Native American Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Native American Studies Program exists to broaden the understanding of students interested in the history, culture, and contemporary situations of Native Americans in the United States.

The curriculum has been structured to provide courses that deal with both historical and cultural analysis of Native American cultures and contemporary legal and social institutions that affect Native American life. The program not only stresses sound academic preparation in the classroom but also allows students the flexibility to take part in community-oriented education through field work or studies directed towards community situations and problems.

Honors Program

The Native American Studies Program provides a program leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with honors. A student must have senior standing, a 3.5 grade-point average (GPA) overall, and 3.5 GPA in the major. To complete the degree with honors the student will be required to undertake a 6-unit research project (NATAMST H195A and NATAMST H195B) and will be graded according to standards determined by the faculty adviser as being of honors quality.

Minor Program

The department offers a group minor in Native American Studies. For further information regarding declaring the minor, please contact the department.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Ethnic Studies

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies (Major and Minor)
Chicano Studies (Major and Minor)
Ethnic Studies (Major and Minor)

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Major Requirements

NATAMST 20AIntroduction to Native American Studies4
NATAMST 20BIntroduction to Native American Studies II: Cultural Practice, Art, and Identity4
ETH STD 10ACA History of Race and Ethnicity in Western North America, 1598-Present4
ETH STD 11ACTheories and Concepts in Comparative Ethnic Studies An Introduction4

Upper Division Major Requirements (8 courses) 

ETH STD 101ASocial Science Methods in Ethnic Studies4
ETH STD 101BHumanities Methods in Ethnic Studies4
Select one of the following:
Proseminar: Issues in the Fields of Ethnic Studies: Racialization and Empire [4] (Students can take ETH STD 103A or another ETH STD upper division elective course; see advisor for more information)
Proseminar: Issues in the Fields of Ethnic Studies: Racialization and Contemporary Communities [4] (Students can take ETH STD 103C or another ETH STD upper division elective course; see advisor for more information)
Proseminar: Issues in the Fields of Ethnic Studies: Racialization, Gender, and Popular Culture [4] (Students can take ETH STD 103E or another ETH STD upper division elective course; see advisor for more information)
Theories and Methods in Native American Studies [4]
Select three courses from the following:
Select three from the following:
Native American Law [4]
Native American Tribal Governments [4]
Critical Native American Legal and Policy Studies [4]
Indigenous Issues Across the Americas [4]
Topics in Native American Arts [4]
Photography and the American Indian: Manifest Destiny, American Frontier, and Images of American Indians [4]
Images of Native Americans in American History [4]
Gender in Native American Society [4]
Native American Narratives [4]
Native American Philosophy [4]
Native American Literature [4]
Native Americans and the Cinema [4]
Indigenous Peoples in Global Inequality [4]
History of Native Americans in California [4]
History of Native Americans in the Southwest [4]
Topics in Native American History [4]
Africans in Indian Country [4]
Seminar on Advanced Topics in Native American Studies [1-4]
Field Work in the Native American Community [1-3] (4 units total)

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements

Upper Division
Theories and Methods in Native American Studies [4]
Select four from the following:
Native American Law [4]
Native American Tribal Governments [4]
Critical Native American Legal and Policy Studies [4]
Indigenous Issues Across the Americas [4]
Topics in Native American Arts [4]
Photography and the American Indian: Manifest Destiny, American Frontier, and Images of American Indians [4]
Images of Native Americans in American History [4]
Gender in Native American Society [4]
Native American Narratives [4]
Native American Philosophy [4]
Native Americans and the Cinema [4]
Indigenous Peoples in Global Inequality [4]
History of Native Americans in California [4]
History of Native Americans in the Southwest [4]
Topics in Native American History [4]
Africans in Indian Country [4]
Seminar on Advanced Topics in Native American Studies [1-4]

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

Undergraduates are expected to obtain the following skills by the time they graduate. These skills belong to five different general areas: historical knowledge, empirical knowledge and quantitative methods, interpretation and qualitative analysis, theory and critique, and community service.

