Montana State University

Native American Studies

Department of Native American Studies

Native American Studies offers an interdisciplinary program of study in American Indian culture and history, policy and law, community affairs, education, and other related areas through a non-teaching minor in Native American Studies, an Online Graduate Certificate in Native American Studies, a Master of Arts in Native American Studies, as well as opportunities for all MSU undergraduate students to gain a multicultural perspective in meeting the university's Core Curriculum requirements.

Research and Creative Activity

The Department takes pride in the scholarship of its faculty. In 2000 the Department established its endowed Katz Family Chair in Native American Studies. The scholarship and service offered by the holders of the Chair enhances the Department's efforts to provide first class scholarship on behalf of Native peoples and the university. Over the year faculty members have consistently published in professional journals, delivered papers at national and international meetings, held symposia here at MSU, and, by invitation, chaired and participated in panels at national professional association conferences.

Consistent with its service commitment to Montana's tribal communities, much of the faculty's research and creative activity responds to the educational, cultural, and economic development needs of Native Americans.  In addition to scholarly research, faculty members have devoted much time and energy to developing new programs and finding external funding sources for those programs. During the past decade, the Department has received more than $5 million in federal, state, and private grants for programs which include graduate fellowships, tribal college development projects, international student exchanges, pre-college engineering and business programs, and national and international cultural development programs.


The Department firmly maintains that Montana State University must be responsive to Indian communities in addressing tribally-identified educational, cultural, and economic development needs. Accordingly, the Department has directed much of its public service activity to Montana's Indian communities. In doing so, Department faculty members have established close working relationships with tribal and intertribal groups as well as with national Indian offices and organizations.

Upon request, faculty members have also provided technical assistance in the areas of adult, vocational, and community college development, needs assessments, proposal writing, and program evaluations.

Utilizing the resources of the university to assist in the development of Montana's seven tribally-controlled community colleges has been a major goal of the Department. For example, the Department has administered projects to provide graduate-level training to tribal college faculty, to provide in-service training and technical assistance, and to conduct significant research in areas of importance to the tribal colleges.

In addition, faculty members have presented continuing education workshops on Montana reservations, evaluated reservation cultural and education programs, and provided other public service. Faculty members have also, by invitation, read proposals for the U.S. Office of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institute of Education, and the National Science Foundation.

American Indian Student Programs and Services

In addition to the traditional functions of an academic department, Native American Studies places a high priority on providing student support programs and services, reflecting a strong commitment to Indian student retention and success. The student who decides to attend MSU will find a University-wide commitment manifested by a varied and extensive support system which is unequaled in the Great Plains region.



The minor in Native American Studies is designed to enhance the student's major area of study, offering an interdisciplinary program for Indian and non-Indian students who wish to concentrate in the study of Native American life or who are preparing for careers in tribal affairs.

Students who declare a minor in Native American Studies must complete 21 credits as outlined below:

NASX 105--Intro Native Am Studies    3
NASX 232D--Montana Indians:Cult,Hist,Current Issues     3
NASX 476--Amer Ind Policy & Law     3
NASX Electives     12

At least 9 credits must be in upper division courses, and at least 10 credits must be earned at Montana State University. Electives are to be selected in consultation with the minor advisor. NASX 290/490 (Undergraduate Research), NASX 492 (Individual Problems) and/or NASX 498 (Internship) may be included among the electives. No more than four (4) semester credits (equivalent quarter hours or combination of semester and quarter hours) of NASX 492 and/or NASX 290/490 and no more than four (4) semester credits of NASX 498 may be included in the minor program. Transfer credits or credits earned in related courses offered in other departments may be included in the student's program, upon approval of NAS departmental certifying officer.

Any student wishing a minor in Native American Studies must file an "Application for a Non-teaching Minor" with the Registrar's Office a minimum of two terms prior to graduation.



Graduates of Montana State University face an ever changing and increasingly complex world. An understanding of and sensitivity to other cultural perspectives prepares them to function in the global community and creates a campus climate that is conducive to academic growth for all students. Diversity courses address the study of identities (e.g. race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc.), societies, nations, or national languages and cultures.

Students choose from the following:
  • AMST 201D - Introduction to American Studies
  • ANTY 101D - Anthropology & the Human Experience
  • ANTY 242D - Contemporary Japan
  • ARAB 102D - Intermediate Arabic
  • CHIN 102D - Elementary Chinese II
  • CHIN 130D - Historical and Literary Journey Into Modern China
  • DANC 206D - Dance as Cultural Expression
  • EDU 211D - Multicultural Education
  • FRCH 102D - Elementary French II
  • FRCH 201D - Intermediate French I
  • FRCH 220D - French Language & Culture
  • GPHY 121D - Human Geography
  • GPHY 141D - Geography of World Regions
  • GRMN 102D - Elementary German II
  • GRMN 201D - Intermediate German
  • GRMN 220D - German Language & Culture
  • HSTR 130D - Latin American History
  • HSTR 140D - Modern Asia
  • HSTR 145D - History of Japan
  • HSTA 160D - Introduction to the American West
  • HSTR 160D - Modern World History
  • HSTR 232D - Religion in Latin America
  • JPNS 102D - Elementary Japanese II
  • JPNS 201D - Intermediate Japanese I
  • JPNS 202D - Intermediate Japanese II
  • LIT 214D - Regional Lit
  • LIT 285D - Mythologies
  • BGEN 245D - Cultural Dimensions of International Business
  • BMKT 242D - Introduction to Global Markets
  • MTA 218D - International Film and Television
  • NASX 105D - Introduction to Native American Studies
  • NASX 201D - American Indians in Montana
  • NASX 232D - Montana Indian Cultures, History, Current Issues
  • NASX 205D - Native Americans in Contemporary Society
  • PHL 255D - Philosophy & Culture
  • PSCI 230D - Introduction to International Relations
  • PSYX 235D - Contemporary Issues in Human Sexual
  • RLST 100D - Introduction to Study of Religion
  • RLST 110D - Religion, Conflicts & Politics
  • RELS 201D - Religion in Latin America
  • RLST 202D - Asian Religions: Hinduism and Buddhism
  • RLST 203D - Daoism to Zen
  • SOCI 150D - Social Difference
  • SOCI 201D - Social Problems
  • SPNS 102D - Elementary Spanish II
  • SPNS 201D - Intermediate Spanish I
  • SPNS 220D - Spanish Language & Culture
Any other course with the "D" suffix

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