Minor in American Indian Studies

The Minor in American Indian Studies (AIS) is designed to enable students to understand the differences and similarities between American Indians' lives of the past and present and their own. Like the AIS major, the duality emphasized within the curriculum, encourages students to explore linkages between the concerns of tribal communities and academic rigor, that lend to greater student cultural competence and understanding of the most ingrained myths about American Indians, the roles they have played in the United States and internationally, over time, and the goals of historical and contemporary cultural maintenance and revitalization movements. AIS Minors develop a basic understanding of the complex histories, politics, and social issues confronting Native peoples in the contexts of U.S. colonization, imperialism, and globalization and experience a balanced classroom education with an active community participatory learning component.

Program Learning Outcomes

In completing the minor program:

  1. Students will understand the complex histories, politics, and social issues confronting Native peoples in the context of U.S. colonization, imperialism, and globalization. This understanding will include awareness of the diverse political strategies used by Native peoples to confront the historical legacies of dispossession, genocide, and social inequity and discrimination, including legal action for land restoration and cultural conservation/revitalization efforts.
  2. Students will compare and contrast the uniqueness of Native epistemologies and their articulation in contemporary forms of cultural media, such as through literature and the creative arts.
  3. Students will gain invaluable experiential knowledge through community service learning, as a way of connecting classroom education to career preparation and advisement.
  4. Students will develop the necessary analytical, oral communication, information literacy, and writing skills to prepare them for careers or graduate school in areas related to American Indian Studies.

Students in the minor must earn a grade of C or better for each course in the core and regularly seek advising from an AIS faculty member. All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

American Indian Studies Minor — 24 units

A minimum of 6 upper-division units are required to complete the minor.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Core Requirements (18 units)

AIS 100Introduction to American Indian Studies3
AIS 150American Indian History in the United States3
AIS 160Survey of Native California3
AIS 205American Indians and U.S. Laws3
AIS 300American Indian Studies Research Methodologies3
AIS 694Community Service Learning1-3

Electives (6 units)

Units selected from among the upper division course offerings in American Indian studies on advisement.

Community Service Learning

Many courses within the major provide a Community Service Learning (CSL) option, including AIS 205 and AIS 460. This option allows students to integrate classroom education with community participatory learning. Students are enrolled in an AIS core or elective course plus AIS 694 and work with an organization approved by the department for 15-45 hours over the course of the semester (depending on the units). AIS 694 is entirely online, with requirements that include short written assignments and a book review. Organizations with which students have served in the past include the American Indian Child Resource Center, California Indian Legal Services, The Cultural Conservancy, International Indian Treaty Council, and the Native American Health Center.

Career Outlook

An American Indian Studies minor provides a basic foundation of knowledge and skills that can be useful resources for students seeking careers that require working with diverse populations (e.g., museums, health care, social work, teaching, technology, etc.).