Graduate Program Courses

For updated information, please consult the graduate catalog on-line at:

*Required courses

The following three courses are required:

*NAS 530 - Federal Indian Law and Policy
S, 3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 100 or equivalent, NAS 330 or equivalent

Advanced analysis of theories, doctrines, case law, and legislation with a focus on key legal and policy concerns for contemporary Native Americans including treaties, criminal jurisdiction, land, environmental regulation, water rights, fishing and hunting, child welfare, gaming, taxation, repatriation, and religious freedom.

*NAS 540 - Theoretical Positions in Native American Studies
F, 3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 100 or equivalent and NAS 330 or equivalent.

An introduction to the central concepts of the academic discipline of Native American Studies and several of the theoretical paradigms operative within it. Students will gain comprehensive knowledge of the contributions of Native American Studies to theoretical understandings within, across, and beyond dominant academic disciplines.

*NAS 541 - A Critical Approach to Native American Studies Methodologies
S, 3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 540 or equivalent.

A critical survey of the interdisciplinary approaches used in Native American Studies grounded in a sociopolitical context with emphasis on ethical questions raised by research of Native Americans.  Students receive individual attention toward formulating an effective methodology for their final master's project.

Students may opt for either the Thesis or Professional Paper option:

The Thesis option requires a minumum of 10 credits, and the Professional Paper requires a minimum of 6 credits.

*NAS 575- Professional Paper
1-4 credits

A research or professional paper or project dealing with a topic in the field.  The student and his or her major advisor and graduate committee must mutually agree upon the topic.

*NAS 590 - Master's Thesis
1-9 credits

The following courses are elective:

NAS 415 - Native Food Systems
3 credits, Lecture 1; S alternate years; NAS 100 or 201, Junior standing.

  • Examination of indigenous practices and beliefs focusing on the food systems of the Native Americans, using comparative data from across time and place.  Of specific interest are dynamic connections between native foods and the health of people and place, both traditionally and in societies affected by colonization and rapid cultural change.

NAS 430 - American Indian Education
3 credits, Lecture; S alternate years; Prerequisite: Junior standing, ENGL 121, NAS 201.

Historical development and contemporary directions in American Indian education, values and assumptions inherent in programs devised at the state and federal levels and their results, the cultural basis of Indian education, and selected materials appropriate to the various educational levels.

NAS 500 - Seminar 
On Demand; 1-4 credits

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or seniors by petition. Course prerequisites as determined for each offering. Topics offered at the graduate level that are not covered in regular courses.  Students participate in preparing and presenting discussion material.

NAS 520 - Feminist and Gender Theories in Native American Studies
3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 100 or equivalent and NAS 305 or equivalent.

Exploration of feminist theories and gender issues pertinent to the field of Native American Studies.  In depth analytical critique of these theories and of Native American feminist and gender theories.

NAS 521 - Tribal Government:  Yesterday and Today
S, 3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 100 or equivalent, NAS 330 or equivalent.

Examination of the complexities of American Indian tribal government organizations, their histories, and the unique relationship between the Federal government and American Indian tribes. The course highlights several models of both traditional and contemporary tribal governance systems.

NAS 523 - American Indians and Minorities in Higher Education
F, 3 credits; Prerequisite: NAS 100 or equivalent or NAS 242 or equivalent.

Examination of the history of American Indians and minorities in higher education, tribal colleges and their place in higher education, and faculty and students of color in higher education.

NAS 524 - Contemporary Issues
3 credits  (begins Spring 2004)

  • Investigation and analysis of a variety of contemporary issues in Indian Country. Possible topics include sovereignty; blood quantum, enrollment, and other identity issues; tribal colleges; gaming; and natural resource issues.

NAS 525 - Indigenous Philosophies of Sacred Ecologies
3 credits

Examination of indigenous philosophies of sacred ecologies, contrasting Native views with those held by Europeans regarding the natural world. The course also traces the impact of historical colonialism in the environment up to contemporary conflicts over sacred sites and environmental resources.

NAS 560 - Native American Literary Tradition
3 credits 

Investigation and analysis of both contemporary and oral traditions in American Indian Literature.

NAS 570- Individual Problems 
1-3 credits; Prerequisite: Graduate standing, approval of instructor, department head, and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Graduate level directed research and study on an individual basis.

NAS 576 - Internship
1-6 credits; Prereq: Graduate standing, consent of instructor and department head.

An individualized assignment arranged with an agency, business, or other organizations to provide guided experience in the field.



Updated: 08/30/2011