Southwest Borderland Studies Program

Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s mission emphasizes the significance of South Texas as “an ethnically and culturally diverse region of the nation.” The Southwest Borderlands Studies program highlights this strength by engaging students and faculty in research and teaching which draws directly on our geographical and cultural positioning in a borderlands region. The Southwest Borderlands Studies program incorporates several component areas:


Southwest Borderlands Studies (SWBS) offers two different minors: a minor in Southwest Borderlands Studies and a minor in Mexican American Studies. As interdisciplinary minors, they can add a distinctive component to the typical academic plan. A minor in Southwest Borderland/Mexican American studies is of particular interest to students pursuing careers in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, education, international business, ecology, and sociology. Each minor requires 18 credit hours (typically 6 classes).

In addition, students of any major and minor are welcome to take the three SWBS courses offered by the program: SWBS 2301 Foundations of Mexican American Studies, SWBS 2302 Introduction to Southwest Borderlands Studies, and SWBS 4301 Bicultural Groups in the U.S. In addition, there are a number of courses relate to Southwest Borderlands Studies and Mexican American Studies which are offered each semester by departments across the university. These courses may be taken to satisfy the minor requirements, as approved by the SWBS program coordinator. Please see more information about the minor in Southwest Borderlands Studies, the minor in Mexican American Studies, and course offerings in the column links to the right.


Faculty across the university are engaged in research that is relevant to themes in Southwest Borderlands Studies and Mexican American Studies. Recent and current projects range in topic from oral histories of Hispanic farm labor communities to community planning studies to historic cemetery preservation. Framed in interdisciplinary insights and enhanced by the strength of institutional and regional resources, these research projects offer grounded studies with cultural, economic, educational, health, environmental, and policy implications. Many of the research projects offer opportunities for student research assistant involvement. Please see more information about our past and current research projects and student research opportunities in the Research Projects and Student Opportunities column link to the right.


The Southwest Borderlands Studies program maintains a resource center which is dedicated to housing a collection of border-related research materials. The resource center, located in Manning Hall on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus, is intended to complement the archival, artifact, and manuscript collections housed at the South Texas Archives, the John E. Conner Museum, and the Jernigan Library. The resource center principally features a collection of print and media materials and is available to student-researchers as a centralized resource of border-related materials. In addition, the center maintains literature about graduate programs, internship and fieldwork opportunities, and careers in borderland studies- and Mexican American studies-related areas.

This page was last updated on: September 30, 2016