The Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (CNAIS) offers both an undergraduate and graduate certificate in Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS). The unique interdisciplinary curriculum for CU-Boulder students interested in studying the history, cultures, languages, arts, policies, and rights of Indigenous peoples from the Americas and around the globe encourages intersectional study that develops students’ awareness of the diversity and complexity of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and nations. It also encourages students to link their academic study of Indigeneity with community outreach and service learning.

The issues facing Native American and Indigenous peoples today require expertise from multiple disciplines and draw from scholarship in a number of fields including: art, anthropology, communication, ethnic studies, environmental studies, geography, history, law, linguistics, literature, political science, religion, and sociology.

CU has recruited an unprecedented number of faculty working in a wide array of areas related to Native American Studies and Indigenous Studies, and already enjoys a high national and international reputation in several of these areas.  In pursuing the NAIS Certificate, students join a vibrant and growing community of CU Graduate & Undergraduate students and more than 40 professors.

Undergraduate Certificate Requirements

  1. Complete an undergraduate degree in any of the academic areas offered by the University of Colorado Boulder.
  2. ​Complete a total of 18 credits of acceptable course work from the certificate program list. 

Required Courses:

  • ETHN 1023 (3 credits)
  • ENGL 4717 (3 credits)

 Elective Courses:

  • 12 hours of approved elective courses with 6 of those in upper division electives. (Students may choose to apply up to three credits of independent study/internship towards the credit requirement.)

Additional Criteria:

  • Only nine credits from the student’s major or minor may be counted toward the certificate
  • Students must maintain a C average (2.0)
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses that count toward the certificate

Graduate Certificate Requirements

  1. Complete a graduate degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and a total of 15 credits of acceptable course work as listed below.

Required Course:

  • ETHN 6103 – Indigenous Thought and Theory (3 credits)

Elective Courses:

  • Complete 3 additional courses (12 credits) from the list of NAIS approved courses
  • Of the approved NAIS courses 2 must be taken outside the student’s home department
  • Submit the NAIS Graduate Application and submit with required materials