Masters of Arts Degree in American Indian Studies

In 1982 UCLA established the first interdisciplinary Master of Arts program in American Indian Studies in the nation. Ranked among the best in American Indian Studies, the Master of Arts program draws on a diverse range of departments at UCLA. Students choose an area of concentration and acquire skills that will enable them to conduct original research. Graduates of the program will be prepared to teach Native American studies, pursue more specialized graduate or professional training, or serve in an administrative capacity in Indian programs. Recent graduates have launched successful careers as tribal historians, museum curators, teachers, artists, filmmakers, tribal administrators, researchers, and professors. More than half of the graduates go on to a doctoral program or an advanced degree. The Master of Arts program is associated with the American Indian Studies Center, which ranks among the top research centers of its kind.


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution is required for admission to the Master of Arts program in American Indian Studies. Ideally, students will demonstrate an interest in American Indian studies through formal course work, independent study, or practical experience. In addition to the application, students must submit an essay which includes a detailed account of their academic background, a statement of research interests, and potential career plans. Preference is given to individuals with undergraduate majors relevant to the proposed areas of concentration within the Master of Arts degree: Anthropology, Art History, English, Ethnomusicology, History, Linguistics, Literature, Sociology, or Theater. Entering students must meet the university’s minimum admission requirement of a 3.0 grade-point average in all course work completed during the last two undergraduate years and in all prior graduate work. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, but students are encouraged to take the examination and submit test results to be considered for fellowship programs. At least three letters of recommendation should be submitted, ideally from faculty members who know your work. Finally, students should submit a writing sample, usually a copy of a term paper (or some approximation thereof) that has been completed for a course. Admission to the program is limited to the fall quarter. Most students complete the program in six quarters (two years) – this is a full time program. For more information about applying visit our Admissions page.