Latin American Studies for Technical Applications


What is the LASTA minor?

Latin American Studies for Technical Applications is an interdisciplinary minor that allows students to develop deeper understanding of the cultures and languages of Latin America while simultaneously honing and implementing the technical skills they are acquiring in the courses for their majors. This minor aims to include students at all levels of Spanish proficiency, including heritage and native speakers.

Why pursue the LASTA minor?

LASTA Minor Requirements

The minor requires completion of 12 credit hours from an approved list of courses in four areas, including a trip of at least two weeks (14 days) in a Latin American country as part of an S&T-approved program. The minor aims for breadth of knowledge. Therefore, courses from one area cannot count twice.

For more information View Catalog

Required areas of study

Six hours of Spanish at the level of 1180 (intermediate Spanish) or above.

  • SPAN 1180 Intermediate Spanish (4)
  • SPAN 2000 Special Problems (0-6)
  • SPAN 2001 Special Topics (3)
  • SPAN 2110 Basic Spanish Conversation (2)
  • SPAN 2160 Hispanic Culture (3)
  • SPAN 2161 Contemporary Latin America (3)
  • SPAN 2170 Masterpieces of Hispanic Literature (3)
  • SPAN 2180 Intermediate Spanish Composition (3)
  • SPAN 3000 Special Problems (0-6)
  • SPAN 3001 Special Topics (3)
  • SPAN 3100 Spanish Translation for Technical Applications
  • SPAN 4000 Special Problems (0-6)
  • SPAN 4001 Special Topics (3)
  • SPAN 4302 Phonetics and Phonology of Spanish (3)
  • SPAN 4311 Advanced Spanish Conversation (2)
  • SPAN 4370 Survey of Spanish Literature (3)
  • SPAN 4377 Spanish-American Novel and Short Story (3)

Three hours from list of approved courses.

  • GEO ENG 5092 International Engineering and Design
  • GEO ENG 2407 Geology and Engineering of Ancient and Modern Peru 
  • SPAN 3100 Spanish Translation for Technical Applications 
  • SP&MS 3235 Intercultural Communication, when the course is focused on Latin America 
  • GEO ENG 5556 Renewable Energy Systems, when the course is focused on Latin America 
  • CHEM ENG 5001 Special Topics (TBD)

Three hours from list of approved courses.

  • ENGLISH 3001 / TCH COM 3001 Special Topics (Costa Rica in Text) (3)
  • HIST 3001 Special Topics (History of Science & Technology in Latin America) (3)
  • SPAN 2160 Hispanic Culture (3)
  • SPAN 2161 Contemporary Latin America (3)

Minimum of 14 days of experience abroad in Latin America as part of an approved S&T program (including study abroad, Miner Challenge, and EWB). This requirement may be fulfilled via multiple trips. During S&T-sponsored trips, students have built ovens, taught English, made water filters, constructed wells, and studied Spanish. They’ve also tried new foods, explored ancient ruins, made new friends, developed self-confidence, and had lots of fun!


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Questions? Ask us

Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston

Department chair and associate professor of French 
Arts, languages, and philosophy

573-341-4997 |
216 Castleman Hall

Dr. Jorge Porcel

Associate professor of Spanish 
Arts, languages, and philosophy

573-341-4623 |
221 Castleman Hall

Dr. Kathleen Sheppard

Associate professor of history
History and political science

573-341-4815 |
122 Humanities and Social Sciences bldg.