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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Native American Studies

Director: Teresa LaFromboise

Native American Studies provides an intensive approach to understanding the historical and contemporary experiences of Native American people. Attention is paid not only to the special relationship between tribes and the federal government, but to issues across national boundaries, including tribal nations within Canada, and North, Central, and South America. In using the term "Native American," the NAS faculty recognize the heterogeneous nature of this population. Native Americans include the Alaska Native population, which comprises Aleuts, Eskimo, and other Native American people residing in Alaska, as well as Native Hawaiian communities.

The purpose of the Native American Studies major and minor is to introduce students to approaches in the academic study of Native American people, history, and culture. Students who major in Native American Studies have the opportunity of doing advanced work in related fields, including literature, sociology, education, and law. In addition to specialized course work on Native American issues, students also are expected to concentrate in a traditional discipline such as anthropology, history, or psychology to ensure a well rounded educational experience. The area of concentration and related course work should be selected in consultation with a faculty adviser in Native American Studies. All courses in the program promote the discussion of how academic knowledge about Native Americans relates to the historical and contemporary experiences of Native American people and communities.


  1. Core Curriculum

    Native American Studies majors must take the 15-unit CSRE core curriculum, including two introductory core courses and a senior seminar taken in Autumn Quarter of the senior year. One foundational course that focuses on a non-Native American group may be counted toward the 15-unit core requirement.

  2. Foundational Courses

    Majors are required to take one foundational course in Native American Studies. This may be either SOC 138, American Indians in Comparative Historical Perspective; SOC 139, American Indians in Contemporary Society; or ANTHRO 16, Native Americans in the 21st Century: Encounters, Identity, and Sovereignty in Contemporary America.

  3. Area Study

    Majors complete an additional 40 units of course work that satisfy three categories in their area of study: Native American focus, comparative focus, and a methodology/research course.

    A total of 60 units of course work are required for the major.

  4. Senior Paper or Honors Thesis

    All CSRE-related majors complete a culminating research paper under the supervision of a faculty adviser.


Students who wish to minor in Native American Studies must complete two core courses and four additional courses relevant to the area of concentration selected by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. A total of 30 units of approved course work is required for the minor.

Students in Native American Studies may find the following courses useful in fulfilling course requirements in the major or minor.

Core Courses—

ANTHRO 88. Theories of Race and Ethnicity (5 units)

CSRE 196C/ENGLISH 172D/PSYCH 155. Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (5 units)

CSRE 200X. CSRE Senior Seminar (WIM; 5 units)

EDUC 245. Understanding Racial and Ethnic Identity Development (3-5 units)

HISTORY 64. Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century America (5 units)

HISTORY 255D. Racial Identity in the American Imagination (4-5 units)

PSYCH 75. Introduction to Cultural Psychology (5 units)

SOC 147A/247A. Comparative Ethnic Conflict (5 units)

SOC 148. Racial Identity (5 units)

Foundational courses—

ANTHRO 16. Native Americans in the 21st Century: Encounters, Identity, and Sovereignty in Contemporary America (5 units)

SOC 138. American Indians in Comparative Historical Perspective (5 units)

SOC 139. American Indians in Contemporary Society (5 units)

Thematic courses—

NATIVEAM 109A/CSRE 109A. Federal Indian Law (5 units)

NATIVEAM 109B/CSRE 109B. Indian Country Economic Development (5 units)

NATIVEAM 116/CSRE 116. Language, Culture, and Education in Native North America (5 units)

NATIVEAM 117S/CSRE 117S. History of California Indians (5 units)

NATIVEAM 123/CSRE 123. American Indians and the Cinema (5 units)

NATIVEAM 197/CHICANST 197/CSRE 197/DRAMA 355M. The Rite to Remember: Performance and Chicana Indigenous

Thought (3-5 units)

Cognate Courses—

EDUC 193N. Peer Counseling in the Native American Community (1 unit)

MUSIC 37N. Ki ho'alu: The New Renaissance of a Hawaiian Musical Tradition (3 units)

SOC 45Q. Understanding Race and Ethnicity in American Society (5 units)

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