Requirements for the Masters of Arts
Current MA requirements as of June 30, 2019
- A minimum of ten courses is required for the degree, at least seven of which must be at the graduate level. See course descriptions here.
- Four courses from the American Indian Studies 200 series are required in the first year and must be completed for letter grades in the first year: American Indian Studies 201 (Fall Quarter), 202 (Winter Quarter), and two additional courses from the 203-208 series. (The program will ensure that the minimum of two classes in the 203-208 series will be offered.)
- In addition to the four required courses, students must complete a minimum of four courses with Indigenous content. Three of these must be graduate-level courses.
- We encourage students to select research sections from the 204 series that offer training in methods that will be applied to the thesis or be relevant to their exams.
- Two courses in the 500 series may be applied toward the degree requirement. However, only one 596 course may be counted toward the minimum graduate course requirement. The 500 series courses are individualized, independent study courses which permit students to pursue topics that are not available in existing courses. They may be used for a variety of purposes, including to make guided progress in writing the thesis or preparing for the comprehensive examination.
- Two additional courses are to be chosen from affiliated faculty offerings or approved by the Chair.
MA Requirements prior to June 30, 2019:
- A minimum of ten courses is required, at least seven of which must be at the graduate level. Three core courses:
American Indian Studies M200A, M200B, M200C, and one of the linguistics requirement options and, one of the remaining six courses must be a graduate course concerned with research methodology.
- Students can petition for combinations of interdisciplinary work to the chair of the program. In addition to the above mentioned required courses, students must complete a minimum of four courses in their chosen area of concentration. Three of these must be graduate level courses. Two additional courses are to be chosen from other areas of concentration. Courses must be selected from an approved list maintained by the program.
- Two courses in the 500 series may be applied toward the course requirement. However, only one 596 course may be counted toward the minimum graduate course requirement. The 500 series courses are individualized, independent study courses which permit students to pursue topics that are not available in conventional lecture courses or seminars. They may be used to make guided progress in writing the thesis or preparing for the comprehensive examination.
- Students in the Master of Arts program must successfully complete one of the following linguistics requirements: (a) Linguistics 114, (b) American Indian Studies M162, (c) Anthropology C155 or C255, (d) for native speakers of an American Indian language, an independent study course approved by the instructor in either Linguistics or Anthropology in which a structural knowledge of the student’s language is learned. The courses are designed to show how American Indian languages and communicative norms are primary vehicles for the transmission and understanding of American Indian cultures.
- 300 and 400 series courses do not apply to the ten course minimum for this degree program.
The First Year
The courses in the 200 series are designed to keep students on track in the program and prepare them for working in tribal communities and/or to enter doctoral or professional programs. Because these objectives often overlap in students’ goals, we view them less as two separate tracks than as a choice of concentration. The objective of our program in the first year is to test for growth and progress in the student’s written and analytical capabilities as well as to instill confidence in the student’s capabilities in their chosen field as they move toward second-year work on the thesis or examination. Our long-standing research, teaching and faculty connections across divisions and professional schools is what is unique to our program, and students will gain exposure to this in their first year.
As much as schedules and home department releases allow, the Program staffs courses with different faculty in sequential years in order to rotate classes. Each course is offered with the same course number, but students will be allowed to retake a class that contains different material. Faculty teaching in the sequence in a given year will coordinate with each other to ensure continuity. We have two main goals in mind with this structure: 1) To create a cohesive learning environment and class trajectory for our first-year students, providing them with grounding in core literature and interventions in the field and 2) To broaden the number of courses available to our graduate students after the first year by enabling them to enroll in core courses when taught by a different instructor with a different syllabus. It will also give graduate students access to our faculty across campus. The 204 series will address methods and concentrate on a specific discipline as it relates to research ethics and methods in the field of American Indian and Indigenous studies. This will also enable students to demonstrate on their transcripts the breadth of knowledge they gained through the American Indian Studies courses.
Students may select either a thesis plan or a comprehensive examination plan to complete the program. The three committee members supervising the thesis or administering the comprehensive examination are selected by the student with the consent of the program committee, after the student submits a formal thesis proposal early in the fourth quarter of residence or takes their exam scheduled four weeks advance. Copies of the thesis must be submitted to each member of the committee by the fifth week of the quarter of expected graduation.
Students choosing the comprehensive examination plan must demonstrate competency in the major and minor areas of study in a written and/or oral examination comprised of three 10-15 page papers on the lists provided to AIS in advance. Student will submit 3 lists around 3 topics in conjunction with the committee. Exam date will be scheduled in advance with the SAO. Faculty will submit the exam questions to the SAO 24 hours in advance of the date and the student will receive them at 9 am on the date of their exam. 7 days later the exam will be due at 9 am.