Latin American Studies majors interested in completing a major research project spanning at least two semesters are encouraged, pending faculty consultation and approval, to participate in the Honors Program.  Occasionally, this also includes students who are majoring in other programs or an Independently Designed Interdepartmental Major (IDIM), but for whom a thesis supervised by a Latin American Studies faculty member might be appropriate.  The program provides a framework through which to complete an in-depth research project whose findings are shared with the community through publication and public oral presentation.

The principal elements of the Honors Program are: (a) filing a declaration of intent to pursue a project by April 15 of your junior year; (b) completion of a research proposal submitted to the Latin American Studies faculty by early September of your senior year; (c) oral defense of the research proposal in front of the Latin American Studies faculty; (d) participation in the Senior Research Seminar (Lati 488) during Fall of the senior year; (e) enrolling in four credits of Honors Independent Study (Lati 644) during Spring of the senior year; (f) completing a major work of scholarly research and writing; (g) oral presentation and defense of the thesis; (h) publication of the thesis in the Macalester Library and on the Macalester Digital Commons; and (i) one other public sharing of your findings though, for example, an academic conference presentation, a journal article, a public talk in a community venue, or a summary (in translation) of your findings that can be shared with groups in Latin America.

The Department encourages qualified students to consider this unique research opportunity, noting that rigorous academic preparation is required and that successful projects demand a substantial intellectual and time commitment.


  • Completed four LAS courses at Macalester (in addition to the three study abroad courses) by the beginning of the senior year.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.3.
  • An advisor-approved research proposal, due in September.
  • A successful oral defense of the proposal in front of LAS faculty members.