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College of Arts and Sciences

Native American Studies


Contact Information

Department of Native American Studies

Phone: (405) 325-2312



Program Description

In its 14-year history, the Department of Native American Studies has grown substantially and gained a national reputation for the quality of its graduates. OU Native American Studies alumni hold positions in law firms, tribal governments and museums. Students benefit from the program's internship experience, which is required as part of the degree. Previous sponsors of the internship programs have included the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission, Oklahoma Legal Services, Inc., Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Wordpath Society.

Coursework in Native American Studies combines a strong foundation in the liberal arts with specialized classes in Native American art, history, language and social issues. OU's Native American Studies program offers students the unique opportunity to work close to tribal lands and learn about the contemporary social and political issues that affect American Indian communities.

OU offers American Indian students a unique opportunity to meet their education needs and introduces all students to the diversity of tribal cultures. The Native American Studies program strives to foster diversity in the university community and to celebrate the American Indian cultural heritage.

Degree Options

A Native American Studies student graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies degree. Students also can choose to pursue a Master of Arts in Native American Studies degree.

Interests & Skills

Native American Studies students typically have interests in history, communication, languages, art and anthropology. High school preparation should include study in history, art history and foreign language.

Notable Achievements

Since its creation in 1994, over 100 student have graduated from the Department, and the program has maintained a strong foundation in the study of American Indian culture and social issues. A Native American Studies alumna recently received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study the Inupiaq in Alaska. Scholars and tribal leaders from around the country gather each year when the department hosts the American Indian Symposium, which brings together minds from many North American tribes. At the 2005 symposium, participants and keynote speakers discussed issued facing modern tribal leadership and tribal government reform.

The Department of Native American Studies also has an endowed professorship created in 1998 with a $300,000 donation from the Coca-Cola Foundation. Faculty members are extremely active in American Indian research and awareness.

In the summer of 2005, Edgar Heap of Birds, professor of Art and Native American Studies, installed a new sculpture at the Denver Art Museum. The sculpture serves as a commentary on the history of the Cheyenne and other Indians in Colorado.

Your Future

Types of Employers

Tribal governments
Law firms
Colleges and universities
Government agencies

Recent Graduates Jobs

Specialist, Child Protective
Compliance supervisor,
    Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Programs coordinator, Comanche
    Tribal National Museum
Collections manager, Pottawatomi
    Cultural Heritage Center
Assistant curator of American
    Indian Collections, Oklahoma
    Historical Society

Experienced Alumni Jobs

Coordinator, Native American
    Section of Sundance Film
Professor, Lewis and Clark
    College of Law
Staff attorney, Native American
    Rights Fund
Realty officer, Creek Nation
Paralegal professional, Oklahoma
    Indian Legal Services