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From New York and Connecticut to Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, there are plenty of cold-weather schools that will warm you up with a major in Caribbean studies. As a student in this major, you’ll gain vast knowledge of the Caribbean culture—and how it has affected and been affected by American culture. You’ll learn about the difficulties and discriminations Caribbean peoples have faced in the past, and the array of problems they still face today. The changing roles of Caribbean women are crucial to developing your overall understanding, as are the stereotypes and implications of Caribbean religions. Caribbean history, economics, and politics will be covered in depth as you deal with such issues as slavery, urbanization, and education. You’ll learn about the problems and effects of Caribbean migration to the United States. And most programs also require you to gain proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, or possibly French.

Look forward to the exposure your studies will give you to the rich layers of Caribbean art, language, music, politics, psychology, and literature from pre-Columbian times (before 1492) to the present. You’ll form ideas on what it means to be Caribbean and how identity, gender, and race have been challenged and defined in the region. Keep in mind that many schools combine this major with studies on Latin America.


  • Caribbean Cinema

  • Caribbean Environment and Development

  • Caribbean History

  • Caribbean Migration

  • Caribbean Religions

  • Caribbean Writers

  • Conflict and Change in the Caribbean

  • Formation of Hispanic Caribbean Identities

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Political Economy of the Caribbean

  • Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

  • The Caribbean: Peoples, History, and Culture


You’ll be best prepared for a major in Caribbean studies by taking courses in English, history, philosophy, and religion. Language courses will be useful as well. This major will expose you to many different disciplines, so feel free to explore any classes that interest you—a diverse background of knowledge will be your best preparation.