  1. Historical Knowledge
    • Familiarity with the history of modern Western civilization including European expansion, conquest, and enslavement.
    • Specific knowledge of the modern history of at least three different ethno-racial groups.
    • Acquaintance with debates in historiography, particularly as they relate to the use of history in relation to the understanding of people of color.
    • For students who specialize in history, proper use of primary and secondary historical sources as well as the writing of scholarly historical work.
  2. Empirical Knowledge and Quantitative Methods
    • Familiarity with different methods of gathering empirical data about human communities (e.g., anthropological and sociological).
    • Knowledge of critical debates about the use and implications of traditional methods of gathering empirical data to obtain knowledge about communities of color.
    • Identification of proper methods to conduct research and awareness of the limits and possibilities of such methods.
    • Creative use, delimitation, and expansion of methods of empirical and quantitative study based on the nature of the problems and questions addressed in the research as well as the object of study.
  3. Interpretation and Qualitative Analysis
    • Acquaintance with major methods and debates in the humanities.
    • Familiarity with the art, film, literature, or music of at least three different ethno-racial groups.
    • Identification of proper methods to conduct research about the creative products of human communities and ethno-racial communities in particular.
    • Creative use, delimitation, and expansion of methods of qualitative analysis based on the nature of the problems and questions addressed in the research as well as the object of study.
  4. Theory and Critique
    • Familiarity with major theories of race and ethnicity, and their intersections and constitutive relations with class, gender, and sexuality.
    • Acquaintance with theories of space and place, including indigeneity, Diaspora, migration, and nation as well as their use in determining the unit of analysis.
    • Use of comparison and contrast for evaluating and producing theory as well as for critical analysis.
    • Creative use of philosophies and theories that are relevant to the understanding and critical analysis of the social contexts, interpersonal dynamics, and multiple creative productions of ethno-racial communities.
  5. Service Learning
    • Further refinement and enrichment of the above listed skills in settings where the students interact with communities of color and/or their productions.

Advising

Departmental Major Advising

The department strives to deliver personalized advising services of the highest quality by seeking to continuously educate itself on developments in the field and to evaluate, improve, and streamline advising services to support students in obtaining the best education and experience possible.

Advising Staff and Advising Hours

Dewey St. Germaine: Monday thorugh Friday, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m., or by appointment
deweystg@berkeley.edu
530 Barrows Hall
510-643-6420

Laura Jimenez-Olvera: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m., and Friday, 1:30 to 5 p.m., or by appointment
lauraj@berkeley.edu
532 Barrows Hall
510-642-0243

Mailing Address

Department of Ethnic Studies
506 Barrows Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2570

Academic Opportunities

Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies

Berkeley Connect in Ethnic Studies matches interested students with Ethnic Studies graduate student mentors in a semester-long, 1-unit program that includes individual advising, small-group discussions, special events and excursions. Through this program, students will become part of a community of like-minded faculty, mentors, and students that will provide a supportive environment in which to exchange and discuss ideas and goals. Berkeley Connect will help students make the most of their time at the University as they learn more about the majors offered through the Department of Ethnic Studies. For further information, please see the Berkeley Connect website.

Study Abroad

The Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies program encourages all undergraduate majors to consider study abroad opportunities. Whether students are interested in fulfilling major and/or general education requirements, taking courses related to a future career, improving or learning language skills, or simply living and studying in a country that is of interest to them, the department will work with students to make it happen. For information about study abroad programs, please see the Berkeley Study Abroad website.

Prizes and Awards

The Department of Ethnic Studies offers the Dr. Carlos Munoz Jr. Scholar/Activist Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded each semester and recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and activism in their community on and off campus.

Courses

Native American Studies

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Thomas J. Biolsi, Professor. Native Americans, American Indians, governmentality.
Research Profile

Shari Huhndorf, Professor. Interdisciplinary Native American studies, cultural studies, gender studies, American studies, literary and visual culture.
Research Profile

Beth Piatote, Associate Professor. Native American studies.
Research Profile

Lecturers

JoEllen Anderson, Lecturer.

Enrique E. Lima, Lecturer.

Joseph Myers, Lecturer.

J. Diane Pearson, Lecturer.

Contact Information

Department of Ethnic Studies

506 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-643-0796

Fax: 510-642-6456

ethnicst@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Shari Huhndorf, PhD

506 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-643-0796

huhndorf@berkeley.edu

Academic Adviser

Laura Jimenez-Olvera

532 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-0243

lauraj@berkeley.edu

Academic Adviser

Dewey St. Germaine

530 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-643-6420

deweystg@berkeley.edu

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