. Students with a GPA of 3.75 or above will be considered for honors in the major. Students with a GPA of 3.9 or above will be considered for highest honors in the major. No more than approximately 15 percent of the graduating class will be considered for honors or highest honors in the major. Comprehensive honors is awarded to students who complete the senior thesis option, and their faculty thesis sponsor and one additional reader evaluate the thesis to be of honors quality.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements

A total of 12 courses is required for the LALS and sociology combined B.A, in addition to any language preparation needed. 

Lower-Division Requirements

Students must complete three courses, one LALS and two sociology, or their articulated equivalents.

LALS1Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies


And select two from the following three options:
SOCY1Introduction to Sociology


SOCY10Issues and Problems in American Society


SOCY15World Society


Language Preparation

In preparation for taking upper-division coursework taught in Spanish or Portuguese, students are expected to become proficient in either or both languages. To demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, students should complete courses through SPAN 6 or SPHS 6. To demonstrate proficiency in Portuguese, students should complete courses through PORT 65B.

Students who are fluent in Spanish or Portuguese may be exempt from this recommended preparatory coursework after demonstration of their proficiency.

For language placement, visit the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department's language placement links for Spanish and/or Portuguese

Upper-Division Requirements

Upper-division core courses:
LALS100Concepts and Theories in Latin American and Latina/o Studies


LALS100ASocial Science Analytics


LALS100BCultural Theory in the Americas


SOCY105AClassical Social Theory


SOCY105BContemporary Social Theory


Upper-division elective courses:

Four additional upper-division electives are required, two from sociology and two from Latin American and Latino studies. LALS and sociology combined majors must take at least one upper-division course taught in Spanish or Portuguese.

One LALS elective may be satisfied by completing a senior seminar (LALS 194 series).  

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy a disciplinary communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement for the LALS and sociology combined B.A. is met by completing:

LALS100ASocial Science Analytics


LALS100BCultural Theory in the Americas


Comprehensive Requirement

Each student must complete a senior comprehensive requirement to graduate. The requirement is fulfilled by one of the following options:

  1. Passing a Latin American and Latino studies senior seminar (LALS 194 series). In these courses, students must write at least 30 pages cumulatively during the quarter. The final paper must be based on independent scholarly research, demonstrate advanced skills in critical analysis, and have undergone revisions. Senior standing and completion of LALS 100A and LALS 100B are required before taking a LALS 194 course for fulfillment of the senior exit requirement.

  2. A senior thesis, generally between 40–60 pages, based on two or more quarters of sustained independent research under the supervision of the faculty adviser while enrolled in an independent study (done by petition to LALS, and with the approval of the faculty adviser). If the thesis option is selected by a combined major, it should be planned in consultation with an adviser from each department, completed under the supervision of a faculty member from either department, and read and approved by both advisers; one adviser is sufficient if this faculty member is affiliated with both departments. This option is recommended for those students seeking to enter graduate school.


Recommended academic plan for students starting as freshmen who place in to SPAN 1 on the language placement exam. Portuguese language track in parentheses for students who choose this option.

Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh)  LALS 1 (ER) SOCY 10 SOCY 1 
2nd (soph) LALS 100 (ER) LALS 100A LALS 100B
3rd (junior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY elective
LALS language elective  SOCY elective LALS 194
4th (senior) Study abroad, research, or additional major or minor     


Recommended academic plan for students starting as juniors, who have completed their lower-division SOCY courses prior to transfer, and who place into SPAN 4 on the language placement exam.

Fall Winter Spring
1st (junior) LALS 1 (ER) LALS 100A LALS 100B
LALS 100 (ER) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B
2nd (senior) SOCY elective
SOCY elective LALS 194
LALS language elective