American Indian Studies
College of Letters & Science
Certificate in American Indian Studies
The Certificate in American Indian Studies at UWM is an interdisciplinary academic program that provides students with a thorough understanding of the Native American tribal nations in North America. All of the United States at one time was American Indian land, however most of it was gradually transferred to the United States of America. Treaties and other legal agreements with the United States have at various times in our history given the federal government far reaching authority over Indian people while still recognizing the sovereignty of the more than 565 tribal nations, 13 of which are located in the state of Wisconsin. The roles that American Indians have played in shaping the creation of the American nation as well as their modern sovereign status makes American Indian studies essential to the understanding of American Society and Culture in the twenty-first century.
The certificate in American Indian Studies focuses on: the indigenous peoples the Europeans encountered when they first came to the United States, how the arrival of the Europeans impacted the Native Americans, and how Euro-Americans and Native Americans transformed each other. Coursework for the certificate is taken through traditional academic disciplines, including anthropology, English, history, and sociology.
While American Indians remain per capita the smallest of the ethnic groups of the United States, their sovereign status as domestic dependent nations makes understanding the powers and jurisdictions of their governments important to modern American society. Through their AIS coursework students will establish sensitivity and enhanced knowledge of the diverse cultures, literature, history, treaty rights, contemporary social issues, and sovereignty of North American Indian tribes.
There are two distinct features that distinguish UWM's academic programs in American Indian Studies. The Electa Quinney Institute is a campus resource that facilitates the development of new programs, services, and research opportunities in partnership with the American Indian community. UWM also is home to more American Indian Studies faculty than any other school in the UW System.
To obtain the certificate, the student must complete, with a minimum grade point average of 2.50, at least 18 credits in approved American Indian Studies courses, of which 12 must be earned in residence at UWM. Of these 12 residence credits, nine must be taken at the 300 level or above. Twelve of the 18 required credits must be in the College of Letters and Science, with at least 6 of these at the 300 level or above. No more than 9 credits from any one department may count toward the certificate. A maximum of 6 credits of independent study may count toward program requirements. Courses for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit bases. The following are required:
Fifteen additional credits selected from the list of approved courses. Students may petition the AIS Coordinator for approval of appropriate courses not on the approved list.
Independent study courses focusing on the American Indian experience may be accepted with the approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator. If the core course is not offered in the years an undergraduate student is pursuing the certificate, the student can petition the Certificate Program Coordinator to accept another course in its stead. Other courses not on this list but relevant to the study of American Indians may be accepted with the approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator.
Credits earned at other institutions equivalent to courses in the certificate program may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the program requirements, subject to review by the Certificate Program Coordinator. Students currently enrolled at UWM who have fulfilled some of the program's requirements prior to the program's approval may have their credits applied retroactively to the certificate program.