About Us

The mission of CLAS is to promote global understanding through support for teaching, learning, and research in and on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diverse diasporic communities of Latin American and Caribbean origin. CLAS provides faculty with the resources and intellectual environment to realize cutting-edge research, and students with unequaled educational experience and a solid path to a successful career. Through its community engagement programs, the Center shares its resources regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Program Summary

CLAS offers its students multidisciplinary academic training programs of the highest quality that complement a degree in a discipline or profession. CLAS believes that specialized multidisciplinary training on Latin America and the Caribbean is one important component of an academic program; however, the value of such expertise is greatly strengthened by combining multidisciplinary Latin American area and language training with a degree in a traditional discipline or profession. Consequently, the Center offers graduate and undergraduate interdisciplinary certificates as well as an undergraduate related concentration in Latin American studies in conjunction with the academic or professional degree in the student's major field—an approach that provides its students with dual expertise. Over 100 University of Pittsburgh faculty members are associated with CLAS. Their teaching expertise and research specializations encompass all of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and many of the English-speaking countries. Each academic year, they teach well over 250 courses on the region in more than 20 departments while actively pursuing on-going research projects in a wide range of disciplines, including the social sciences, professional schools, humanities, and natural sciences. The University of Pittsburgh's Eduardo Lozano Latin American Library Collections aids in this work. The Lozano Collection is one of the top ten Latin American collections in the United States. Housed in Hillman Library, the collection excels in contemporary materials, documents, and statistics. Although the library is strong in almost all substantive and geographic areas of Latin America, it has some of the world’s best resources on Bolivia and Cuba, as well as extensive holdings on Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Over 85 percent of the volumes in this extraordinary collection are in Spanish and Portuguese.

Special Programs

  • The Latin American Archaeology Program
    Latin America is the principal geographical focus of archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh. Administered by the Department of Anthropology, with the cooperation and support of CLAS, the Latin American Archaeology Program involves research, training, and publication. Its objective is to maintain an international community of graduate students studying archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh. This objective is promoted in part through fellowships that enable outstanding graduate students to study any area of Latin American prehistory. Many of these fellowships are awarded to students from Latin America, who constitute nearly half of the students in the program. The commitment to Latin American archaeology is also illustrated by collaborative ties to numerous Latin American institutions and by the bilingual publication series, which makes the results of primary field research available to a worldwide audience. The Latin American Archaeology Publications Program publishes the bilingual Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology and Latin American Archaeology Reports, co-publishes the collaborative series Arqueología de México, and distributes volumes on Latin American archaeology and related subjects from more than nine publishers in Latin America.

Community Engagement 

CLAS' community engagement programs play a pivotal role in sharing information, expertise and facilitating understanding about Latin America with educators from kindergarten through tertiary (K-16) level, the professional community, and general public as part of its Educational Public Service mission. Community Engagement programs are offered throughout the academic year. These include but are not limited to: professional development workshops (local and international), study abroad, international faculty development seminars, summer research fellowships, curriculum development projects, school visit programs, lecture and film series, resource lending library, newsletters and publications. For information on CLAS engagement contact the Assistant Director for Partnerships and Programming.