Latino /a Studies Certificate

Latino/a Studies Undergraduate Certificate

Coordinator Dr. Julie Torres

ACAD 408, Email:, Tel: (719) 255-5147

The WEST program is committed to deepening the understanding of the histories, cultures, and perspectives of groups whose stories and experiences have been marginalized, with special emphasis on those within our own community. Thus, an area that we are developing within the program is Latino/a Studies. Approached with a special emphasis on cultural and historical context, the Latino/a Studies Certificate is designed to highlight the diverse experiences of the various Latino/a communities in the United States and abroad, and engage students in the ongoing debate regarding how transnational Latina/o identifications are constructed and defined in the wake of the globalization, migration, and diaspora. The courses offered in this concentration emphasize the manner in which cultural identification has been approached, theorized and defined, and the manner in which ethnic/racial, cultural and social identity has been conceptualized in terms of intertwined categories such as class, gender, ability, and sexual or religious orientation.

Given the particular demographics of the geographical region in which we are located

A certificate in Latino/a Studies is attractive to a wide range of employers and educational institutions, including social work, graduate and professional schools, community action organizations (non-profits and NGOs), health care providers, government agencies, and social/ legal services. A specialization in Latino/a Studies also provides students with opportunities for networking and mentoring.


First, to declare interest, the student must first complete a WEST Undergraduate Certificate Declaration form.

To complete the certificate program, students are required to submit a portfolio to the Certificate to the Director, which includes an unofficial transcript and a 3-5 page, self-reflective statement evaluating her/his perceptions regarding the knowledge gained in the area of specialization and implications for future scholarly and professional work. This information is submitted via the WEST Undergraduate Certification Completion form.

After the student submits the required materials and the coordinator verifies student has met certificate requirements, the Registrar will be notified of the certificate completion.

Latino/a Studies Certificate Course Requirements

After completing WEST 1010 - Introduction to Social Justice Studies: Leadership, Inclusion, and Engagement, students are required to complete 12 credit hours of the WEST or SPAN courses listed below (9 of which must be upper division). A minimum grade of 2.0 (C) is required for each course applied to the concentration. One course counted toward the Latino/a Studies Certificate may also be counted toward the Global Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Gender and Sexualities Studies certificates.

Students are also strongly encouraged to study in a setting where Spanish is spoken. Travel courses are offered, for example, by Women’s and Ethnic Studies and the Departments of Languages & Cultures, Anthropology, and Geography at UCCS, and are also available through the Office of International Education at UC Boulder and Denver.

Course Selection Guidelines

  • Independent studies may not be used to earn the certificate.
  • All courses must be offered through the WEST program or Languages & Cultures Department (SPAN) and/or affiliates.
  • *Additional courses may be offered and counted toward the certificate. These courses must be approved in advance by the certificate coordinator or the WEST Program Director.


Students may take any of the following WEST courses:

  • WEST 3060 - Multi-Racial Identities
  • WEST 3230 - The Chicano Community
  • WEST 3360 - U.S. Latina/o Literature
  • WEST 3370 - Boricua Crossings
  • WEST 3380 - Caribbean Literature, History, and Theory
  • WEST 3490 - Youth Gangs
  • WEST 3520 - History of Latinos in the United States
  • WEST 3580 - Immigrant Histories
  • WEST 3990 - Readings in Multiethnic Literature (with the approval of the certificate coordinator)
  • WEST 4170 - The Empire Strikes Back: Postcolonial Literature, History, and Theory

Students may take 1 of the following courses:

  • SPAN 3000 - Spanish Grammar and Composition
  • SPAN 3010 - Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition

Students take up to 2 of the following courses:

  • SPAN 4210 - Hispanic Heritage of Colorado
  • SPAN 4420 - Hispanic/Latino US Literature
  • SPAN 4430 - Hispanic US Drama
  • SPAN 4440 - Hispanic, Chicano/a, and Mexican-American Literature


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