Native American & Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Certificate

Native American & Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Certificate

Coordinator, Dr. Ilaheva Tua'one


The Women’s and Ethnic Studies program (WEST) has a strong emphasis in diversity and social justice issues, highlighting race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, disability and environmental justice. An area that we are developing within the program is Native American and Indigenous Studies, which investigates not only American Indian issues but also the concept of Indigenous knowledge worldwide, with special emphasis on Indian Nations within the United States, First Nations in Canada, and Pacific Islanders.

Completion of a certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies can be beneficial for enhancing future career options and interests.

 It is marketable to a wide variety of employers and institutions, including specific American Indian tribes and tribal organizations, Native American communities, environmental organizations, libraries, archives, and museums, Government organizations (state and national parks, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Museum of the American Indian), and graduate programs and professional schools (for example, Anthropology, Art History, Museum Studies, Environmental Studies, Education, and Law). Specializing in Native American and Indigenous Studies also provides students with opportunities for networking and mentoring.

*In order to complete the certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies, students are required to submit a transcript and a 3-5 page, typewritten self-reflective statement evaluating her/his perceptions regarding the knowledge gained in the area of specialization and implications for future scholarly and professional work. Please submit the transcript and statement to the coordinator. A certificate confirming the student’s completion of the concentration will be mailed to recipients following an audit by the coordinator.

Certificate Course Requirements

After completing WEST 1010 - Introduction to Social Justice Studies: Leadership, Inclusion, and Engagement, students are required to complete 12 credit hours of WEST courses, 9 of which must be upper division. A minimum grade of 2.0 (C) is required for each course applied to the certificate Courses counted toward the Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate may not also be counted toward the Latino/a Studies, Global Studies, and Gender and Sexualities Studies certificates

Students should apply to the coordinator, indicating the student’s name, student ID number and major, and declaring their intention to complete the certificate as soon as possible after completing WEST 1010. The coordinator will send an email to with the students name and student ID and the name of the certificate.

Course selection guidelines:

  • Independent studies may not be used to earn this certificate.
  • All courses must be offered through, or cross-listed with, the WEST program or be cross-listed with WEST.

Students may take one of the following CORE courses (3 credit hours):

  • WEST 2070 - Foundations of Native American Study
  • WEST 3250 - The Prehistory and History of Native American Cultures of the Southwest
  • WEST 3420 - North American Indians
  • WEST 3820 - Native American Languages and Cultures

Take two of the following ELECTIVE courses (6 credit hours):

  • WEST 3220 / SOC 3270 - Global Indigenous Issues
  • WEST 3550 - Native American Lit
  • WEST 3780 - South Sea Tales
  • WEST 4100 - Native American Perspectives on Museums
  • WEST 4120 - Indigenous Views on Sustainability: All My Relations
  • WEST 4280 - Native American Philosophical Thought
  • WEST 4340 - Indigenous Arts of the Americas

*Additional courses may be offered and counted toward the certificate. These courses must be approved in advance by the certificate coordinator or the WEST Program Director.

*See the WEST website for an updated list of approved courses: //

After the student has submitted the required materials and the coordinator has verified that the student has met the requirements for the certificate, the coordinator will submit the student’s name, ID, and name of the certificate to with a statement that the student has successfully met the requirements for the certificate.


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