American Indian Studies B.A.

College of Letters and Science

Division of American Indian Studies

About the Major

The American Indian Studies BA program is designed to offer a coherent and comprehensive curriculum in American Indian cultures, societies, and contemporary issues in addition to valuable background in more traditional disciplines such as anthropology, art history, economics, education, history, law, linguistics, literature, sociology, and world arts and cultures. Students acquire a critical knowledge of the concepts, theories, and methods that have produced knowledge about American Indians in the traditional disciplines. Students are encouraged to develop a concentration—or special expertise—in these fields to accompany the major.

The curriculum encompasses the cultural, historical, political, and social experiences of Native Americans in the Americas. Through courses on Native American literature, languages, theater, and contemporary societies and through more culturally specific courses on California Indians, cultures of the Pueblo southwest, and so on, the major offers an in-depth and broad knowledge on the experience of Native Americans not only in the U.S. and Canada but in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America as well.

Given the increasingly multicultural society of the U.S. and the economic revitalization of many Native American communities, a knowledge of American Indian studies greatly enhances the professional and scholarly contributions attainable for those seeking postgraduate degrees in various related disciplines and fields.


American Indian Studies IDP in the General Catalog
American Indian Studies IDP website

Contact Information

American Indian Studies IDP
(310) 825-654
3220 Campbell Hall
Box 951548

Choosing Your Course of Study at UCLA

Making the Right Decision

One of the most important decisions you will make in college is your choice of major — the field of study that represents your principal interest and that will likely contribute to your career goals. Some students select their major at the time they fill out the University’s application for admission, although a far greater number are undecided about their major.

Students in the College of Letters and Science do not need to declare their major in their freshman year. In fact, you can be an “undeclared major” until the end of your sophomore year, which is particularly advantageous if you are not certain of your specific academic goals. It is wise to wait and explore the diversity of subject areas offered at UCLA through taking introductory courses in a variety of disciplines. It would not be unusual for you to become enthusiastic about disciplines previously unfamiliar to you. With careful planning, these courses may also apply toward fulfilling your university and college requirements.

To narrow your choice of study, carefully consider the general college requirements, the description of courses offered in the major, and the departmental requirements for completing the program of study. Look at the books required for each course. Sit in on a few classes and talk with professors during their office hours. Discuss interests and plans with a departmental counselor or faculty adviser, a college counselor, or advisers in the UCLA Career Center.

Certain majors, especially in the arts, engineering, the sciences, and theater, film, or television require early declaration. Some have enrollment quotas and allow application by new majors only during a specified term. Students should check with the departmental adviser for the majors that interest them.

In addition, UCLA undergraduate students are limited to between 208 and 216 quarter units, depending on the college or school, to complete the academic program and fulfill all degree requirements. So, if you wait to declare a major, you should not wait too long. In any case, you must declare your major by the beginning of your junior year (90 quarter units).

When you are ready to declare your major, you should obtain a Petition for Change of Major from your college or school office.