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Top Native American Studies Programs 2023

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Native American Studies Programs. We chose tiny colleges with a lower net price than comparable institutions of this size and academic concentration for the following list. We gave points for comprehensive Native American studies programs, field-related internships, scholarship opportunities, and any other unique characteristics that enhance the value of this degree. The universities listed below had the best ratings among those with a net price of $30,000 USD or less, according to College Navigator. Students looking for the best price on a higher education in Native American Studies can use the information below as a guide. These finalists may be some of the top institutions for Native American students if you want to study your native heritage.

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Top Native American Studies Programs

1. Colgate University

Private Colgate University, located in rural upstate New York, was recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the nation’s 19th best liberal arts college. A thorough education in the archaeology, history, culture, and geography of this community is provided by the Native American Studies curriculum.

Colgate also offers experiential learning options in Native studies, some of which are Iroquois Study Groups, archeological digs at nearby Native sites, and summer research scholarships. Native American Studies at Colgate University has produced professionals in the fields of law, nonprofit management, education, and historic preservation.

2. San Francisco State University

A sizable university in the city’s center, San Francisco State University, is dedicated to fusing excellent academics with chances for personal growth. The College offers 118 majors, including a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies (AIS). This degree’s main objective is to help students comprehend the intricate politics, social issues, and history of the Native American people. Students on the AIS program have the opportunity to collaborate with nearby community organizations outside of the classroom. The American Indian Child Resource Center (AICRC), a reputable nonprofit that assists Native families in need, is one of these organizations.

3. The Evergreen State College

The Evergreen State College, a small liberal arts college in Washington State, was founded in 1969 and has an excellent reputation. Students at this college have the opportunity to create their own degree-granting course of study because to the innovative curriculum framework. The Native Program, created in collaboration with Tribal communities in the state of Washington, is one of these academic programs. This expanding department combines academic instruction in the classroom with Native American community engagement. For all incoming and current students, Evergreen makes every effort to obtain scholarships and other forms of financial aid to make tuition reasonable.

4. Augsburg College

High academic standards and a dedication to doing local community service distinguish Augsburg College. The smaller class sizes and 16:1 student to instructor ratio will be appreciated by students seeking a more individualized education. The American Indian Studies program at Augsburg University provides a multidisciplinary study at Native Americans’ culture, language, literature, arts, religion, and other aspects. The college also encourages students to take part in field seminars, overseas internships, and the Native American Film series.

5. University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has been a hub of excellence in higher education for more than a century. This college states that 60% of its most recent graduates have debts of $5,000 or less, and it has the lowest tuition range in the area. A diverse education in Native literature, arts, values, spirituality, politics, and other pertinent topics is provided to students through the Native American Studies (NAS) department at the University of New Orleans (UNO), which was founded in 1992. The university also sponsors the Native American Film Festival, a public exhibition of narrative and documentary films.

6. University of California at Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley is a prestigious university with a high admissions standard. UCB maintains small courses with a student to instructor ratio of 17:1 while having a student body of about 30,000. One of the top academic programs offered at the school is the Native American Studies program of the Ethnic Studies Department. Students will understand the distinct history, law, language, and culture of Native people through an in-depth program taught by experts in their field. This university provides financial aid and scholarships to students with a range of financial needs.

7. Northland College

A pioneering institution founded in 1906, Northland College is a small academic community on the edge of Lake Superior. The Native American Studies program is a significant component of the school’s identity, even though the College is mostly known for its environmental campaigning and education. The social, environmental, and economic problems that Native people in modern times are currently confronting are the main focus of this major. Additionally, Northland maintains close relationships with the Native communities in the area and recently won a sizable grant to develop a Native American and Indigenous Culture Center on its campus.

8. Bacone College

The little collegiate town of Bacone College has a strong sense of Native American identity. The college’s Division for American Indian Studies, which concentrates on the history, culture, and literature of this group, grants both Bachelor and Associate of Arts degrees. Giving pupils a well-rounded education that also addresses current challenges affecting the American Indian people is Bacone’s principal objective in this department. Tribal Languages is now a concentration option for this degree as of fall 2015. This unique curriculum offers courses in linguistics, local language, education, and training in tribally distinct languages.

