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American Indian Studies Major

AIS Major Checklist

In support of its mission, the American Indian Studies program offers a major through the Committee Interdisciplinary Major that is designed to allow students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Explicate important stages of American Indian history, the complexity of cultural diversity within American Indian populations, and contemporary issues facing American Indian people within the Us.
  2. Provide interdisciplinary explanations for the intellectual, literary, cultural, linguistic and political history of American Indian institutions and the impact of economic forces on American Indian societies.
  3. Identify and assess different theoretical frameworks for explaining change in American Indian societies as well as relationships between sovereign Indian reservations, urban Indian communities and institutions, and the broader America society.

The completion of a major in American Indian Studies does not restrict graduates of the program to working solely with Native populations. The critical thinking skills that students acquire and theoretical frameworks that they learn to apply through AIS are transferrable to the examination of many contemporary critical issues across the globe. For example, AIS methodologies also pertain to the effects of globalization on marginalized people and the preservation of traditional culture in the context of rapidly-changing intellectual, technological and physical environments. AIS helps students examine issues of conflict and peace from new perspectives that can reframe public debates and to learn more about the legal, sociological, environmental and historical contexts that both drive and circumscribe the more than two million American Indian people in the United States.

The Committee Interdisciplinary Major’s submajor in American Indian Studies requires completion of 36 credits in approved American Indian Studies and American Indian Studies-related courses. Of these 36 credits, 15 credits in advanced-level courses (numbered (300 and above) must be completed in residence at UWM. The College of Letters and Science requires that students earn at least a 2.500 GPA on all credits attempted for the major at UWM. In addition, a 2.500 GPA on all major credits, including any transfer work, is required.

The following courses are required for the major:

Core Courses, 15 cr

  • Introduction, 3 cr
  • AIS 101 - Introduction to American Indian Studies, 3 cr
  • Focus Courses, 6 cr
  • AIS/English 525 - American Indian Literature, Culture, and Creative Arts, 3 cr
  • AIS/Hist 475 - American Indian History, Law, and Government, 3cr
  • Research and Practice, 6 cr
  • AIS 600 - Field Project- Capstone Research or Applied Project- 6 cr (under development)

Elective Courses

Students must select from the following jointly-offered or cross-listed courses:

  • American Indian Studies Courses
    AIS 105 - Ethnobotany, 3 cr
  • AIS 151 - First-Semester Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), 4 cr
  • AIS 152 - Second-Semester Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), 4 cr
  • AIS 203 - Western Great Lakes American Indian Community Life of the Past, 3 cr
  • AIS 251 - Third-Semester Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), 4 cr
  • Jointly-offered courses
  • AIS/Anthro 213 - American Indian Peoples of Wisconsin, 3cr
  • AIS/Anthro 308 - Archaeology of North America, 3 cr
  • AIS/Anthro 310 - Archaeology of Middle America, 3 cr
  • AIS/Anthro 311 - The World of the Ancient Maya, 3 cr
  • AIS/Anthro 314 - American Indian Societies and Cultures, 3 cr
  • AIS/Anthro/Global 362 - System Failure: Globalization and Language Extinction, 3 cr
  • AIS/English 276 - Introduction to American Indian Literature, 3 cr
  • AIS/English 372 - Survey of American Indian Literature, 3 cr
  • AIS/English 520 - Studies in American Indian Literature, 3 cr
  • AIS/English 632 - Seminar in American Indian Literature, 3 cr
  • AIS/Hist 262 - American Indian History to 1887, 3 cr
  • AIS/Hist 263 - American Indian History Since 1887 3 cr
  • AIS/Hist 473 - Wisconsin Indian History, 3 cr
  • AIS/Hist 474 - History of Wisconsin Indians, 3 cr
  • AIS/Sociol 320 - Social Change in American Indian Societies, 3 cr
  • AIS/Sociol 321 - Contemporary Issues of the American Indian, 3 cr
  • Cross-listed Courses
  • Ed Pol 561 - Education Issues in American Indian Communities, 3cr
  • Ed Pol 621 - History of Native Education and Policy Development, 3cr
  • Ethnic 350 - Advanced Topics in Comparative Ethnic Studies “Conversational Ojibwe,” 3cr

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