female-presenting dancers at powwow


Montana State University's online graduate certificate in Native American Studies is the first program of its kind. From locations throughout the world, online students can share experiences, ideas and knowledge to create an exciting and interactive learning environment. 

The online certificate in Native American Studies can help prepare students for careers working with Native American populations and help lay the foundation for further graduate studies. Courses cover current and historical aspects of Native American art, law, culture and contemporary issues. Students will gain a deeper insight into the American Indians of Montana, the region and the nation.


  • Bachelor's degree (3.0 GPA)

Certificate Requirements

The 12 credit certificate consists of three (3) elective classes and a fourth required class, NASX 530: Federal Indian Law & Policy. Elective courses cover current and historical aspects of Native American art, law, culture and contemporary issues. 


The four (4) required courses are typically completed in 2-4 semesters. Program must be completed within 6 years from start of the term applied for.


* Current Course offerings vary from term to term. See current Schedule of Classes.

NASX 515: Native Food Systems

NASX 524: Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies

NASX 530: Federal Indian Law and Policy

NASX 550: Native America: Dispelling the Myths

NASX 551: Native American: Art, Agency, Activism

NASX 553: Indigenous Literature and the West

NASX 570: Indigenous Planning

NASX 571: Native Grantsmanship

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


Schedule of Classes

Spring 2023

Rubric No Course Credit Instructor Begin Date Location
NASX 515 NASX 515: Native Food Systems 3 Joshua Mori 01/18-05/11 Online
NASX 530 NASX 530: Federal Law and Indian Policy 3 Erin Koester-Tusell 01/18-05/11 Online

NASX 553 NASX 553: Indigenous Literature and the West 3 Daniel Hanson 01/18-05/11 Online
NASX 571  NASX 571: Native Grantsmanship 3  Tonya Robinson 01/18-05/11  Online

Tuition and Fees 

How to Apply

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program is by online application.

Required Application Materials:

  • A Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose (2-5 pages), introducing yourself and your interest in Native American Studies
  • A CV or Resume
  • Two academic writing samples that demonstrate graduate level research/writing
  • Official transcripts of all university/college degree(s) conferred
  • Montana State University Graduate School application (this includes a one-time $60 fee)
  • International Applicants will be required to submit a variety of additional documentation including English proficiency scores (at or above) the following: TOEFL [80] IELTS [6.5], or PTE [54]. Please see the International application process for further information. 


Please submit records of degrees conferred to:

Attn: Graduate Program Coordinator
Native American Studies
P.O. Box 172340 
239 American Indian Hall
Montana State University; Bozeman, MT 59717

Application Deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling basis. This means that your application will be reviewed upon submission. Upon admission, you may begin your studies the following term.
Term Applying for
Application Submission Deadline

August 15

December 15
May 15


*International degree and non-degree seeking applications are due June 15 for Fall Semesters and November 1 for Spring Semesters.

Transfer up to 9 credits toward a Master's degree in Native American Studies


*NAS Graduate Certificate Students must enroll in the NAS MA program before the end of their 3rd class in order to get all 9 credits counted.

More information about the Master's program its degree requirements can be found on the program website


Contact the Department

Questions regarding the Graduate Certificate, or the NAS Masters Degree may be directed to either: 
Dr. Kristin Ruppel • 406.994.5261 • [email protected]


Additional Resources

MSU Extended University: Online Classes 

MSU Online Guide for Distance Students 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning online courses.