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Native American Studies

College of Arts and Sciences


Contact Information

Department of Native American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: (405) 325-2312

Degree Sheets

Review the undergraduate degree requirements for this major.

Native American Studies
Bachelor of Arts

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.


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.


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 and 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.


Types of Employers
Tribal governments
Law firms
Colleges and universities
Government agencies


Jobs of Recent OU Graduates
Specialist, Child Protective Services
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

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