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

Information and Policies


A combined degree in Latin American and Latino studies (LALS) and sociology allows students to focus on the methods and theories of the discipline of sociology within the broader interdisciplinary perspective of LALS.

Program Learning Outcomes

LALS Program Learning Outcomes:

We expect that all graduating LALS seniors will have gained proficiency or competency in the following four areas: critical thinking, research methods, communication, 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. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Formulate effective and convincing written and/or oral arguments.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of, and the ability to use, several of the major classical and/or contemporary perspectives in social theory. 
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of several of the major social science research methodologies.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of some of the key substantive areas within the field of sociology. 

Academic Advising for the Program

LALS Undergraduate Advising
32 Merrill Academic Building
(831) 459-2119

Sociology Undergraduate Advising
Rachel Carson College Rm 224/226

Advising for the combined major in LALS and sociology is available from both advising offices, though the major is housed in the LALS Department.

Getting Started in the Major

Students interested in the combined major in LALS and sociology are encouraged to enroll in LALS 1, and the two required lower-division sociology courses, chosen from SOCY 1, SOCY 10, or SOCY 15, at their earliest opportunity.

Transfer Information and Policy

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

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

Students interested in transferring in to UC Santa Cruz as a combined LALS and sociology majors are encouraged to enroll in courses related to both disciplines prior to transfer. Visit Assist.org to review transfer articulations.

Getting Started in the Major: Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete LALS 1 and two courses chosen from SOCY 1, SOCY 10, or SOCY 15 (or equivalent transfer credit) to declare the combined major in LALS and sociology. LALS 1 is offered in fall and winter quarters and during summer session. To make timely progress in the major, transfer students entering in the fall quarter should enroll in LALS 100: Concepts and Theories in Latin American and Latino Studies. Sociology course enrollment will be determined by the Sociology Department based on transfer coursework.

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 grades of C or better or Pass before the major can be declared.

Students should submit a petition to declare as soon as they complete the required courses or reach their declaration deadline quarter, whichever comes first.

Students petitioning when the campus declaration deadline is imminent (i.e., in their sixth quarter, for students admitted as frosh), will either be approved, denied, or provided with conditions (e.g., completion of some courses with certain grades) that will be resolved within at most one more enrolled quarter, even if they have not completed major qualification courses.

LALS 1Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies


Plus two courses chosen from:
SOCY 1Introduction to Sociology


SOCY 10Issues and Problems in American Society


SOCY 15World Society


Appeal Process

Students who did not satisfy the major declaration requirement but believe there are extenuating circumstances may file a written appeal. Appeals should be submitted to undergraduate advising by emailing: lalsadvising@ucsc.edu. Students must file the appeal within 15 days of denial of major declaration. The department will notify the student and college of the decision within 15 days of the receipt of the appeal.

How to Declare a Major

Students may declare the major through the MyUCSC portal, or by meeting with the LALS advisor.

Letter Grade Policy

The program does not have a letter grade policy. Major requirements will be met with grades of C or better or Pass, within the parameters of the UC Santa Cruz Pass/No Pass grading policy.


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.

The LALS faculty considers awarding honors in the major based on overall student academic performance in courses that count toward the major. To receive the strongest consideration for honors in the major, the following grade point average (GPA) criteria must be met: highest honors, 4.0; honors, 3.7.

In addition to honors in the major, LALS may award honors for a thesis by the recommendation of the faculty advisors in both LALS and sociology.

For sociology, honors are awarded based on the student’s cumulative GPA for all courses taken at UC Santa Cruz 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 minimum of 12 courses and one lab are required for the Latin American and Latino studies (LALS) and sociology combined B.A.

Lower-Division Requirements

LALS 1Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies


And select two from the following three options:
SOCY 1Introduction to Sociology


SOCY 10Issues and Problems in American Society


SOCY 15World Society


Upper-Division Requirements

Upper-division core courses:
LALS 100Concepts and Theories in Latin American and Latina/o Studies


LALS 100BCultural Theory in the Americas


LALS 100ASocial Science Analytics


LALS 100LSocial Science Analytics Lab


SOCY 105AClassical Social Theory


SOCY 105BContemporary Social Theory


Upper-division elective courses:

Four additional upper-division electives are required, two from sociology and two from LALS. 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:

LALS 100ASocial Science Analytics


LALS 100BCultural 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, 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.


The tables below are for informational purposes and do not reflect all university, general education, and credit requirements. See Undergraduate Graduation Requirements for more information.

Sample Four-Year Planner for Frosh

  Fall Winter Spring Summer 
Entering       College 1A
      Summer Edge (optional)
1st (frosh) LALS 1* SOCY 10 SOCY 1   
College 1 WRIT 1/WRIT 1E (if needed)    
2nd (soph) LALS 100* LALS 100B LALS 100A/LALS 100L  
WRIT 2**      
3rd (junior) SOCY 105A SOCY 105B SOCY elective  
LALS elective SOCY elective    
4th (senior) Possible study abroad, research,
or additional major or minor 
  LALS 194/LALS 194L  

*Course satisfies the ER general education requirement.

** WRIT 2 should be taken in or before spring quarter of the second year.

Sample Two-Year Planner for Transfer Students

Recommended academic plan for students starting as juniors, who have completed their lower-division SOCY courses prior to transfer.

  Fall Winter Spring Summer 
Entering       KRSG 1T
      Summer Edge (optional)
1st (junior) LALS 1* LALS 100B LALS 100A/LALS 100L  
LALS 100* SOCY 105A SOCY 105B  
2nd (senior) SOCY elective SOCY elective LALS 194/LALS 194L  
LALS elective      
Possible study abroad / research      

*Course satisfies the ER general education requirement