Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Degree Programs 

American Indian Studies

Department Overview

C514 Padelford

American Indian Studies fosters Indigenous wellness, political sovereignty and self-determination, cultural revitalization, and cross-cultural understanding. It also engages with the histories, psychological and social realities, expressive cultures, traditional land- and water-based practices, and political status of Indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Undergraduate Program

C514 Padelford, Box 354305
(206) 543-9082

The Department of American Indian Studies offers the following undergraduate programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in American Indian studies
  • Minors in American Indian studies and in Oceania and Pacific Islander Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Completion of AIS 102 and AIS 103. Completion of two courses from AIS 170, AIS 202, AIS 203, HSTAA 209/AIS 209, or HSTAA 210/AIS 210. Courses that sharpen writing and analytical reasoning skills. Exposure to courses in history, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, literature, political science, communications, and gender, women, and sexuality studies.

Department Admission Requirements

Students in good academic standing may declare this major at any time.

Major Requirements

55 credits

  1. Introductory courses (10 credits): AIS 102, AIS 103
  2. Content courses (10 credits): two courses from AIS 170, AIS 202, AIS 203, HSTAA 209/AIS 209, and HSTAA 210/AIS 210
  3. Concentrations (25 credits): Minimum 5 credits each from governance; environment and health; and culture and history. (See department website for courses that fulfill concentration requirements.)
  4. Electives (10 credits): Any AIS courses not used to satisfy other major requirements; also, approved courses taught by AIS adjunct faculty. (See department website for adjunct faculty courses.)
  5. Minimum 30 credits completed at the 300 level or above


American Indian Studies: Minimum 30 credits

  1. Introductory courses (10 credits): AIS 102, AIS 103
  2. Content course (5 credits): one selected from AIS 170, AIS 202, AIS 203, HSTAA 209/AIS 209, and HSTAA 210/AIS 210
  3. Electives (15 credits): in AIS courses; minimum 5 credits at the 300 level or above

Oceania and Pacific Islander Studies: Minimum 25 credits

  1. Required Core Courses (15 credits): AIS 102; one from AAS 206, AAS 210; one from AES 494, AIS 497, ANTH 489
  2. Electives (10 credits): two courses from the following, including at least one at the 300 or 400 level: ANTH 307/AAS 300, ANTH 306, ANTH 312, ARCHY 325, ENGL 257, GWSS 392, AAS 320, AAS 360, AAS 385, AAS 392, AAS 402, SMEA 103, SMEA 485; or any other course with significance for Oceania/Pacific Islander Studies, as approved by the program adviser.
  3. Minimum 50% or 15 credits (whichever is greater) completed in residence at the UW Seattle campus.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The AIS curriculum prepares students to understand the breadth, key content, methodologies, and theories in American Indian and Indigenous studies, while developing their skills to write and think critically. The degree prepares students to earn advanced degrees in related fields, as well as to pursue careers involving critical thinking and knowledge of American Indian and the Indigenous experiences.
  • Honors Options Available: None
  • Undergraduate Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Contact adviser for internship opportunities
  • Department Scholarships: None
  • Student Organizations/Associations:
    • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES): College of Engineering, 013 Loew Hall
    • American Indian Student Commission – ASUW:
    • First Nations at the UW: Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, 3931 Brooklyn Avenue N. E.
    • Medicine Wheel Society: Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
    • Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars: Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center