Undergraduate Programs

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2019 AIS Graduation

What is American Indian Studies?

American Indian Studies is grounded in the histories, cultures, and dynamic societies of Indigenous peoples in North America and around the globe. Students work closely with internationally recognized faculty through courses, research projects, and off-campus study to understand the social, historical, scientific, and political aspects of Indigenous nations. By using an interdisciplinary and community-based approach, the department offers unique opportunities to learn from Indigenous experience and knowledge, and to transform that knowledge into innovative, meaningful action. Alumni find success in careers in public affairs, education, tribal administration, law, filmmaking, the sciences, and more, and they also pursue graduate studies in diverse fields.

Why study American Indian Studies?

  • A crucial perspective: American Indian Studies uniquely centers Indigenous experience and ways of knowing, enabling students to access knowledge gained from more than 10,000 years of experience with the land, and from art, storytelling, oral histories, language itself, and more.
  • Student-centered teaching: A department founded out of student action, American Indian Studies continues to offer a uniquely supportive environment for students. Each student in the major pairs with a faculty mentor who can advise on opportunities at UW and beyond.
  • Powerful political awareness: Indigenous nations are significant players in national, state, and local politics. Understanding their priorities, histories, and cultures provides a significant advantage to our alumni in both the public and private sectors.
  • Strong community partnerships: Strong relationships with Indigenous communities give our students uncommon opportunities locally and internationally. As welcomed guests, students can go beyond simply studying abroad to a deeper, richer experience.
  • Far-reaching on-campus culture: The wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Intellectual House, strong student affinity groups, and diverse on-campus events offer many options for Native students to build community and non-Native students to respectfully learn and engage.

What programs do we offer for undergraduates?

How do you major in American Indian Studies?

American Indian Studies is an open major. Students in good academic standing may declare the major at any time by meeting with our academic adviser Kai Wise.

How do you meet with an American Indian Studies adviser?