The Native American and Indigenous studies program is designed to enhance your awareness and overall knowledge about the sovereignty and diversity of Indigenous cultures throughout all of Native North America. With its unique history and proximity to several distinct American Indian communities, UMN Morris is a great place for Native American and Indigenous studies. By majoring or minoring in Native American and Indigenous studies, you’ll gain a better, more in-depth understanding of the social, cultural, historical, legal, and political relationships between federal, Tribal, and state governments. This means engaging in and learning about American Indian history, policies, cultures, literature, language, arts, sciences, and other endeavors within a globalized context.

The Native American and Indigenous studies discipline promotes critical thinking, writing, and communication skills that are rooted in Indigenous knowledge systems and community involvement. 

Using a curriculum that emphasizes the role of the student as an active learner and participant within a growing and vibrant Intertribal campus community, areas of study include

  • Native American community,
  • history and oral tradition,
  • sovereignty and law,
  • language and literature, and
  • environmental sustainability.

Degree Requirements

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in Native American and Indigenous studies you will have

  • become proficient in the core concepts of Native American and Indigenous studies;
  • explored and critically analyzed texts relevant to Native American and Indigenous studies;
  • acquired an awareness of the complexities of tribal sovereignty; 
  • developed the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in collaborative and ethical research within Indigenous studies; and
  • applied interdisciplinary skills and approaches in the study of Indigenous peoples within local and global contexts.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School

A degree in Native American and Indigenous studies can lead to many fulfilling career possibilities in the fields of 

  • research,
  • government,
  • issue-based or advocacy organizations,
  • fine arts or museums, and
  • teaching.

And with the core values and competencies of a liberal arts degree, you’ll have the communication and critical thinking skills that are valued by employers in almost all sectors of the marketplace. 

Upon earning a degree in Native American and Indigenous studies, you may choose to go on to earn a master’s degree or participate in a graduate program in a related or unrelated field.


Cost of Attendance

The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.

Students are immediately considered for a scholarship package upon admission to UMN Morris.

Research & Engagement


As a UMN Morris student, you are strongly encouraged to take part in academic opportunities outside the classroom, including internships and research projects with faculty.


There are several key internships in the Native American and Indigenous studies discipline you may wish to apply for:


As a student majoring or minoring in Native American and Indigenous studies, you’re encouraged and welcome to engage in the following organizations.

Named for past faculty member and historian Wilbert H. Ahern, the distinguished lecture series began in 2013 when Jean M. O’Brien delivered the inaugural lecture in American Indian studies. O’Brien is White Earth Ojibwe and a professor of history at the UMN Twin Cities, is affiliated with the American Indian studies and American studies departments. 

Ahern, with Julie Pelletier and Becca Gercken, authored the formal proposal for a major in American Indian studies at UMN Morris. It was approved by the 2006-07 school year. Before that, students could complete an area of concentration in American Indian studies. Ahern retired in 2010 after 40 years of service at UMN Morris.

Quick Facts

Program Offerings
  • Major
  • Minor


University of Minnesota Morris
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