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Major in American Indian Studies

Our department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Indian Studies. American Indian Studies majors are provided with a broad understanding of Native American peoples, with a focus on the tribes of Southern California. The curriculum is designed to provide a study of American Indians from an interdisciplinary viewpoint while examining their history, culture and contemporary life.

What can you do with a degree in American Indian Studies?

A degree in American Indian Studies prepares students for various careers both in and outside Indian Country. Our interdisciplinary program teaches students about tribal sovereignty and the needs of contemporary Native communities. Students will be prepared to work in tribal education programs, social and human services programs, and cultural preservation divisions. Students will also be prepared to work in the various Federal agencies that work with Native communities, such as Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Indian Gaming Commission, etc. With growing economic development opportunities in Indian Country, our majors will also be prepared to work in the several non-Indian corporations that serve Native communities, such as hospitality, environmental planning, financial services, engineering/architectural consulting, and entrepreneurship. Our course focus on tribal self-determination and decolonization helps students understand the complex jurisdictional issues and political and economic developmental needs of Native communities.

Degree Requirements

All candidates for a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete the graduation requirements listed in the section of this catalog on “Graduation Requirements.” No more than 48 units in American Indian studies can apply to the degree. A minor is not required with this major.

The American Indian studies major is an impacted program. To be admitted to the American Indian studies major, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete preparation for the major;
  • Complete a minimum of 60 transferable semester units;
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

To complete the major, students must fulfill the degree requirements for the major described in the catalog in effect at the time they are accepted into the premajor at SDSU (assuming continuous enrollment).

(6 units)

  • AMIND 110 - American Indian Heritage (3 units)
  • AMIND 140 - U.S. History from an American Indian Perspective to 1870 (3 units)
  • AMIND 141 - U.S. History from an American Indian Perspective Since 1870 (3 units)
    but not both
Competency (successfully completing the third college semester or fifth college quarter) is required in one language other than English to fulfill the graduation requirement. Refer to section of catalog on “Graduation Requirements.”
Completing one of the approved upper division writing courses (W) with a grade of C (2.0) or better. See “Graduation Requirements” section for a complete listing of requirements.

A minimum of 25 upper division units to include:

  • AMIND 420 - Indian Peoples of California (3 units)
  • AMIND 485 - Federal Indian Law (3 units)
  • AMIND 498 - American Indian Community Service Experience (3 units)

18 units selected from:

  • AMIND 300 - American Indian Oral Tradition (3 units)
  • AMIND 320 - American Indians in Contemporary Society (3 units)
  • AMIND 331 - The American Indian Political Experience (also listed as POL S 331) (3 units)
  • AMIND 370 - Tribal Gaming: Cultural and Political Context (also listed as HTM 370) (3 units)
  • AMIND 430 - American Indian Poetry and Fiction (3 units)
  • AMIND 435 - Indians through Film and Television (3 units)
  • AMIND 440 - American Indian History (3 units)
  • AMIND 451 - American Indian Identity (also listed as ANTH 451) (3 units)
  • AMIND 460 - American Indian Languages (also listed as ANTH 460 and LING 460) (3 units)
  • AMIND 470 - American Indian Worldviews and Cosmologies (B) (also listed as REL S 470) (3 units)
  • AMIND 480 - Issues in American Indian Education (3 units)
  • AMIND 499 - Special Study (1-4 units) (3 units)

Advising and How to Declare a Major

If you are an American Indian Studies major, or thinking about becoming one, we can help you with choosing classes, campus involvement, career exploration, scholarship opportunities, internships, community service, graduate programs, etc.

After completing the preparation for the major requirements listed above, you will need to meet with the American Indian Studies Undergraduate Advisor to declare your major.

Please visit the advising page for more information. 

Visit the Department

Are you a prospective student who would like to visit? Please email us at: [email protected].

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