60 months
33600 USD/year
33600 USD/year
13400 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The American Indian Studies program from University of Arizona – the first such degree in the U.S. –  is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare graduate students for careers both within the academy and/or in Native American governance, the nonprofit sector, philantropy, and/or government service.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Key Features

The American Indian Studies program from University of Arizona will:

  • Conduct advanced and applied scholarly research from an Indigenous and cross-cultural perspective;
  • Develop theoretical and innovative theories, methodologies, and research tools appropriate for and useful to sovereign tribes; and
  • Educate students to assume leadership and policy-making roles in higher education, tribal communities, the state and nation. 

The PhD program is based in a commitment to three interrelated concepts:

  • Centering Native peoples – The American Indian Studies Graduate Interdisciplinary Program (AIS GIDP) at UA centers Native peoples – their knowledges, worldviews, perspectives, values, histories, experiences, lifeways, and futures – within research, education, and service. The AIS GIDP seeks understanding from an Indigenous perspective, placing Native ontologies, epistemologies, axiologies, methodologies, and pedagogies at the center of the intellectual effort to understand, teach about, and serve Indigenous communities. AIS GIDP seeks to examine the world through an Indigenous perspective, utilizing Peoplehood as a primary disciplinary lens.
  • Peoplehood – Conceptions of Peoplehood serve as a primary lens for understanding the commonalities and diversity of American Indian and Indigenous communities. Originally proposed by faculty and students in the UA Department of American Indian Studies in 2003, the concept of Peoplehood has become a critical lens for “rearticulating indigenous identity,” one that “offers the most promise in terms of its non-Western approach to identity, its flexibility, comprehensiveness, and allowance for cultural continuity and change” (Corntassel, 2003). The “Peoplehood” model represents their understanding of the interrelated components of indigeneity broadly, as well as the specificity and diversity of Indigenous communities in the U.S. and beyond.
  • Community engagement and services – "Relational accountability” sits at the heart of Indigenous research and scholarship. This places an obligation on AIS as a discipline – and the AIS GIDP – to not just center Indigenous knowledges in our research and teaching, but to build relationships with Indigenous communities, to be accountable to those relationships and communities, and to contribute in tangible ways to the continued thriving of Native peoples. What this engagement, accountability, and service will look like will vary greatly as each member of the faculty and each graduate student has a different area of focus and specialization. The diversity of engagement and service only serves to underscore our collective commitment to supporting the many elements of Indigenous Peoplehood.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Tribal Colleges
  • Native American Curriculum Development
  • History of Indian Education
  • Contemporary Education & Research
  • American Indian Higher Education
  • Seminar in American Indian Education 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 60 months

Start dates & application deadlines


66 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Other requirements

General requirements

  • On-line application and fee.
  • A Personal Statement (3 to 5 pages) including your educational goals, professional plans, your interest in our Ph.D. program and your background in American Indian Studies or with American Indian communities.
  • A Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  • One Writing Sample (between 15 and 20 pages double spaced) of original work that is academic, technical, professional or artistic in nature.
  • One Critical Essay (no more than 5 pages double spaced) which analyzes three American Indian Studies books or monographs of your choice.
  • Electronic copies of Official Transcripts from all institutions attended, undergraduate and graduate. On acceptance into the program students will need to submit original transcripts.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from faculty or supervisors who can attest to your achievements and academic potential. Letters from faculty are preferred for applicants currently or recently working in academia. 

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    33600 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 33600 USD per year during 60 months.
  • National

    33600 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 33600 USD per year during 60 months.
  • In-State

    13400 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 13400 USD per year during 60 months.

Living costs for Tucson

830 - 1140 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

American Indian Studies
The University of Arizona


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