Online Certificate in Native American Studies

The graduate certificate in Native American Studies requires 12 semester credits, fully available through online classes. Although other courses may be developed and offered during any semester, the classes presently available are:

NASX 515Native Food Systems3
NASX 524Contemporary Issues in American Indian Studies3
NASX 530Federal Law and Indian Policy (NASX 530 is required, three classes are elective.)3
NASX 550Native Americans: Dispelling the Myths3
NASX 551Native North America: Art, Agency, Activism3
NASX 553Indigenous Literature and the West3
NASX 554Indian Education for All: A Model for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Practice3
NASX 570Indigenous Planning: Strategic Economic and Human Development Approaches3
NASX 571Native Grantsmanship3
NASX 591Special Topics3
Total Credits12

We will also accept EDCI 540 American Indian Studies for Ed

If the student wishes to continue in Native American Studies and obtain a Master's degree, 9 credits, less than 6 years old, earned under the Graduate Certificate may be transferred to the MA program. The Master's program is not wholly available online, requiring at a minimum one semester (spring term) on campus. 

Our online classes generally are on the same schedule as the in-person classes; here is a link to registration and detailed information for online classes:

Certificate students who reside in Bozeman may fulfill the certificate with in-person classes.


Each applicant must submit the following:

  1. Application to MSU-Bozeman through the Graduate School online application process (which includes a non-refundable $70 application fee).
  2. Official transcripts of all university/college degree(s) conferred (students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 for the last two years of undergraduate study) (MSU graduates do not need to submit MSU transcripts).
  3. Two academic writing samples, demonstrating the applicant's graduate-level research and writing capabilities.
  4. A 2-5 page personal statement and goals which includes applicant's experience and knowledge of historical and contemporary American Indian issues, work background, how the Graduate Certificate in NAS will help the applicant reach long range goals, and benefit American Indian peoples/communities.
  5. A current curriculum vita or resumé.

All application materials should be uploaded during the online application process.  If there are any additional materials or official documents, they may be submitted to:

The Department of Native American Studies
Montana State University
239 American Indian Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717
Attn: Academic Services Coordinator

Or e-mailed to:

Upon admission, students should be aware of the following administrative requirements:

After acceptance, you will need to contact MSU Student Health to clear immunization holds that will prevent you from registering for classes - it is easily taken care of. Call (406) 994-2311 for further information, or visit the Student Health website: Even online distance students are required to clear this hold.

BEFORE YOU ARE FINISHED WITH YOUR FIRST SEMESTER, The Graduate School requires that you file a Program of Study form.

BEFORE YOU ARE FINISHED WITH YOUR FOURTH CLASS, The Graduate School requires that you file an Application to Graduate form.

Complete instructions and forms can be found on the Graduate School webpage for Certificate students, found here:

Costs associated with the certificate:

The cost of classes varies slightly, but currently our online graduate courses are $1,016.73 for Montana residents, and $1,363.80 for non-residents per class, and four classes are required to graduate. There are additional administrative fees assessed by the registrar and Graduate School offices:

Application process: $70 Grad School application fee (one time)
per semester: $30 Registration fee
Graduation process:

  • Application for Graduate Admissions

                      $70 nonrefundable application fee

  • Program of Study & Committee Form

                      A one-time $50 processing fee will be charged to your student account for processing this form.

  • Application to Graduate

                     A one-time fee of $40 plus a $20 audit fee will be assessed to the student’s account each semester an application is submitted (this fee must be paid through the Student Accounts Office).

A certificate of completion signed by the Native American Studies Department Head will be awarded upon confirmation by the Graduate School that all requirements have been met.

Further Information

For further information regarding the program, contact Native American Studies at (406) 994-3881 or e-mail or Dr. Kristin Ruppel, at 406-994-5261, or via email at

For most recent information please visit:

In addition, you may refer questions to The Graduate School or find the graduate catalog and policies on-line at . Students are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of the department, and the Graduate School.