We have four concentrations in our program, Societies and Cultures, American Indian Law and Policy, American Indian Education, and American Indian Literature. Our MA and JD/MA students take classes from all four concentration areas to gain a broad understanding of American Indian Studies. At the PhD level our students choose one of our concentration areas to develop a deeper knowledge within.
Societies and Cultures courses are designed to give students an understanding of the worldviews, institutions, and socio-cultural characteristics of Native life in North America. Students will examine Indian communities before and after contact with other societies from around the globe; and will study the exchanges between European and other immigrants and the societies and cultures of Native North America.
American Indian Law and Policy courses focus on the development of Federal Indian Law and Policy from the American Indian’s first contact with Europeans to the present time. The selected courses offer students an interdisciplinary approach to the interactions between Native and non-Native peoples through historical, legal, and political analysis. Law and Policy courses expose students to the unique relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes, including litigation and policies, how those relationships are presently maintained, and the development of contemporary tribal governments.
American Indian Education courses offer students the opportunity to explore education of Native peoples from pre-contact to the present. Emphasis is on historical issues; contemporary political and legal implications; various pedagogical methodologies; curriculum development; and the relationship between tribal, community, national, state and local agencies and institutions involved in Indian education.
American Indian Literature courses offer students the opportunity to explore American Indian literatures from Native American perspectives. Through the courses, students will gain an understanding of how Native American literatures are used in a cultural context. Students will be exposed to a variety of American Indian writers and will examine the relationship between oral and written traditions.
Students in any concentration may supplement their study with courses in other departments, and with the AIS internship Program (AIS 693), subject to approval by their committee. For more information on internships please see our Internship page.
For details of the courses in each of the four concentration areas please see the Courses page.