Applying to the MA

Thank you for your interest in applying to the American Indian Studies MA program at UCLA for 2020-21. The application and required materials deadline for Fall 2021 admission is December 15th, 2020.

Ranked among the top programs in American Indian Studies (AIS), the Master of Arts degree, interdepartmental program at UCLA draws from a wide variety of departments; students choose an area of concentration (History/Law/Policy, Economic Development, Social Relations or Language/Literature/Expressive Arts), acquiring skills that will enable them to conduct original research through the mentorship of over 27 AIS affiliated UCLA faculty.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to teach Native American studies, pursue specialized professional or graduate training; serve in an administrative roles in Native programs on/off the Reservation. Once in the program, a minimum of 10 courses are required with most students finishing the program in 6 quarters (two years), by writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam.

We encourage all applicants to apply for the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship available through the online Graduate Division application.

Before you Apply:

  • Review UCLA’s criteria for admission:  https://grad.ucla.edu/programs/social-sciences/american-indian-studies/
  • Identify faculty members that share your research interests
  • Check Dates & Deadlines [December 15]  
    *** The American Indian Studies program will continue to accept letters of recommendation that are submitted after December 15th as long as they are received before our review process begins. Please encourage individuals submitting letters to do so by the deadline or very soon after to ensure that they are included in your application’s review process. *** 
  • Check supplemental materials.
  • If you are applying to the Joint Degree Program, please apply to BOTH programs: the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Graduate Division [GRE not required, only the LSAT score].

Application Materials Required by the Graduate Division and the American Indian Studies Program:

  • Online application, which includes submission of basic information, including your academic history and the degree program to which you wish to apply.
  • A nonrefundable application fee payment of $120.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • Fellowship and Diversity application now called Personal Statement (if you are eligible for Graduate Division fellowships).
  • Transcripts (upload scans to the online application from all institutions attended; should you be admitted, final official transcripts will be required – see instructions below).
  • Three letters of recommendation are required. Indicate a minimum of 3 names and emails for your recommenders.
  • Please upload these required supplemental materials to the online application under “Supporting Documents”:

  • A writing sample of approximately 12-15 pages.
  • CV or resume.

Statement of Purpose – The Statement of Purpose is very important and is carefully considered in the selection process. It is used to understand your academic interests, and to evaluate your aptitude and preparation for graduate work, as well as your fit with the proposed program of study. It is also used to assess your ability to write coherent and convincing prose. Your statement can be up to 500 words in length (approximately 1-page, single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font).

Personal Statement – The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. It will also be used to consider candidates for the Graduate Opportunity fellowships. To be considered for a Graduate Opportunity fellowship, applicants must submit the Personal Statement within the online application for admissions. The Statement should address one or more of the prompts found at the Personal Statement section as well as include applicant’s potential contributions to diversity as broadly described in the 500.13 Guidelines for the Graduate Admissions Process & Codification of Policies Governing Admission.

Transcripts – Scanned copies of transcripts from each institution attended can be submitted at the time of application. If admitted, original transcripts are required as soon as they are available, and no later than August 20, 2021. They must be sent either by mail or electronically through your degree institution to the Student Affairs Officer, Stephen Pilcher (spilcher@amindian.ucla.edu). Hard copy sealed official transcripts can be mailed to American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program:

UCLA American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program
3220 Campbell Hall
Box 951548
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548

Letters of Recommendation – Your recommenders will be sent an email request with instructions on how to submit their letters online. They do not need to mail hard copies.

Writing Sample – Research papers or other written materials (approximately 12-15 pages) expressing your academic or professional interests.

CV or resume – Include your current address, telephone number, email, your educational experience, and your work experience.

Joint Degree Program in American Indian Studies, M.A./Law, J.D.
The American Indian Studies program and the School of Law offer a concurrent degree program whereby students may pursue the Master of Arts and the Juris Doctor degrees at the same time. For admission, applicants are required to satisfy the regular admission requirements of both schools. Applicant questions on application procedure and admissions requirements for the MA program should contact the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program at sao@amindian.ucla.edu. For questions on the Law application procedure and admission requirements, applicants should contact Rob Schwartz (Law Assistant Dean of Admissions) at schwartzr@law.ucla.edu.