The Best Native American Studies Programs at US Colleges

Posted By Paul G July 18th, 2017 Last Updated on: October 26th, 2018

Knowledge is incredibly valuable and learning more about Native American communities will help you to protect and maintain their identity and traditions.

There are some top notch college programs around the USA that offer students the chance to learn about Native American culture, history, sociology, economics and much more. These programs lead to employment in a wide range of sectors, including health education, museum curation, public interest law, social work, teaching and much more.

Native American Scholarships and Colleges

Here are some of the notable programs at colleges across the USA that focus on Native American topics.

Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law

The University of Tulsa

This online Masters program addresses the distinct needs of those in tribal leadership and management and is the ideal training whether you already work with tribal government leadership or you are looking to pursue a career in this field. 

The program is available to full time or part time and it can be completed in 18-24 months.

This degree covers a number of very important topics, including Indian civil and international rights, Indian land titles and natural resource law, workings of tribal government, legal principles that guide Indian policy, water law and water rights, Indian family law and much more.

Now more than ever, it is very important that tribal members, especially those who serve in a leadership position, have an understanding of the nuances of Indian law.

The Interdepartmental Program in American Indian Studies

The University of California at Los Angeles

UCLA has a number of course offerings in Native American studies, including introductory courses, freshman seminars, and honors seminars. The program offers an undergraduate major, minor and a graduate level Master's degree (two years).

Some of the courses include “History of Native Americans in California,” “California Experiences in Native Cultural Resource Management” and “Culture, Ethnicity and Race in American Museums.” This program is one of the oldest American Indian Studies programs in the USA and UCLA is the highest ranked University with an American Indian Studies M.A. program.

Native American Indigenous Studies

The University of Texas at Austin

This intriguing program encompasses indigenous people around the globe, but it particularly focuses on the people of the Americas. The courses within the program allow students to gain a deep understanding of indigenous thought and issues.

Indigenous speakers from all around the world come to give lectures at the University of Texas at Austin and there are also summer research fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students. The course selection is diverse and fascinating, with courses such as “Colonial Power in Latin America,” “Race at the History of American Literary Studies” and “Geoarcheology of Mesoamerica.”

Native Voices: Master's Degree Program in Native American Documentary Film and New Digital Media

University of Washington, Seattle

This fascinating program has been working with Indigenous producers for more than 15 years. Students have produced documentaries which have won awards and have been screened at the American Indian Film Festival and Sundance.

They have also been shown at the National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Modern Art and many other venues. The films produced by this program have also been used at many other universities around the USA to teach indigenous education.

American Indian Studies

University of Minnesota Morris

The American Indian Studies major and minor at the University of Minnesota Morris is designed to enhance awareness and knowledge of Indigenous cultures throughout North America. The course covers literature, science, cultures, language, policies, arts, history and much more.

This is an ideal place to study, as it is close to several unique American Indian communities throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Students will benefit from learning about the legal, historical, cultural, social and political relationships between the state governments. The aim of the program is to restore and promote the importance of American Indians within everyday life.

Indigenous Law Program

Michigan State University College of Law

This program trains Native law students and lawyers prepared to work on behalf of indigenous tribes all throughout the country. An American Indian tribe has the right to self-govern, levy taxes, adjudicate legal cases and much more. With 566 American Indian tribes recognized by the United States federal government, the need for lawyers is critical.

The curriculum is diverse and it includes advanced topics in Indian law such as treaty rights, tribal policy and governance, tribal gaming and economic development and much more.

These are just a few of the most highly recognized University and College programs throughout the country that focus on Native American culture and issues.

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Bernardo Almaraz

I would like to receive information on the Masters of Legal Studies from the University of Oklahoma

Terri Mohr

Would really like to find an Indigenous Studies Program here in NewJersey. Do you know of any that offer just American Indian History?
Thank you, Terri Mohr

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