Five College Consortium

Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies

Five College NAIS Certificate Program


Interested in pursuing the certificate? Submit the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate Student Interest Form online.


Students in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) certificate program draw on the resources of not one campus but five, benefiting from a wide variety of courses exploring Native American and Indigenous histories, literatures, cultures and contemporary issues that are taught within the consortium each year. 

The certificate furnishes an excellent foundation on which to build a professional career, graduate work or research. Its requirements provide a strong grounding while each student works closely with a faculty advisor to design an individualized course of study.

In pursuing the certificate, you will:

  • Learn the depth and breadth of Indigenous methodologies and their applications to the most pressing issues of today
  • Critically approach the field through engagement with Native and Indigenous intellectual traditions, histories and cultures
  • Undertake meaningful research in archives, on the land and with communities
  • Work with leading scholars across multiple fields, as well as with visiting tribal scholars
  • Understand the unique sovereign status of Native and Indigenous peoples, the complexity of Indigenous legal and political systems and the many facets of U.S. and international law and policy

The NAIS certificate is available to students at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Please note that the certificate cannot be completed online.


“The Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate Program has been very influential and important to my college experience, and it was one of the first communities I truly felt part of. In addition to being my support system, the program has helped me see myself as an activist scholar.”

—Mimi Linares-Ramirez, Smith College ’15