Grounded by a strong commitment to the worlds, histories, representations, and political struggles of indigenous peoples internationally, the intellectual project of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies minor uses interdisciplinary methods of critical inquiry as a means through which students engage research and scholarship. Because Indigeneity is a critical category of analysis in many fields and disciplines, the minor strengthens students' formal credentials and offers a dynamic area of specialization.

Graduate students pursuing the minor have many opportunities to participate in the intellectual life of the Program, which hosts speaker series, conferences and symposia, reading groups, and writer's workshops. Moreover, with American Indian Studies being a member of the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS), students can take advantage of the resources, fellowships, and programs at The Newberry Library and McNickle Center.

Declaring a Minor

Applicants must submit one letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose which describes how a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies enhances their primary program of study. A student's intent to pursue a graduate minor must be approved by the student's advisor and graduate program director. The student's major department will determine how many graduate hours of the minor may count toward the degree requirements in the student's program. 

Students adding the graduate minor should read "Curriculum Changes and Transferring Credit" and fill out the Curriculum Change⁄Transfer of Credit Request Form.  You will need to submit a graduate student petition in the Graduate College Student Portal. 

Certification of successful completion

Successful completion of the graduate minor will be monitored by American Indian Studies.

Graduate College Handbook

This handbook contains policies set forth by the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Conference Travel Awards

Each academic year, the American Indian Studies Program (AIS) awards a select number of small travel or registration grants for graduate students to present their research at the annual Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAISA) conference. To be considered for the AIS NAISA Grant, the following criteria must be met:

  • Current Illinois graduate student
  • Paper or Panel accepted by the NAISA Program Committee

Preference will be given to graduate students who are minoring in American Indian Studies. Applicants are also expected to seek funding from their home department.

To apply for the AIS NAISA Grant, send a letter to Jenny Davis (, Director of American Indian Studies, describing the nature of your NAISA participation and your need for travel or registration assistance.