Students taking Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) courses begin to understand historical and contemporary social issues among indigenous peoples of the Americas, within the global context of settler colonialism and its legacies. 

All students develop an individual certificate plan of study in consultation with the NAIS coordinator. In some cases, students may be able to count certificate courses toward certain GE CLAS Core requirements.

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Program focuses on the histories, cultures, literatures, and contemporary legal and political issues of Native Americans of the United States and other indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Both the certificate and the minor combine well with a variety of undergraduate majors and provide background for jobs involving cross-cultural work that involves ethnic, social, and political diversity. They also help you prepare for advanced study and training in the social sciences, health care, business, social work, and law.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate

The courses required for the certificate help broaden the scope of students' understanding of United States history, with special reference to the role of Native Americans in its founding, its economy, and in contemporary society.

Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor

Students who pursue a minor learn about the origins, academic contributions, and political impact of the interdisciplinary field of Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Admission Requirements

The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

This program offers both a certificate and a minor. A student may earn the certificate or a minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies, but not both. 


Native American and Indigenous Studies
Native American and Indigenous Studies
Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our  Pomerantz Career Center  offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500  student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100  study abroad  programs and multiple  undergraduate research opportunities


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The  Office of Admissions  and the Office of Student Financial Aid  are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 


Courses provide a foundation for more specialized or advanced study in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, education, ethnic studies, geography, history, political science, psychology, and religious studies. 

The curriculum enables students to visit and learn more about regional Native American and Indigenous communities in Iowa and the Midwest. Students gain expertise for employment in advocacy, social services, health care, education, and other areas that require cross-cultural understanding and communication with diverse public audiences. 

Review Native American and Indigenous Studies in the General Catalog to learn about required course work for the certificate and the minor.