Latino/a Studies

Students must be degree seeking students to receive the certificate. The certificate will be awarded at the same time as the degree is awarded. All undergraduate certificates have received Higher Learning Commission approval, and students are eligible for financial aid because they are seeking a degree. 

The Latino/a Studies certificate program is designed to increase students' knowledge of the diverse histories, demographics, and cultures among Latinos/as in the United States. It is a useful program for students in any profession, as it will prepare them for working with people of Spanish-speaking Latin American or Caribbean heritage--an important and growing demographic in the American landscape.

Area and Global Studies

Brooks College

Mariana Martinez

Why earn the Latino/a Studies Certificate?

  • Learn more about an important demographic in the United States and in Michigan.
  • Explore cultural, historical, and professional issues related to Latinos/as.
  • Engage with the West Michigan Latino/a community via the certificate’s coursework.
  • Gain important intercultural understanding and competency skills that you can apply to any workplace context.

Mariana Martinez, 10, waits for the start of First Communion services at Catholic church in Mexicantown, Detroit, MI 2012

©José Galvez


Students take a total of 15 credit hours, including “Introduction to Latino/a Studies” and “Latinos/as In West Michigan,” the latter of which includes a community engagement component. In addition to these two required courses, students choose electives from disciplines like English, History, Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Spanish, and may elect to do an internship.

Career Options

Anyone can benefit from the knowledge and skills this certificate offers. A certificate in Latino/a Studies particularly enhances the education of students preparing for careers in:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Law enforcement
  • Nursing
  • Social services
  • Government

Abel Resendia and his wife Brenda Ortega


Human Rights in the Atlantic World

September 21, 2016

Professor Andy Schlewitz talks with Shelly Irwin from GVSU's Morning Show about the upcoming Great Lakes History Conference/Conference on the Americas and the new Area and Global Studies major: Global Studies and Social Impact (GSI).

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Abel Resendia and his wife Brenda Ortega working in the apple orchards near Grand Rapids in Sparta, MI 2015

©José Galvez

Page last modified April 7, 2017