The purpose of the Native American Studies major and minor is to introduce students to a broad range of approaches to the academic study of Native American people, history, and culture. Students who major in Native American Studies have the opportunity of doing advanced work in a number of related fields, including literature, sociology, education, and law.
In addition to specialized course work about Native American issues, students also are expected to concentrate in a traditional discipline such as History, Anthropology, or Psychology, to ensure they have a well-rounded educational experience. All courses in the program in some way promote the ongoing discussion of how academic knowledge about Native Americans relates to experiences of Native American people and communities.
Students also have access to a variety of special resources, including academic and peer mentoring, summer paid internships, and special programs sponsored by the program and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
History of the NAS Program
In 1970, the newly formed Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) conducted a needs assessment of Native American students at Stanford. The report advocated for Native American Studies, as well as a community center, theme residence, retention services, and increased recruitment of students, staff, and faculty.
Native American Studies and other ethnic studies remained a goal of student activists for many years. In 1987, SAIO along with other organizations representing students of color formed the Rainbow Coalition and presented a list of demands to the administration including improved curriculum and ethnic studies. Student activism culminated in a sit-in in 1989.
The first Native American studies classes were offered in 1992 by Professor Robert Warrior (Osage). Finally, in 1997, Native American Studies was established officially as part of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
In order to earn a B.A. in Native American Studies, students must complete at least 60 units toward the major.
15 Units of Core Curriculum
4-5 Units of a Major Core Course
3-5 Units of a Methodology Course
6-10 Units if Interdiciplinary Breadth Courses
25-32 Units of Native American Focused Courses
One Community Engaged Learning Course
Core Curriculum (15 Units)
Majors must take three CSRE core curriculum courses including, Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE 196C), an additional comparative-core course, and the CSRE Senior Seminar (CSRE 200X) taken in Autumn Quarter of their senior year.
Major Core Course (4-5 Units)
Majors are required to take one major-core course in Native American Studies. Major Core Courses Include: Sociology 138& 139, and Native American Studies 115 & 16.
Methodology Course (3-5 Units)
Majors are required to take a course focused on research methods relevant to their disciplinary approach as a student in Native American Studies. Methodology Courses can be found on Explore Courses by using CSRE::Methodology as the search key.
Interdisciplinary Breadth (6-10 Units)
Majors are required to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Breadth Requirement by taking one course in a Social Science category, and one course in an Arts & Humanities category. Both classes must have a racial component to them. Categories of classes can be found on the School of Humanities & Sciences Bulletin Page.
Native American Focus (25-32 Units)
Majors are required to complete their additional courses in Native American Studies from an approved list. All classes should have a Native American focus.
Community Engaged Learning
All majors are required to complete at least one service-learning experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in a service-learning course, participating in an identity, race, or ethnicity focused service-learning Alternative Spring Break, participating in the Community Based Research Fellowship program, or enrolling in CSRE 198 Internship for Public Service while completing independent service work.
To find a more detailed overview of this major please visit our Bulletin Page.