American Indian Studies, Minor

College of Social Sciences: Department of Anthropology

About the Program

The American Indian Studies program (AIS) at California State University, Fresno offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that provides culturally-appropriate knowledge and skills through an understanding of the American Indians in North America. The program also involves its faculty and students in research, experiential learning, career counseling, computer technology, curriculum development, conference participation, and day, evening, and weekend courses.

The program offers courses leading to a minor in American Indian Studies. Students can seek other professional degrees in such areas as business, human resources, teacher education, and law. The program teaches appreciation for the heritage of American Indians and their contributions to the shaping of the fabric of American life and history.

Faculty Specialties

The AIS program is made up of faculty with backgrounds and expertise in business, English, history, education, Anthropology, and American Indian affairs.

American Indian Studies is a discipline within the Anthropology Department that focuses on the indigenous cultures of ancient, historical, and contemporary America. American Indian cultures include American Indians, Arctic Natives, as well as the indigenous populations of Northern Mexico. This program recognizes the artificiality of both the Canadian and the Mexican borders, but is primarily concerned with the indigenous populations of the USA. The courses offer a distinctively American perspectives that is crucial to an understanding of the historical and social processes that have led to the development of contemporary American society. This program is intended to strengthen the position of American Indian students and communities in this region as well as introduce these cultures to all students. Courses are interdisciplinary and are principally drawn from the social sciences and the humanities.

Minor Requirements

Lower-division requirements (6 units)
AIS 5, 50

Upper-division requirements (6 units)
AIS 103, 170

Approved American Indian Studies electives (6 units)

Total (18 units)

General Education Courses Offered:

AIS 50. Contemporary Life of the American Indian

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Current problems of American Indians and Arctic Natives resulting from culture conflict, acculturation, minority status, and governmental policy. Units 3 G.E. Breadth D3

AIS 103. Indians of California

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Survey course on the ancient cultures of California, historical development of California Indian cultures according to regional resources, conflict between the California Indian people and various colonial forces, arts and culture of California Indian people, and contemporary issues of California Indians.  Units 3 G.E. Integration ID

It is anticipated that AIS 100 may be used for the American Indian Studies Minor and to satisfy General Education requirements.

Note: The minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.

For more information contact:

Leece M. Lee-Oliver, Ph.D.
Director of American Indian Studies
Social Sciences Bldg. 106B
(559) 278-5839