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American Indian Studies (MA) 
Program Description

Thank you for your interest in the M.A. Program in American Indian Studies (AIS) at The University of Arizona.  As a Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, AIS seeks to develop through research, scholarship, teaching and student advisement a wide scope of understanding of indigenous peoples of the Americas – their languages, cultures, traditions and sovereignty.  This two year academic degree program provides a unique opportunity for students and scholars to explore issues critically important to American Indian nations and communities locally, statewide and nationally. AIS has always enjoyed a strong reputation because of the nationally known faculty available to work with students. 

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs -

The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.


Graduate College/GIDP  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
John R Carbajal
Graduate Program Coordinator
John R Carbajal
Director of Graduate Studies
Len Edward Necefer
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Abraham Edward Cooper
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Checklist for Online Application Material

  • On-line application and fee.
  • GRE scores (or LSAT scores for Law & Policy concentration).
  • A Personal Statement (3 to 5 pages) including your educational goals, professional plans, your interest in our Ph.D. program and your background in American Indian Studies or with American Indian communities.
  • A Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • One Writing Sample (between 15 and 20 pages double spaced) of original work that is academic, technical, professional or artistic in nature.
  • Electronic copies of Official Transcripts from all institutions attended, undergraduate and graduate. On acceptance into the program students will need to submit original transcripts.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from faculty or supervisors who can attest to your achievements and academic potential. Letters from faculty are preferred for applicants currently or recently working in academia.

A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission to the Master of Arts program in AIS.  The Bachelor’s degree must be completed before the applicant begins in the AIS program, August for fall admissions.  All application materials must be received by January 15th for the following fall semester admissions.  A minimum grade point average of 3.2 is required for admissions.  AIS accepts a limited number of new M.A. students each year.  Student selection is very competitive. The Admissions Committee will not consider incomplete application files.

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE

Minimum TOEFL: 550

Financial Aid

Tuition and Registration Scholarships
See American Indian Studies website at for more funding opportunities.

Scholarships are allocated each semester, prior to admission. Students are automatically considered for tuition scholarship funds their first year, with a short application process for the following year.

Graduate Tuition Waiver Award and Graduate Registration Waiver Award may be awarded to M.A. students, provided funds are available and satisfactory progress is made.  Funding will only be allocated once a year and must be applied for annually.


Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15

International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements


DEGREE OPTIONS: Thesis, Report, Exam (36 Units required for each)

The CORE COURSE Requirements for the MA in American Indian Studies Include:

Please NOTE: The AIS GIDP is currently re-organizing the MA and PhD programs to offer students more options and the ability to take advantage of the fact that the AIS GIDP consists of more than 40 faculty members from colleges and departments across campus. We hope to have the new structures announced soon. In the interim, we are encouraging students to work closely with their advisor to customize a plan of study. Students are still required to complete the minimum number of credit hours, as well as a methods course, but pending re-organization, we are permitting flexibility regarding the other requirements. Students are also required to complete the teaching methods course prior to serving as a Teaching Assistant.

Students must maintain a minimum of 3.0 (B) grade point average/GPA for all coursework to remain in good academic standing.  A student must earn a minimum of 3.0 in all courses in order for the courses to count toward the degree.


Minor Requirements


Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 12 Oct 2018