Latinx Studies is an interdisciplinary course of studies in literature, politics, history, culture, and society. Students can pursue a primary course of study (a Planned Program) or take courses toward a minor to create a valuable supplement to any major whether in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences.
- High-quality instruction in all its courses;
- Presentation of a range of courses in literature, culture, history, and society in a variety of contexts, all of which encourage integrative and comparative analysis, including stimulation for the cultural, social, and historical imagination;
- Sets of courses enabling students to pursue coherent programs of study within the major;
- Courses that develop students' abilities to ask and answer penetrating questions through cultural and historical inquiry, to read and think critically, and to communicate ideas effectively in speech, writing, and new media.
- Read and understand primary sources in context;
- Read and understand secondary sources in context;
- Demonstrate critical-creative thinking and effective communication skills in speech, writing, and new media;
- Demonstrate the ability to deal with contemporary social and cultural questions;
- Demonstrate an understanding of culture, history, and society in several specific contexts.
To achieve these goals, the major and its requirements have been structured as outlined below.
Overview of hours for the Major:
|Total number of hours required for degree||120|
|Number of hours in general education||40|
|Number of hours in degree||33|
|Number of hours in free electives||47|
Of the 33 hours of the Latinax Studies major, eighteen hours must be at the upper-division level.
Admission to the BA in Latinx Studies is based on the standards for admission established by the College of Arts and Sciences, which include: 1. declaration of intent to pursue the major in Latinx Studies; 2. at least a 2.0 combined retention grade-point average on all college level work attempted; and 3. at least 24 hours of earned college credit.
Transfer students who have completed at least 24 semester credit hours will be admitted to the BA program if they meet the university's admissions requirements. The OU Office of Admissions will determine the acceptance of transfer credits. Application of transfer credit applied to the BA in Latinx Studies will be determined by the College of Arts and Sciences. All new transfer students who are directly admitted to the BA in Latinx Studies must meet with an academic counselor in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services Office prior to their initial enrollment at the University of Oklahoma.
Satisfactory progress completion toward the degree will be assessed each semester. Students in the BA program in Latinx Studies will be placed on enrollment contract if they fall below the minimum GPA requirements for good standing in the College of Arts and Sciences, that is, if his or her OU and/or Combined GPA falls below a 2.00. Students on enrollment contract status must meet specific terms designed by the Associate Dean for Students in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services Office. Failure to meet these terms, or failure to attain good standing by the time 75 credit hours have been attempted, will result in denial of continuing enrollment in the degree program. If at any time during the semester the scholastic standing or attendance in any class of a student on enrollment contract status is deemed unsatisfactory, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences may recommend to the University Registrar that the student be withdrawn from the university.
A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 is required for graduation and conferral of the Bachelor of Arts in Latinx Studies. A grade of C [2.00] or better must be earned in any course that is used to satisfy the hours in the major.
Advising for Latinx Studies takes place at the College of Arts and Sciences. Students should also consult with the program director Dr. Robert Con Davis-Undiano (110 Monnet Hall, North Oval). Library resources for this program are excellent in the main library holdings but also in fine arts, law, and other specialty libraries. There are various examples on campus of Latinx art connected with the faculty who have taught at OU.
Demographic trends suggest an influx of Latinos at American universities, especially those, like OU, close to the border with Mexico. In 2014, a group of 30 OU Latinx students began meeting to discuss services and accommodations that would serve the Latinx student community at the University of Oklahoma. Their concern was that the University of Oklahoma needed to be ready to work with the large numbers of Latino students that will be enrolling at OU in the next ten years. When the group’s membership exceeded 30 students, it called itself the “Brown Collective” and began to investigate curricular innovations and program changes that could serve OU students. In 2015, the Brown Collective approached Dean Kelly Damphousse of OU’s College of Arts and Sciences to discuss Latinx student interests and needs. Dean Damphousse and several of his staff began meeting with the Brown Collective on a regular basis. In late 2015, the Brown Collective began researching Latino Studies programs across the country and discussing the possibility of such a program at OU. In 2016, the Brown Collective brought a request to Dean Damphousse to explore establishing a Latino Studies program at OU. In fall 2016, Dean Damphousse asked Dr. RC Davis-Undiano to take preliminary steps to develop such a program. During that semester, Dr. Davis-Undiano responded with a proposal for a Latinx Studies minor and a Planned Program in Latinx Studies. Those programs were approved in fall 2016. In late fall 2016, Dr. Davis-Undiano submitted a proposal to the CAS Curriculum Committee and the Academic Program Council for an official Latinx Studies major at OU.
A major in Latinx Studies will enable students to be better decision-makers, creators, and innovators in a world where business, law, politics, and the arts all are being transformed as new Latinx communities emerge in the U.S. The University of Minnesota documents graduates from its Chicano and Latino Studies program getting jobs in Student Life offices in higher education, in the area of Advocacy and Health Policy Coordinators, as patient advocates in children's hospitals and clinics, as attorneys, as political constituent relations coordinators, as directors of development, as independent entrepreneurs, as commercial managing directors, as professors and teachers, as realtors, as systems programs analysts, and as writers (https://cla.umn.edu/wcidwami/chicano-latino-studies).
Moreover, the presence of Latinx Studies courses at a flagship university sends a significant signal to Latinx students that mainstream culture values their culture and what they can contribute, hence encouraging Latinx students to meet the demands of potential employers through a variety of channels--many of them not connected to Latinx Studies--open to them by virtue of being students in higher education.
Latinx Studies courses will emphasize the development of critical reading, historical perspectives, and writing skills, helping students learn how to ask and answer questions that they find meaningful and how to communicate their ideas and experiences to others. Such skills are valuable in all walks of life. Finally, this program will seek to inspire students to understand that critical inquiry is not just a luxury for academics, but something that can and should be a part of everyday life, adding richness and depth to our experiences. A degree in Latinx Studies, especially when accompanied by acquaintance or expertise in ancillary fields, will be useful to careers in several professional areas. Students intending to pursue careers in law and politics will find that a familiarity with the history of Latinos in the U.S. will provide a unique and sophisticated understanding of public policy issues. Because the program encourages interdisciplinary thinking, students interested in business and commercial applications will be equipped to respond to the global impact of Latinx culture in the marketplace.
In that graduates of the program will be well-versed as historians, humanists, and social scientists, they may likely teach a variety of courses in addition to specialized topics in Latinx Studies. A degree in Latinx Studies may be a springboard to a career in policy creation in the public and private sector. Governmental and non-governmental agencies increasingly devote resources to strategic planning and oversight of critical programs serving Latino communities. Because Latinx Studies students are trained to analyze culture and structure arguments in integrative ways, they will be among the most desirable employees in the humanities and social sciences.