Online Graduate Certificate in NAS

Montana State University's online graduate certificate in Native American Studies is the only program of its type in the world.

Courses cover current and historical aspects of Native American art, law, culture and contemporary issues, and students will gain a deeper insight into the American Indians of Montana, the region and the nation.

The program has a rolling application, and students may submit materials at any time, but please allow 4 weeks to process the application.


  • Bachelor's degree (3.0 GPA)

Tuition and Fees


  • The four courses are typically done in two-four semesters.  Program will need to be completed within 6 years from start of the term applied for.

The Certificate consists of three elective classes and a fourth required class, Federal Indian Law & Policy.  The classes we currently have online are:

*Please check the schedule of classes below, for when courses are offered

NASX 491: Activism and Indigeneity: A Comparative Study

NASX 515: Native Food Systems

NASX 524: Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies

NASX 530: Federal Indian Law and Policy (REQUIRED)

NASX 550: Native America: Dispelling the Myths

NASX 553: Indigenous Literature and the West

NASX 570: Indigenous Planning

NASX 554: Indian Education for All: A Model for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Practice

We will also accept:

EDCI 540: American Indian Studies for Educators

Credits earned under the Graduate Certificate may be transferred to our MA program (as an enrolled student of the certificate program), if the student wishes to continue in Native American Studies and obtain a Masters degree. At present, the Masters program is not wholly available online, and students must apply for the NAS MA program before the end of their 3rd class to have all 12 credits counted.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program is by application.

The application includes:

  • A Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose (2-5 pages), introducing yourself and your interest in Native American Studies
  • A CV or Resume
  • Two writing samples, preferably of an academic nature, demonstrating graduate level research/writing
  • Official Transcripts from attended colleges or universities
  • Montana State University Graduate School application (this includes a one-time $60 fee)

These materials may be uploaded/requested by you on your online application.

Please request transcripts to:

Attn: Graduate Program Coordinator
Native American Studies
P.O. Box 172340 
2-179 Wilson Hall 
Montana State University; Bozeman, MT 59717

Schedule of Classes:

(subject to change)

Spring 2019

Rubric No Course Credit Instructor Begin Date Location
NASX 515 Native Food Systems 3 Staff January 09, 2019 Online
NASX 530 Federal Indian Law and Policy 3 Staff January 09, 2019 Online
NASX 553 Indigenous Literature and the West 3 Staff January 09, 2019 Online


Summer 2019

Rubric No Course Credit Instructor Begin Date Location


Questions regarding the Graduate Certificate, or the NAS Masters Degree may be directed to either:
Dr. Kristin Ruppel • 406.994.5261 •, or
Megan Gourneau • 406.994.3881 • 




Enrollment and detailed information for NAS online classes is at: 
MSU Extended University: Online Classes 

MSU Online Guide for Distance Students

Is online learning right for you? Find out with our INTERACTIVE QUIZ!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning online courses.




Nine (9) credits of the Graduate Certificate can be applied toward a Master's Degree in Native American Studies



After earning a Graduate Certificate in Native American Studies, you will have already completed all or most of your elective course requirements as well as the one other specific course, NASX 530-Federal Indian Law & Policy, required for the Native American Studies Masters degree

The NAS Masters degree is a low residency program. That is,only three on-campus courses are required, one in fall semester, and two in the spring, as follows:

In the Fall, entering NAS Masters students take:

  • NASX 505-Proseminar in NAS (3 cr.)

In the Spring, continuing Masters students take:

  • NASX 540-Theoretical Positions in NAS (3 cr.)
  • NASX 541-Critical Research Methodologies in NAS (3 cr.)

After completing the three on-campus courses listed above, you would only need 10 (ten) NASX 590 credits for the Thesis Option; or 6 (six) NASX 575 credits and one elective for the Professional Paper Option, all of which can be completed away from campus as long as you stay in email/phone/Skype contact with your advisor and graduate committee.

NAS Graduate Certificate Students must enroll in the NAS MA program before the end of their 3rd class in order to get all 12 credits counted.


For more information regarding the transferring of credits from the Graduate Certificate to the Masters CLICK HERE