Overview of a Native American Studies Online Program
Native American Studies (NAS) programs can be found online at several schools around the US, and most of them can be found in states with many Native American citizens and tribes. Among the offerings, you can find minors programs, bachelor's degrees and certificates in Native American Studies.
The field of Native American Studies is a commitment to the indigenous people of the United States, their culture, their art and their literature. Online coursework will aid students in the understanding of Amerindian philosophies, the long histories and the interrelated heritages of those tribes in their native states. Below you will find important information about the required online courses and university requirements, as well as available careers that may be waiting after the program's completion.
Admissions Requirements for a Native American Studies Online Program
Students applying to a university with this degree plan will need to have completed high school or obtained a GED. To pursue a Native American Studies degree, they may wish to take any advanced history and literature courses available at their high schools. Applicants will also need to submit their college entrance scores, which could be the ACT or SAT, as well as any letters of recommendations, transcripts or essays required by the schools.
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Native American Studies Online Program Coursework
A program in Native American Studies will include a number of introductory online courses in language, culture, and history, as well as the university's general requirements. There may also be classes on self-rule and politics, various traditions, and Native Americans and the media that students may need for success in this field. Below are just a few common online courses in NAS:
These introductory courses will unveil the spiritual, philosophical, cultural and social aspects of the American Indian historically and in contemporary America. Topics of discussion may involve the ever evolving relationship between the Amerindian nations and the US government. Attention will also be paid to the socioeconomic outcomes of native tribes around the country.
Native American language classes will introduce the basics of Amerindian language structure and linguistics as well as expand those basics to more specific language skills based on the Native American tribes' language in the vicinity of each particular college. Students will build vocabulary, pronunciation and communication skills utilizing the local language.
In some cases the Native American history may be told the traditional way or through their art. The traditional classes will explore the history of Native Americans during and after the advance of European colonization; while Amerindian history as told through art will look at the beauty, symbolism and cultural influences on the art of the different tribes including the Plains, Northwest coast tribes and Inuit.
Philosophy and Religion
These courses will not only be geared toward the various religious beliefs of different tribes throughout the US, but also the ramifications and legal protections tribes have received from treaties with the government over the years. Time will be spent looking at tribal contributions to the rich cultural spirituality to help students understand the importance of these belief systems in the past and in Native American ceremonies today.
Much of what Americans know about Amerindians comes from Hollywood films and television and not history books. These classes discuss how film has cast Native Americans and shaped their image for the last 75 years. Classes will trace the early Native American stereotypes created by film writers and directors to the changes adopted over previous decades to try to correct this and enlighten audiences with believable indigenous character development, proper settings and intelligent imagery.
How to Choose an Online Degree Program in Native American Studies
A limited number of schools across the nation offer the Native American Studies online bachelor's degree program. Some offer an online minor or certificate in NAS. Students who wish to follow one of these programs might want to consider what tribes in the United States they have a special interest in that have a related online program, or they might wish to add a linguistics component and look at certain native languages. Prospective students might also consider what they want to do with their education upon completion, since many of these programs have specialties pertaining to areas like native art, Native American history and even politics and law. Finally, potential students could look at the online platforms used by each school to check for compatibility with their personal technology arrangement.
Career Options with a Native American Studies Degree
It's not unusual for people with this degree to work as teachers or in areas of activism, culture or history. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the teaching field, which could include Native American Studies, to grow by 6% from 2014-2024, while the median salary for all teachers in 2016 was $54,720. Other careers that students in Native American Studies might consider appear in the list below.