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Indigenous Governance (MPS) 
Program Description

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Indigenous Governance degree has been designed with working professionals in mind, combining brief but intensive on-campus classes with a diverse menu of online courses and externship credits that can be earned in a student’s home community. The 30-credit hybrid in-person and online MPS degree can be completed within one year. By combining the immersive in-person January in Tucson experience with a robust online class curriculum, the MPS gives students flexibility to create their own specialized courses of study.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Law -

Founded in 1915, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is the oldest law school in the state of Arizona and one of the premier public law schools in the United States. Arizona Law is known for its academic rigor, small class sizes, collegiality, and sense of community. We put students at the center by providing an intensive, individualized learning experience that trains ethical and effective lawyers and leaders. Our students have the opportunity to study with nationally recognized scholars, and to put their knowledge to use far beyond the lecture hall and the library with a wide variety of hands-on learning opportunities. 

College of Law  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Torivio Allen Fodder
Graduate Program Coordinator
Director of Graduate Studies
Graduate College Degree Counselor
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

Students must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from their home country. International students must provide proof of English Proficiency. 

In addition to the online application, prospective students should also provide the following:

  • Official University Transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • 2-3 page personal statement
  • 2-3 page overview of your thesis topic
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Proof of English proficiency for international students (TOEFL or IETLS Report)
Standardized Tests

All non-native English speaker applicants must submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or seek a waiver as detailed below.

Arizona Law requires a high-level of English proficiency for all degree programs. Arizona Law has a rigorous curriculum for all programs. Classes require a dynamic exchange between students, and with faculty. Therefore, a high-level of English proficiency is required to have a meaningful participation in and outside of the classroom as well as for students to succeed in law school.

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 IBT or higher is expected. Alternatively, we will accept an overall IELTS score of 7.5 and no subsection less than 7.0.

Applicants whose test score(s) falls below the targets set forth above, should highlight in the personal statement portion of their application any specific data, background, or other information that they feel might strengthen their application in this regard, such as time spent in English language environments, work done in English, English language publications, etc. It is also recommended that applicants with scores lower than those set forth above submit at least one recommendation that addresses, at least in part, their English language ability.

Applicants may also request a waiver review based on their studies in the U.S., a LSAT score of or above 155, and/or a GRE verbal reasoning score of 155 or higher. Arizona Law will also accept requests for waivers based on the current English proficiency exemptions for Graduate Students at the University of Arizona. Applicants requesting a waiver are required to submit a writing sample and to hold an interview in English.

The admissions committee reserves the right to request a writing sample, hold interviews or request additional information or documents to support English proficiency for all applicants.

Financial Aid

The Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program continues to be one of the best values in legal education. Students enrolled in the program receive both classroom and hands-on training.

Financial Aid

Federal financial aid may be available for U.S. citizens. Some forms of aid are need-based and other are not based upon financial need. Applicants are encouraged to look at the College of Law fiancial aid page for information on tuition rates, financial aid, information on deadlines for applying for financial assistance, and information on how to apply for private non-governmental loans ( 

To assist students in obtaining financial aid, Keyshia Connor serves as Associate Director of Financial Aid/Scholarships for prospective and enrolled students at the College of Law. Ms. Connor can be reached at 520.626.1832 or by email at

Admissions Deadlines

Spring 2020 Application Deadlines:

  • If you require a student visa: October 22, 2019
  • If you do NOT require a student visa: December 15, 2019
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

January in Tucson Core Curriculum

The MPS degree’s core curriculum consists of a series of 1-credit January in Tucson courses, covering topics from Native nation building, comparative indigenous governance, intergovernmental relations, indigenous peoples’ human rights, and community development. Students also have the option of completing concentrations of online courses in tribal justice, Native economic development, and natural resources, or customizing their plan of study with in-person and online courses to meet their needs.

The core curriculum of the MPS consists of January in Tucson classes; an intensive education session which brings together distinguished faculty in the field of indigenous governance and gives them the opportunity to teach and hold discussions with indigenous leaders, practitioners, and community members from around the world. The JIT curriculum not only conveys important information backed by research, but allow space for a crucial dialogue to occur between indigenous peoples from all over the world. This conversation provides new perspectives to familiar challenges, and helps to make JIT a truly unique educational experience.

Optional Degree Tracks

Students pursuing the MPS in Indigenous Governance may choose one of three subject areas, or tracks, to complete the requirements for the MPS degree. The tracks (Tribal Justice, Native Economic Development, and Natural Resources) provide students with a focused curriculum in their chosen subject area.

Tribal Justice

The tribal justice track provides students with an in-depth introduction to Indigenous tribal justice systems, practice, and policy. The curriculum is designed to offer students practical case studies on the best practices of Indigenous justice systems, and to explore alternative dispute resolution processes that have been implemented in Indigenous communities in the U.S. and around the world. 12 Credits Total

Native Economic Development

Students in the Native Economic Development track will explore the challenges surrounding economic development that Indigenous peoples and their respective communities face in the 21st Century. The track covers a broad range of issues including Indigenous sovereignty, strategic thinking, social welfare, ethics, and the challenge of balancing revenue and employment needs with cultural and environmental concerns. 12 Credits Total

Natural Resources

The Natural Resources track will highlight the conflicts that can result when governmental entities compete for control over resources, and the strategic issues that result when Native nations plan for sustainability across generations. The course selections provide opportunities for students to gain a thorough understanding of the role that Indigenous peoples play in natural resource allocation and management, and addresses questions related to the ownership of natural resources given the reality of changing governmental policies on natural resource development. 12 Credits Total

Minor Requirements


Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 10 Jun 2019