Founded in 1996, the Department of Latina/Latino Studies is one of the nation's exemplary interdisciplinary departments exploring the U.S. Latina/Latino experience from a sociological, historical, and cultural perspective. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department coordinates a range of courses in various disciplines whose content covers subject matter relevant to Latina/Latino Studies. In addition to its teaching mission, the Department fulfills multiple roles for University of Illinois students, for the campus, and for the state of Illinois. The Department enhances curricular offerings through such activities as conferences, lectures, and colloquia. These activities not only benefit students who major and minor in Latina/Latino studies, but also enhance scholarly discussions of Latina/Latino communities on the University of Illinois campus. The Department also provides a location and support for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach.

The Department of Latina/Latino Studies aims to:

  • Provide students with a theoretical base in academic courses and a firm background in the history and culture of Latinas/os in the United States through a balance of course work in key areas;
  • Assess how historical and cultural processes affect these Latina/Latino groups in contemporary society;
  • Provide students with the background in issues of class, gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity, and their relationship to the construction of Latina/Latino cultural identities.