Why AIS?

Would you like to know more about the indigenous peoples of North America?  Know more about their ways of life, world views, histories, relationships to the federal and state governments, and how they continue to fight for their sovereign rights in the contemporary world?  Gain skills and information that could be used to help Native communities? Then American Indian Studies will be a center of your education while at the University of Arizona.

American Indian Studies is also called Native American Studies, First Nation Studies, Native Studies, and sometimes Indigenous Studies. It is a discipline with a multi-disciplinary base. Think of it as a circle with lines spreading outward to other disciplines like anthropology, business, economics, education, geography and natural resources, law, literature and creative writing, political science and history. AIS is centered in a holistic intellectual approach that is Native centered and concentrates on Native voices and perspectives to understand historic and contemporary issues in Indian Country, both on and off reservations.

The undergraduate major is designed to give students a firm foundation in academic theories and critical analysis while focusing on the research needs of Native communities. It is designed to provide a broad topical overview as well as allow students to concentrate in areas such as arts, language, government, public policy, and culture. Students will strive to develop skills through active engagement.

The undergraduate major is designed to benefit individuals who are interested in employment in government agencies, Native Nation governments, NGOs, social services, and those who will work in professions in the private sector where they will interact significantly with Indian Country. The degree also prepares students to apply for graduate and professional schools. An AIS double major or minor is also designed for individuals who are interested in understanding cultural and social diversity, eradicating prejudice and striving for social justice.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences