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American Indian Studies (Visual and Oral Culture), MS

At a Glance: program details

ASU is not currently accepting applications for this program.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS American Indian Studies (Visual and Oral Culture)

The MS program in American Indian studies is a transdisciplinary program that provides students with an intellectual and practical understanding of the issues facing American Indian populations, and the ability to apply that knowledge.

Students gain problem-solving skills in a range of professional arenas, including governmental, private and nonprofit agencies. The program focuses on the languages, cultures, arts, activism, histories, legal policy and education from an American Indian studies perspective. Delivery is through in-person courses.

The visual and oral culture concentration explores and contributes to American Indian culture and history as it exists in visual, material and written forms through creative writing, literature, poetry, film, photography, performing arts, digital arts, oral tradition, history and communication from an American Indian studies paradigm.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours and a thesis
  • 30 credit hours including the required applied project course (AIS 580)

Required Core (9 credit hours)
AIS 501 American Indian Studies Paradigms (3)
AIS 502 American Indian Studies Research Methods (3)
AIS 503 Contemporary Issues of American Indian Nations (3)

Concentration (9 credit hours)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
AIS 580 Practicum (6) or
AIS 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Regarding concentration and electives options, students should see the academic unit for approved courses.

Students select a thesis or nonthesis option. Both are research projects, but the applied project is more applied in nature. Thesis students are involved in a major research project under the direction of their faculty advisors, culminating in a thesis. This is the option students should select if they have an interest in a research-oriented position within an organization or agency or wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Nonthesis students complete a practicum project that identifies and addresses an applied problem or issue relevant to a partner agency or organization under the direction of their faculty advisors. This is the option students should select if they are interested in a leadership or managerial-level position within an organization or agency.

The required core classes emphasize the knowledge and skills all graduates must have. Concentrations and electives are designed so that students can concentrate in the areas of visual and oral culture, Indigenous rights and social justice, cultural resource revitalization and sustainability, or tribal leadership and governance.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university of recognized standing in a related field such as history, justice studies, sociology, ethnic studies, anthropology, political science or education.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

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Career Opportunities

After completing the program, many graduates:

  • conduct academic research
  • curate and produce Indigenous festivals and events
  • direct or manage Indigenous art companies, studios or dance-related organizations
  • facilitate community partnerships and projects with Indigenous communities

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.