This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.A., Central American Studies

Standard Major


The Central American Studies Program has a trifold mission: to empower the large and growing Central American community in the United States by promoting academic excellence, community involvement and cultural diversity; to open spaces of global citizenship and dialogue between academia and society that contribute to the construction of a Central American transnational identity; and to promote an understanding and appreciation of the diverse Central American cultures, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews from an interdisciplinary global perspective.

Program Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (12 units)

Select one of the following:

CAS 100 Introduction to Central American Studies (3)
CAS 102 The Salvadoran Experience (3)

Required Courses:

CAS 201 Survey of Central American Literature (3)
CAS 202 Survey of Central American Visual, Installation and Performance Arts (3)
CAS 270 Fieldwork in Central American Communities (1/2)

2. Lower Division Electives (3 units)

Select one of the following:

AFRS 274 History of Caribbean Societies Since the 1830s (3)
AFRS 282 African Religion in the New World (3)
ART 112 World Arts: Africa, Oceania and the Americas (3)
CHS 202 Race, Racism and Critical Thinking (3)
CHS 280 Workshop in Minority Writing (3)
URBS 250 Planning the Multiethnic City (3)

3. Upper Division Requirements (21 units)

Select seven of the following courses:

CAS 303 Central American Film (3)
CAS 309 Ancient to Pre-Modern History of the Central American People (3)
CAS 310 Modern History of Central American People (3)
CAS 311 The Central American Diaspora (3)
CAS 350 Urbanization in Central America (3)
CAS 355 Environment, Development and Social Exclusion in Central America (3)
CAS 356 Afro-Caribbean Central American Cultures and Identities (3)
CAS 364 Culture and Violence in Central America (3)
CAS 365 Changing Roles of Central American Women (3)
CAS 366 Contemporary Indigenous People of Central America (3)
CAS 367 Contemporary Religious Movements in Central America (3)
CAS 368 Central American Revolutionary Movements (3)
CAS 369 Contemporary Social Movements in Central America (3)
CAS 410 The Central American Child (3)

4. Upper Division Electives (6 units)

Select two of the following:

AFRS 376 African Enslavement in the New World (3)
AFRS 465 Pan Africanism: Development of an Ideology 1865-1954 (3)
AFRS 487 Pan African Philosophical Thought (3)
ANTH 353 The Maya: Ancient and Modern (3)
ANTH 428 Archeology of Mesoamerica (3)
ART 403 History of Latin American Art (3)
CHS 381 Contemporary Chicana Writers (3)
ENGL 487 Latino/a Literatures of the Americas (3)
GEOG 322 Latin America (3)
GEOG 350 Metropolitan Los Angeles (3)
HIST 463 20th Century Latin America (3)
HIST 468 Social and Intellectual History of Latin America (3)
HIST 485B The United States and Latin America Since 1898 (3)
POLS 332 Politics of Latin America (3)
POLS 433A The Politics of Central America (3)
SPAN 380 Latin American Civilization (3)
URBS 380 Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future (3)

5. Central American Studies Seminar (3 units)

Select one of the following:

CAS 421 Central American Literature Seminar (3)
CAS 440 Research Seminar on Central American Culture (3)
CAS 460 Research Seminar on Central American Political Issues (3)

6. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.

Total Units in the Standard Major: 45

General Education Units: 48

Additional Units: 27

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Director: Douglas Carranza Mena
Staff: Maria Castillo
Jerome Richfield (JR) 254
(818) 677-2736

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will develop critical thinking, writing and reading skills.
  2. Students will acquire an awareness of the complexity of the historical, social and cultural developments in Central America, as well as an understanding of the diverse Central American cultures, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews.
  3. Students will expand their understanding of the transnational Central American community’s experience and its economic and cultural contributions to the U.S. and Central America.
  4. Students will develop the intellectual and social foundations and leadership skills necessary for promoting social change in U.S. society, especially in relation to Central American peoples in the U.S.
  5. Students will recognize, understand, evaluate and change the culture of exclusion that has been prevalent in Central America and the U.S.