9. San Diego State University

San Diego State University, which was established in 1897, is still regarded as one of the best public universities in the country. The literature, history, art, politics, and other facets of Native culture are covered in the courses for the American Indian studies degree. The majority of graduates from SDSU who obtained this degree went on to work in the business, education, human services, and educational sectors. Native American Student Alliance (NASA), which is engaged at this university and whose goal is to support the preservation of Native culture through educational activities.

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10. Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College, a small, forward-thinking liberal arts college in the Colorado mountains, was established in 1911. Students come from 155 American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan settlements, as well as 50 states and 17 different countries. This university’s degree in Native American and Indigenous Studies offers classes that are based on the lives of Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other First Nations Peoples. Students who have graduated from this program have jobs in disciplines like teaching, filmmaking, Indian law, community organizing, and more.

11. Dartmouth College

Native American Studies are available as a major and minor at Dartmouth College. Recently, this course of study has been expanded to include pertinent topics including Native American history, literature, and ethnology. The goal of this department is to give students a better understanding of the political situation, cultural practices, innovations, and experiences of American and Canadian Indians. An off-campus study option at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will soon be made available by Dartmouth.

12. The University of Washington

One of the most challenging and well-regarded universities in the nation is the University of Washington in Seattle. UW recently ranked No. 15 globally by Washington Monthly and No. 14 by U.S. News and World Report among the top universities in the world. The Native American Law Center is one of the many academic programs this college offers. This program’s goal is to educate participants about Indian law, including its conflicts and potential reforms for tribe, federal, and state governments. Students have extra educational and networking possibilities thanks to the center’s affiliation with a sizable network of Native American legal scholars.

13. University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii is a sizable, varied university with a stellar academic reputation that spans 350 acres in Mnoa Valley. The American Studies program, which offers a comprehensive education in the history, culture, society, and other concerns facing the contemporary population, has been a feature of the university’s degree offerings for more than 50 years. With more than 200 clubs and organizations serving a wide spectrum of unique interests and backgrounds, UH Manoa is a diverse campus community. UH Manoa offers incoming and continuing students financial assistance counseling and scholarship alternatives to help with tuition.

14. Arizona State University

Located in Tempe, Arizona State University is a renowned research university with a sizable and varied student body. ASU provides a unique bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies that examines the legal framework, economic progress, and distinct Native American cultures. Students who earned a BS in this area have gone on to successful careers in the government, the casino industry, public administration, the arts, and other sectors. Arizona State was named one of the nation’s top “best buy” public institutions in 2015 by the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

15. University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico is a public institution of higher learning. It gives students pursuing a degree in Native American Studies excellent chances. A wide selection of courses are available for the Bachelor of Arts in this area, and they prepare students for independent study and specialized internships. The Native American Studies program’s curriculum places a strong emphasis on research techniques and sociopolitical theories of the culture. For incoming, existing, and transfer students, UNM offers a wide variety of financial opportunities.


The chance to learn about Native American culture, history, sociology, economics, and other topics is available to students through some of the best college programs in the world. These degrees lead to employment in a variety of fields, such as teaching, public interest law, social work, health education, museum curation, and many more.

FAQS on Native American Studies Programs

What can you do with a native studies degree?

Career Options in Multicultural and Indigenous Studies
Aboriginal Historian.
Child Development Specialist.
Children's Rights Advocate.
Cultural Advisor.
Community Educator.

What university has the most Native American students?

Northeastern State University

Both ISEP and Collegexpress note that Northeastern State University has the highest Native American population of any US college.

Do Native Americans get a salary?

In short, Native Americans do not automatically get monthly or quarterly cheques from the US government. Maybe they should, and maybe they will in the future, but for now it is just a myth.

Are Native Americans rich or poor?

Native Americans are one of the least wealthiest populations in the country and do not all have equal access to quality, affordable homes. Many people also reside in rural areas without access to neighboring medical facilities.

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