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Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies (NAS) with a concentration in Leadership and Building Native Nations is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the basic factors which underlie the distinct differences between Native societies and the larger American society. In addition, the degree provides students with the opportunity to examine the differences which continue to exist between Native and non-Native societies through multi-contextual learning activities which include experiential or service learning opportunities.

NAS Graduates Professional Pursuits

  • Graduate School: public administration, law school, water resources, community & regional planning, American studies, sociology, museum studies, journalism, language, literacy, and sociocultural studies
  • Native American community-based nonprofits
  • Tribal, state, and federal agencies
  • Native American education

Learning Goals

Excellence in educating all students and the public about the Native American experience with significant attention given to our complex history and intercultural heritage of New Mexico and the United States.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following objectives are presented as a way to satisfy the broader goals of the program:

  • Ground students in the concepts and applications of methodologies from relevant disciplines focused on Native issues related to education, economics, law, philosophy, psychology, arts and media
  • Provide students with relevant learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom
  • Assist students in integrating theory and practice through field and/or research experience
  • Encourage dialogue and collaboration among students, faculty, and the Native community in the on-going development of the Native Studies curriculum

Native American Studies Degree Skill Base

  • Research skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Community building/leadership
  • Baseline knowledge of indigenous issues valuable to Native communities, leadership, and governmental agencies

Program Details

The Native American Studies (NAS) Managed Online Program offers all of the courses associated with the major requirements needed to complete the BA (with a concentration in Leadership and Building Native Nations) in an online, eight-week format.  To qualify, students must have already completed a majority of UNM core curriculum, as well as college and minor requirements.  A student with an associate's degree or at least 60-70 transferable college-level credit hours is ideally positioned for eligibility. Please see the information provided in the Degree Requirements tab. 

The major requirements for completing the BA degree in Native American Studies total 36 credit hours.  Special course sections are scheduled for Managed Online Program students and offered on a cyclical basis.  Look for the courses in the current schedule of classes with a course comment that reads "Limited to managed online program students only." Below is a listing of all of the required courses for the program.

Course NumberCourse NameCredit Hours
NATV 150/NATV 1150Introduction to Native American Studies3
NATV 250/NATV 2110Sociopolitical Concepts in Native America3
NATV 251Research Issues in Native America3
NATV 300Research Methods in Native American Contexts3
NATV 305Indigenous Self-Determination in Education3
NATV 325Tribal Government3
NATV 326Tribal Gaming3
NATV 351
NATV 352
Individual Study
NATV 424Principles of Leadership in Indigenous Contexts3
NATV 436Environmental Ethics and Justice in Native America3
NATV 474Seminar: Applying Traditions of Native American Philosophy3
NATV 480Building Native Nations:  Community Revitalization, Culture, Decolonization, and Indigenous Thought3
NATV 486Contemporary and Traditional Views on Indigenous Leadership3

 UNM operates on a semester calendar of Summer, Fall, and Spring.  Course schedules are available during each semester's registration period.  Registration opens in early April for the Summer and Fall semesters and early November for the Spring semester.   

View information for the current schedule of registration dates.

View the current schedule of all online classes.  

Degree Requirements

To be admitted into the BA Native American Studies program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Earned 26 credit hours
  • Earned a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Completion of ENGL 120+ with C (2.00)+
    • ACT =>29, SAT =>650
  • Completion of UNM MATH Core
  • Completion of NATV 150, 250, 251 with C (2.00)+

Degree Requirements

To graduate with a BA degree in Native American Studies, a student must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. Students may transfer course work from other accredited institutions to fulfill these requirements.   The NAS Managed Online Program is designed for students who have completed an associate's degree or have at least 60-70 transferable college-level credit hours.  See Program Details for more information.  

The earned minimum 120 total credit hours must include:

  • 31 credit hours UNM General Education requirements
  • 3 credit hours U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion requirement
  • 42 credit hours of 300/400 level coursework
  • Minimum of 26 credit hours for UNM residency requirement
  • 36 credit hours for Native American Studies majors
    • 18 hrs from Native American Studies core courses:
      • NATV 150
      • NATV 250
      • NATV 251
      • NATV 300
      • NATV 351 or 352
      • NATV 474
    • 12 hrs from Concentration in Leadership  & Building Native Nations
    • 6 hrs from NATV additional upper division
  • 18-24 credit hours from required minor 

Students in the BA NAS Managed Online Program must maintain a Major GPA of 2.5 or higher.  

For additional inquiries regarding degree requirements, contact Catherine Montoya, NAS Student Programs Specialist, (505) 277-3715 or

 Managed Online Program

At a Glance

Major Requirements: 36 Credit Hours
Cost Per Credit Hour: $349.04
Course Cycle: 8 Weeks

Tuition: Special tuition and fees apply


Native American Studies Website

*To qualify for admission to the major, students must complete additional core and college requirements (see Degree Requirements tab for more information)