The study of Latin America and the Caribbean addresses the region’s history, culture and contemporary affairs and the diversity of peoples. These have given shape to the American experience beyond the borders of Canada and the United States.

This vibrant field draws on a wide range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, economics, history, literature, politics and government, religion and sociology. Our students not only learn about a vast region of crucial importance to the United States, but they also develop the ability to analyze complex social and cultural issues from multiple intellectual perspectives.

This interdisciplinary approach casts new light on old problems and unexamined assumptions, and it encourages students to be creative in designing a course of study, travel and research that best suits their interests. It allows for research, professional and academic specializations after graduation.

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Ripon No. 1 in state for how much graduates earn, according to U.S. Department of Education

Ripon College has been named the No. 1 school in Wisconsin whose grads earn the most in mean wages 10 years after graduation. The study, […]


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Bockelman, Brian

Professor of History

Geoff Guevara-Geer

Guevara-Geer, Geoff

Associate Professor of Spanish, Chair of Foreign Languages and Cultures Department

Soren Hauge

Hauge, Soren

Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics, Chair of Economics and Business Management Department

Travis Nygard

Nygard, Travis

Associate Professor of Art History, Director of the Caestecker Art Gallery

Brian Smith

Smith, Brian

Professor of Religion Emeritus


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon


22 credits total, fulfilling the following requirements: (1) Language ability in Spanish or French, as demonstrated by completion of either Spanish 211 and 280 or French 222 or higher-level courses in these languages. (2) The language requirement alternately can be fulfilled through completion of eight credits of coursework taught in Spanish or Portuguese, on an approved off-campus study program based in Latin America, such as the Córdoba program at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina. (3) Twelve elective credits, chosen from the list below or approved by the program coordinator. For elective courses that include student-chosen projects, students are expected to focus their work on Latin America or the Caribbean. No more than eight credits can come from courses in a single department. (4) Two credits of LAC 498: Independent Study in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, taught as an independent study. Latin American and Caribbean Studies 141 Off-Campus Study: Ripon College offers a variety of interesting study-abroad opportunities in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Ranging from an In Focus course to summer, semester and year-long programs, these valuable research and study experiences are strongly recommended for students planning to minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Students also may earn credit toward the Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor through affiliated CCSC programs in Argentina and Spain. Former courses and collaborative student-faculty summer research trips have been offered in Jamaica, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Guadeloupe and Costa Rica. These and other study-abroad options should be explored in close consultation with the coordinator in order to discuss how courses taken off campus can be used to satisfy the requirements for the minor. In addition, students should seek out one of the many campus study-abroad advisors to help them locate the programs that best match their academic goals. Lastly, to prepare themselves for the invaluable experience of studying in a foreign country, students are advised to begin the appropriate language courses in their first year at Ripon.

Career Tracks

This program allows students with a major in another discipline to broaden their academic scope and demonstrate their varied interests and expertise to the widest range of future employers in the nonprofit sector, with government agencies or with private businesses that have interests in the region. It also allows for continued study at the graduate level for research, professional or academic specializations.

Unique Opportunities

  • Language, Society and the Environment (fall) and Field Research in the Environment, Humanities and Social Sciences (spring) programs are held in Costa Rica.
  • Two semester exchange programs, one in environmental studies and the other in liberal studies, are held in Brazil.
  • The Service-Learning and Language Immersion (summer) program is held in Mexico.