Indigenous Studies Graduate Program

The Indigenous Studies master’s degree program provides students with in-depth knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ complex and diverse cultures and histories, as well as their impacts on the global society. Our multidisciplinary program offers students the advantage of studying relevant issues from a wide range of academic perspectives. The expertise of our affiliate faculty members includes Native American history, including medical and legal aspects; indigenous literature; ethnobotany; Indigenous peoples' cultural survival and political activism; American Indian tribal governments; indigenous geographies and cartographic history; Native American religions; and much more.

Empowered by the resources on campus and in our community, we strive to provide unique learning opportunities for our students that go beyond the classroom. The mission of the multidisciplinary Indigenous Studies Program is to educate students and promote scholarship about the complexity and diversity of Indigenous peoples' cultures and histories, and to provide students with the knowledge to understand and assess the U.S. tribes' unique relationships to the U.S. government. Indigenous Studies encourages appreciation of the contributions of Indigenous peoples to the global society, provides students with an understanding of the difficulties confronting tribal nations and offers foundational knowledge to assist them in finding innovative solutions to solve those problems.

Certificate Application and Admissions Procedure

Current Students

Current graduate students wishing to enroll in the Graduate Certificate program will need to apply through Graduate Studies. The application process entails completing the online application, paying a $30.00 application fee, and submitting materials required for the Indigenous Studies Certificate:

  • A letter stating your interest in Indigenous Studies and its relationship to your graduate course of study;
  • An unofficial copy of your KU transcript;
  • A letter of support from your graduate degree program.

A student must be in good standing with their graduate degree program in order to participate in the certificate program. A graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for admission.

Non-KU Students

Students who are not currently enrolled at KU must complete an application to Graduate Studies for admission into the certificate program and submit an application fee along with the following materials:

  • A letter stating your interest in the Indigenous Studies Graduate Certificate program;
  • A copy of your college transcript;
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work or potential for graduate study.

Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. The GPA requirement may be waived at the discretion of the ISP Director.

Student Eligibility and Administration of the Program

Eligibility criteria for admission to the certificate program include a B.A. degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 or higher GPA.

Students admitted to the certificate program may be enrolled either as a regular graduate student or admitted to Graduate Studies as a certificate seeking student.

Students must maintain grade-point averages of 3.0 or better in all courses taken to satisfy requirements of the Indigenous Studies Certificate. At the conclusion of the program, the student should ask the Indigenous Studies program to verify that the requirements for the certificate have been met.

Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Studies is designed to provide students with necessary knowledge of the events, laws, policies, and treaties that have defined the relationship between the United States and Indigenous Nations and Peoples. This knowledge is essential to analysis of a broad range of historical, political, religious and social issues in the U.S.

The program will provide students with a solid grounding in the histories and cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America. The certificate program enables students to integrate knowledge of indigenous issues into their own academic disciplines or professional training.

Completion of the certificate in Indigenous Studies represents an additional credential for graduate students from a variety of academic fields who are preparing for careers in research and teaching or professional practice. The certificate will also enhance the qualifications of students seeking careers with indigenous organizations, government, and museums, among many other options.

Enrollment in the program is open to students admitted to a regular KU graduate program as well as students who are not currently enrolled at KU.

Certificate Requirements

The Indigenous Studies Graduate Certificate requires 12 hours of coursework:

  • ISP 800: Indigenous Issues in the United States (3 hrs)
  • 9 hours of graduate-level coursework with 50% or more content in Indigenous Peoples; courses must be approved by the ISP Executive Committee.