American Indian Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies (AIS) is designed to challenge students to think critically about the differences and similarities between American Indians' lives of the past and present and their own.

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Key Facts



BA (Hons) American Indian Studies

Degree Duration

4 Years :

1 year pathway + 3 year degree


Pathways Available

International Year One


Start Dates

Degree Overview

The emphasis in the curriculum placed on duality links the concerns of tribal communities with academic rigor, enabling our faculty to harness their expertise and passion for teaching in ways that lead to greater student cultural competence and prepares them to meet high expectations.

The curriculum is focused on four areas of emphasis:

  • California Indian Studies;
  • American Indian Creative Arts and Humanities;
  • Law, Politics, and Society; and
  • Science, Health, and Environmental Studies.

The knowledge base within these areas prepare students to work academically – and in advocacy – with both tribal and urban Native communities within California and the United States. The courses comprising the B.A. challenge students to actively question the most ingrained myths about American Indians, the roles they have played in the United States and internationally over time, and the goals of historical and contemporary cultural maintenance and revitalization movements.

The program also includes an international comparative perspective and coalitional politics with Native peoples of U.S. occupied territories and more broadly within the Americas and the Pacific. AIS courses are taught by faculty wedded to the belief that community relationships and pedagogical rigor are the cornerstones upon which student success within the curriculum rests. AIS faculty represent a small cadre of scholars who have distinguished themselves both nationally and internationally by pushing accepted boundaries within and outside of the field in the areas of cultural ecology, ethnography, ethnolinguistics, history of consciousness, mixed-race studies, and music.

The interdisciplinary pedagogical excellence of the AIS faculty enables preparation of the next generation of inquisitive American Indian Studies scholars that have a responsibility to Native peoples of California and the United States. AIS majors experience a balanced classroom education with an active community participatory learning component and are required to regularly seek advising from an AIS faculty member.

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  • You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year such as laptops, Stationary and additional resources.

Why Study this Degree

Through this course you will understand the complex histories, politics, and social issues confronting Native peoples in the context of U.S. colonization, imperialism, and globalization.

An American Indian Studies major provides a diverse foundation of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a number of careers.

Your Pathways

The International Year One is the perfect pathway if you want a undergraduate degree from a UK, EU or US University but do not meet the requirements for direct entry.

The IY1 course provides an intensive combination of first year University subject modules with English language skills.

Following successful completion of the IY1 you will continue onto your second year degree study directly with the University of your choice.

Learn more about International Year One

San Francisco State University

Founded in 1889, SF State offers world-class academics, a diverse campus and an incredible location for students.

With around 27,000 students from all over the globe, international students find SF State a truly welcoming community and diverse place to live in.

SF State has been included in the Top 20 colleges nationwide for best location. It was also rated one of the most diverse colleges in America, according to Wall Street Journal’s 2022 College Rankings.