A cer­tifi­cate in Amer­i­can Indian & Indigenous Stud­ies is a way of giv­ing recog­ni­tion to stu­dents who have made a sig­nif­i­cant effort to learn about Amer­i­can Indian & Indigenous cul­ture and the place of Amer­i­can Indi­ans in Amer­i­can soci­ety. Stu­dents receiv­ing a cer­tifi­cate will have the achievement officially recorded via tran­script nota­tion.

What can I do with a certificate in American Indian & Indigenous Studies?

Students of Amer­i­can Indian & Indigenous Stud­ies go on to suc­cess­ful careers in admin­is­tra­tion, advis­ing, aca­d­e­mics, advo­cacy, the arts, busi­ness, com­mu­nity out­reach, con­sult­ing, edu­ca­tion, gov­ern­ment, health or health edu­ca­tion, jour­nal­ism, library sci­ence, lit­er­acy pro­gram­ming, lob­by­ing, man­age­ment, pol­i­tics, pub­lish­ing, school coun­sel­ing, social work, research, and many more.

How to Get in

To begin the cer­tifi­cate dec­la­ra­tion process, students must submit the Cer­tifi­cate Pro­gram Appli­ca­tion form to the American Indian and Indigenous Studies office.  This form can be found on our Certificate Website. The certificate is open to Special students and undergraduate students regardless of the college of enrollment.


15 total credits are required, as follows:

Introduction to American Indian Studies:
AMER IND 100 Introduction to American Indian Studies3
Complete four courses from at least two of the following areas:12
Introduction to American Indian History
Literature and Media
Literatures of Native America
Literature by American Indian Women
American Indians in Film
American Indian Folklore
Indians of North America
Native Peoples of the Southwest
Archaeology of Wisconsin
First Semester Ojibwe
Second Semester Ojibwe
Beginner Level Indigenous Language
Beginner Level Indigenous Language II
Beginner Level Hoocak/Ho-Chunk Language
Survey of North American Indian Languages
Ojibwe Language III
Ojibwe Language IV
Intermediate Level Indigenous Language
Intermediate Level Indigenous Language II
American Indian Social and Cultural Issues
Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies
Indians of Wisconsin
American Indian Communities: Sovereignty, Struggles, and Successes
Special Topics in American Indian Studies
American Indian Women
Issues in American Indian Studies
Poverty and Place
Social Work in American Indian Communities: The Indian Child Welfare Act
Indigenous Peoples and the Environment
Indigenous Environmental Communicators
Caring for Nature in Native North America
Critical Indigenous Ecological Knowledges
Native American Environmental Issues and the Media
Total Credits15

​Residence and Quality of Work

  • ​Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate courses.
  • 6 credits may be taken as pass/fail. All other credits must be taken for a letter grade.
  • At least 8 certificate credits must be completed in residence.

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate may be completed within the context of an undergraduate degree or as a Special student after an undergraduate degree has been awarded from any institution. The certificate may be completed in its entirety while enrolled as a Special student. Candidates are encouraged to contact the certificate coordinator to discuss course enrollment and the sequencing of certificate requirements. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply knowledge and methods of inquiry characteristic of this interdisciplinary field.
  2. Apply knowledge of historical precedents to contemporary issues.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the creativity and ethos contained within the diverse ways of knowing (Indigenous Knowledge Systems) among American Indian nations and communities.
  4. Apply knowledge of the effects (ongoing) of oppression and racism that American Indians experience.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of American Indian value-belief systems and practical knowledge across all fields of human endeavor.

Advising and Careers

Students are required to declare the American Indian & Indigenous Studies (AIIS) certificate. For academic advising regarding the certificate, students should contact the AIIS certificate advisor to obtain more details about the certificate program and general academic advising. Contact Denise Wiyaka at denise.wiyaka@wisc.edu or request information by sending an email to aiis@letsci.wisc.edu

L&S Career Resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.



Denise Wiyaka, American Indian & Indigenous Studies


  • Jodi Byrd, Gender & Women's Studies
  • Juliana Hu Pueges, Gender & Women's Studies
  • Leah Horowitz, Environmental Studies
  • Kasey Keeler, Civil Society & Community Studies
  • Kai Pyle, Gender & Women's Studies
  • Sasha Suarez, History
  • Matt Villeneueve, History


  • Susan Dominguez, Senior Lecturer

For a full list of faculty and staff, please see the department website.