About Indigenous Studies at KU

Welcome to the Indigenous Studies program at the University of Kansas. We accept applications to the M.A. program and graduate certificate on a rolling basis. Visit the Admission page for more information. We also offer an undergraduate minor in Indigenous Studies.

The Indigenous Studies master’s degree program provides students with in-depth knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ complex and diverse cultures and histories, as well as their impacts on the global society. Our multidisciplinary program offers students the advantage of studying relevant issues from a wide range of academic perspectives. The expertise of our affiliate faculty members includes Native American history; Indigenous literature; ethnobotany; Indigenous peoples' cultural survival and political activism; American Indian tribal governments; Indigenous geographies; Native American religions; and much more.

Our master’s program allows students to develop an area of specialization in which to build their expertise. Students can choose either a thesis or portfolio option to complete their degrees. We also offer a joint degree with the Law School.  Students may graduate with both the J.D. and an M.A. in Indigenous Studies in three to four years, making it an ideal choice for students interested in tribal law. With rolling admissions, our program offers the flexibility to apply at your convenience and to begin your studies either in the fall or the spring semester.

Empowered by the resources on campus and in our community, we strive to provide unique learning opportunities for our students that go beyond the classroom. Please explore our website to learn more about what we have to offer, and feel free to contact us with questions.


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Local Events

Backyard Bash
Sunday, September 22 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Marvin Grove, backyard of the Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi St., Lawrence, KS 66045
This is artful celebration of the autumnal equinox, the end of summer and start of fall. Enjoy activities, games and performances that explore nature, culture and the character of our communities. Headlining music act is Bad Alaskan, aka ISP's Alex Kimball Williams, performing a blend of Indigenous, trip-hop, ambient and dance music.
Free and open to the public.

"Think Indigenous: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz and the Red Power Movement"
Lecture by Langston Hughes Professor of ISP candidate, Dr. Kent Blansett
Tuesday, September 24 | 1:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium 309
Faculty, staff and students encouraged to attend

We-Ta-Se 25th Annual Veteran's Powwow
Saturday, September 28 | Grand entries at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., Traditional supper at 4:30 p.m.
Prairie Peoples' Park, 154th and M Road
Mayetta, KS
All veterans welcome. Free and open to the public.

"Sovereignty of the Soul: Centering the Voices of Native Women" Lecture by Sarah Deer
Tuesday, October 1 | 7:30 p.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall
University of Kansas campus
Part of the Humanities Lecture Series

KU Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebrations
Keynote Speaker, Congresswoman Sharice Davids
Tuesday, October 8 | 6:00 p.m.
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
University of Kansas campus

Indigenous Women of Art Exhibit
October 8-27
Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas campus

Native American Leadership Symposium
Hosted by KU Admissions
Thursday, October 10 | 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kansas Union
University of Kansas

Indigenous Animated Short Films Screening
Thursday, October 10 | 7 p.m.
Lied Center Pavilion

All events are free and open to the public.

K-State Indigenous Peoples Day Conference: "Asserting Sovereignty: Innovations and Battlegrounds"
Monday, October 14 | 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
K-State Student Union, Manhattan, KS
Keynote speakers: KU's Sarah Deer, Muscogee (Creek) is a highly respected legal scholar who is committed to ending violence against women, and was recently inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Susan Faircloth (Coharie) recently named as the Director of Colorado State’s College of Education, is one of the most respected Indigenous education scholars in her field and has engaged in extensive research and service to Indian education. Meredith McCoy (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa descent) is rising star in Indian education, and has studied the history of Indian education policy extensively on topics such as finance, law and curriculum.  

Free and open to the public, but registration is required (meals included)

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
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One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times