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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Native American Studies Program

Chair: Colin G. Calloway

Professors C. G. Calloway (History and Native American Studies), N. B. Duthu (Native American Studies), S. A. Kan (Anthropology and Native American Studies), D. L. Nichols (Anthropology); Associate Professor D. A. Turner (Government and Native American Studies); Assistant Professors D. J. Ranco (Native American Studies and Environmental Studies), M. R. Goeman (English and Native American Studies); Senior Lecturers: D. M. Runnels (Native American Studies, Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies, and Spanish), V. B. B. Palmer (Native American Studies);

Native American Studies offers students the opportunity to pursue a program of study that will increase their understanding of the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political aspirations of Indian peoples in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. Students explore the intersection of Indian and European histories and systems of knowledge. Students will learn essential information about Native American ways of living, organizing societies, and understanding the world, and about their relations with Euro-American colonizing powers. They will learn to appreciate how the value systems of different cultures function and to understand the dynamics of cultural change. They will examine contact and conflict between Native and non-Native societies and will appreciate the unique status of Indian peoples in the United States and Canada.

Students who elect to take a major or minor in Native American Studies will take a number of core courses and will explore interdisciplinary approaches to Native American Studies. Courses in Native American Studies are open to all students. Indeed, the mission of the Native American Studies program depends upon attracting a varied student body who bring their own perspectives and build upon their individual experiences and understandings.


Students pursue their own interests and develop an individual program, but they also take certain required courses, to ensure that they acquire a common body of substantive knowledge, gain exposure to crucial ways of critical thinking, and explore several essential approaches to Native American Studies.

In order to qualify for a major in Native American Studies, a student must take ten courses, to be selected as follows

One Prerequisite:

Native American Studies 8: Perspectives in Native American Studies

One Class in Literature and Languages:

Native American Studies 34, 35, 40, or 44

One Class in History:

Native American Studies 14 or 15

One Class in Culture and Environment:

Native American Studies 10, 42, or 52

One Class in Governance and Sovereignty:

Native American Studies 25, 36, or 39

A Culminating Experience course:

Native American Studies 81

Four electives:

Native American Studies 10, 11, 14, 15, 22, 25

Native American Studies 30, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 49

Native American Studies 50, 52, 54, 58, 80

Native American Studies 85 (permission required)

Native American Studies 86 (permission required)

Native American Studies 87 (see Honors Program)

All required courses and most electives are usually offered on an annual basis. However, students should consult the Program for current course offerings and special course offerings for each term.


The Honors Program in Native American Studies is open only to majors. A candidate for the Honors Program in Native American Studies must satisfy the minimum College requirement of a GPA of 3.0, have a grade average of at least 3.33 in Native American Studies courses, and complete the sequence of courses NAS 86, and 87, in addition to the Senior Seminar NAS 81.

Students who take both NAS 86 and NAS 87 may count only one course as credit towards the major requirements.

Students who wish to take the Honors Program must apply in the spring of their junior year and provide a written proposal for their senior thesis or other project. Students who complete the senior thesis and earn a 3.33 average or higher in the courses that constitute the major will earn Honors recognition in Native American Studies, contingent upon a vote of the faculty. High Honors may be granted by a vote of the faculty on the basis of outstanding independent work.


In order to qualify for a minor in Native American Studies, a student must successfully complete six courses in the Program, as follows:

One Prerequisite:

Native American Studies 8: Perspectives in Native American Studies

Four Elective Courses

A Culminating Experience course:

Native American Studies 81