Associate in Arts, American Indian Studies

The Associate in Arts (AA), American Indian Studies degree provides a multi-disciplinary academic approach to studying Indigenous Peoples, their cultures, struggles, and maintaining sovereignty and self-determination. This degree empowers students to effectively work in urban and rural environments, and government agencies, and help Native Nations. Coursework focuses on historic relations with non-Indian societies, the development of federal Indian law, tribal governments, treaty rights, environmental issues, public policy, economic development, cultural preservation, and contemporary social issues. This degree provides students with the foundational coursework needed to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in the field.


Academic Career
Degree/Certificate Type
Associate Degree / University Transfer
Academic Plan
Associate in Arts (AA)
Academic Plan Code
Total Credits Required
Catalog Year
What You’ll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Analyze tribal, federal, state, and municipal governmental policy and legal interactions related to inherent sovereignty.
  2. Collaborate effectively to identify and examine issues at the tribal, state, and national levels that affect the holistic well-being of Indigenous Peoples.
  3. Examine the Indigenous concept of interconnectedness with respect to the Sacred, which is holistically and organically inclusive of culture, homeland, worldview, identity, nature, and sustainability.
  4. Analyze the various ways in which Indigenous Peoples identify and organize themselves in relation to pre- and post-colonial contact.
  5. Analyze the impacts of sovereign powers at the tribal, state, and federal levels in relation to the international governmental forum.
  6. Examine the laws, codes, and statutes at the tribal, federal, and state levels.
  7. Examine the impact of political diversity and historic, socio-economic, contemporary, and cultural contexts on Indigenous Peoples and their respective cultures.
  8. Perform academic research and writing in accordance with ethical standards and scholarly practices.
  9. Effectively communicate orally, visually, digitally, and in writing in a manner that demonstrates cross-cultural empathy, self-awareness, open mindedness, and responsiveness.
  10. Illustrate the ways in which the influences of past and current social and political institutions promote inequalities, privileges, stereotypes, mistrust, and biases that continue to extrinsically shape the identity of Indigenous Peoples.
  11. Value Indigenous knowledge as it relates to multi-generational cultural education, including elderhood, oral traditions, and aesthetics.
  12. Examine the endangerment of Indigenous language extinction and the acceleration of Indigenous culture loss as well as the efforts to revitalize and restore them.
Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this program may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Arizona-based annual median wages* for this program. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information.

Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, Postsecondary


Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other


First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers


Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education


Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other


Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists


Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education


* Wage information sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program. Updated May 2018.
Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include CPD150, CPD150AC, CPD104, and AAA115/CPD115. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.
  • Students should meet with an academic advisor about any concerns that may affect course enrollment.
Program Area Key

Students must earn a grade of "C" or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s program website for the Associate in Arts in Associate in Arts, American Indian Studies (

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.