Undergraduate Major

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American Indian Studies program offers an interdisciplinary major that is designed to allow students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Analyze and explain the 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 transferable 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.