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.


First, to declare interest, the student must complete a WEST Undergraduate Certificate Declaration Form.

To complete the certificate program, students are required to submit a portfolio to the Certificate Director which includes an unofficial transcript and a 3-5 page, self-reflective statement evaluating her/his perceptions regarding the knowledge gained in the area of specialization and implications for future scholarly and professional work.  This information is submitted via the WEST Undergraduate Certificate Completion Form.

After the student submits the required materials and the coordinator verifies student has met certificate requirements, the Registrar will be notified of the certificate completion.

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 counted toward the Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate. One course applied to this certificate may also be counted toward the Latino/a Studies, Global Studies, and Gender and Sexualities Studies certificates.


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 must take at least one of the following CORE courses (3 - 6 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 -9 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.



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