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Oconee National Forest and Chattahoochee River

Oconee National Forest and Chattahoochee River

UGA, an R1 Institution, is located near the Oconee National Forest, the Chattahoochee River, and the Qualla Boundary. Our Institute of Native American Studies is well situated for students to get to know the old homelands of Southeastern Native peoples.

About Us

Welcome to Native American Studies at the University of Georgia

The Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia was founded in 2004. UGA INAS is one of the few Native Studies programs in the Southeast and serves as a hub for other similar programs in Georgia. Today, we are a vibrant community of two dozen scholars, including six Native faculty, in addition to our graduate and undergraduate students. Institutes at UGA, just like departments, have three functions: teaching, programming and research. UGA INAS is dedicated to expanding course offerings, programming open to the community, research that benefits native communities, and presenting Native American voices on campus. Check out our News tab for current events related to Native American communities and issues. See our Events tab for upcoming talks, exhibits, film screenings, and presentations sponsored by INAS.

Featured Content

Latest News

A virtual community conference hosted by the Association on American Indian Affairs
Native American students are the smallest demographic at UGA. The Institute of Native American Studies, with a generous donation from UGA alumnus Chris Goeckel has established the Ruth Pack scholarship program for Native American students.
Today, Monday October 11, is Indigenous Peoples' Day! Indian Country Today discusses ways to celebrate Native Peoples on a day that is may finally eclipse celebrations of Columbus. Read the article here.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.

In the field with Ground Penetrating Radar.Archaeology Field School

The field school in archaeology provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to participate in an archaeological research project. Students are introduced to the methods of archaeological survey, excavation, data and materials recovery, recording and processing of data, and the interpretation and preservation of results. Our field schools involve students in all phases of investigation, including survey, test unit excavations, and large-scale data recovery. Students will be trained in basic laboratory processing and analysis and may work collaboratively to present the results of their research in a professional poster. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to critically examine how archaeological knowledge is constructed and expressed.

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Visit Archaeology Lab

Our Graduate Program

The Institute of Native American Studies offers a graduate certificate in Native American Studies.  This certificate can be earned by graduate students at either the masters or doctorate levels.  The Director of INAS serves as advisor to all graduate students earning the certificate.  We developed the certificate rather than graduate degrees to give our students maximum flexibility.  Students earn a degree in a “traditional” discipline, while demonstrating their expertise in Native American Studies through a separate credential.  Those earning the certificate at the masters level can go on to post-graduate work in either their core discipline or in Native American Studies.  Those at the doctoral level can pursue jobs either in their core discipline or NAS.

The graduate certificate requires fifteen hours of course work.  Students are required to take our introductory course and our class in Methods in Native American Studies.  They must take two relevant classes in their core discipline.  They must take one course outside their core discipline, selected in cooperation with the Director.  Normally, because of its importance in the discipline of NAS, this is normally our class in Native American Law and Policy, unless there is a particular reason for another course is more appropriate.  In addition, students must take one comprehensive examination in NAS, and their graduate project must be on a Native American topic.  We also have a separate graduate track in Indigenous Latin America, and our first student is moving through the process.

Our graduate students have been drawn from Anthropology, Education, English, History, Public Health, and Religion.  For public health students, we are pleased to offer a special opportunity through a collaborative arrangement with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.  Students who are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, who are earning both a graduate degree through the University of Georgia College of Public Health, as well as earning INAS’ graduate certificate, will receive a full fellowship and a summer internship at the CDC after the student’s first year.

All of our graduates have received placements upon graduation.  Among other institution, they have secured teaching positions at Arkansas Tech University, Kennesaw State University, Piedmont College, University of California, Merced, and the University of Southern Mississippi.  They have been employed by the Choctaw Nation, the Cultural Center of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.  Those earning our certificate at the masters level have gone onto graduate studies at the University of Georgia and Yale University.

In addition, because of the ties we have made to the Chinese Scholarship Council and schools in China, we annually sponsor a Chinese graduate student working on their dissertation research to be in residence at UGA.  Thus far we have hosted scholars from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, Szechuan Normal University, Szechuan University, and Zhengzhou University.

Anyone interested in graduate studies in Native American Studies at UGA should contact INAS Director LeAnne Howe at

At the Moravian Mission Archives, London.