Cross-Cultural and Indigenous Studies

Graduate School
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska  99775
Phone (907) 474-7464 • Fax (907) 474-1984

Application and Admission

Selection of Ph.D. applicants will be based on undergraduate and post-baccalaureate GPA, statement of academic interest and research intent, relevant community or professional experience, and three letters of reference. In addition to these criteria, applicants will be evaluated on their writing skills, professional presentations, and previous teaching and research experience. Most students applying for admission to the Ph.D. program should already have a master’s degree in a relevant field, though exceptional students with a bachelor's degree and extensive relevant experience may be considered for admission directly into the Ph.D. program, subject to completion of additional program requirements. The Indigenous Studies Ph.D. admission process will be administered by a program-specific interdisciplinary admission committee established through the UAF Graduate School

Applicants must comply with University requirements for a doctoral degree and admission to graduate studies as detailed in the UAF Catalog. Applicants must provide a statement of intent indicating why the student wishes to pursue a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies at UAF, their research interests, and their professional goals and objectives. Applicants are to include a professional vitae and three letters of reference with their application, including two professional references and at least one letter from a cultural/community organization.

  1. Complete the admission process including the following:
    1. Application deadline: Applications must be received by March 1 for the following fall admission and October 1 for the following spring admission. These are the only opportunities for program admission each year.
    2. Compliance with the University Requirements for a doctoral degree and admission to graduate studies as detailed in the UAF Catalog
    3. Minimum undergraduate or graduate grade point average of 3.0
    4. Letter of intent describing the applicant's interest and purpose in pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Studies
    5. Professional vita, including documentation regarding academic, research, and professional experiences; special projects and activities; and recognitions or honors
    6. Three letters of reference, including two professional references (preferably curriculum or research advisors and/or major course instructors with whom the students had contact in more than one course, and/or supervisors) and one cultural/community reference.

The Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies seeks to attract mature, committed, and responsible individuals of diverse personal, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds who are interested in scholarly research and practice with an indigenous emphasis.

The program functions on a cohort model and admits eight students per year. It is anticipated that students will be able to enroll in at least half of their coursework through distance education, though they will also be expected to participate in intensive (1 to 3-week long) face-to-face seminar/institutes each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to be full-time students (i.e., not engage in other full-time gainful employment or other studies) throughout their attendance in the Ph.D. Program. Students are also strongly encouraged to enroll in a partner institution for a semester to a year.

To identify candidates for admission to the program, the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Steering Committee will conduct a screening and selection process that is intended to evaluate all applicants in a manner that is comprehensive, fair, and objective. All candidates who are finalists for admission are required to participate in an individual interview with the selection committee. The interview process is an opportunity for potential candidates to learn about our program as well as for us to learn about them. This interview is an essential part of the application process, thus all finalists are expected to be available for a conference call.

Since our student capacity is limited and we expect more applicants than we can accommodate each year, those who are not admitted should not take it personally and are welcome to resubmit their application the following year. We will be seeking balance and diversity in the makeup of each annual cohort and likely will not be able to admit all qualified applicants.

Graduate Application for Admission: Graduate application for admission forms can be retrieved from http://www.uaf.edu/admissions/pdf/grad_app.pdf. The UAF $60 non-refundable application fee should be paid by check, credit card or money order in U.S. funds to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Official Transcripts: Official transcripts need to be received under separate cover from all institutions attended and degree-awarding since high school. Official transcripts should be sent by your prior universities directly to the UAF Admissions Office. If official transcripts are being sent in your application packet, please make sure the envelopes are sealed and have not been opened; otherwise, they are not considered official.

Letter of Intent:
Applicants must provide a statement of intent indicating why the student wishes to pursue a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies at UAF, their research interests, and their professional goals and objectives (maximum of three pages). If you have preferences for individual faculty members who might serve on your Graduate Committee, please indicate such in the letter of intent.

Specialty Area of Emphasis:
Please identify the specialty area you wish to pursue and describe how this emphasis meets your professional and personal interests and will help advance your professional goals (maximum of two pages). A preliminary outline of courses of interest should be submitted with the application, including a tentative list of courses applicable to the selected specialty area.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE):
GRE scores are not required for admission to the Ph.D. Program if the applicant's undergraduate GPA is above a 3.0. If the applicant's undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0 the University does require the GRE scores regardless of the GPA of a prior graduate degree. However, all candidates who believe their GRE scores are more indicative of their potential in the Ph.D. program than their GPA are encouraged to submit them.

Professional Vita:
Professional vita, including documentation regarding academic, research, and professional experiences; special projects and activities; and recognitions or honors.

Reference Letters:
Minimum of three letters of reference, including two professional references (preferably curriculum or research advisors and/or major course instructors with whom the students had contact in more than one course, and/or supervisors) and one cultural/community reference. Each reference must have been contacted to provide a signed and completed letter of support. Letters of Support must be received in a sealed envelope, signed by the reference across the envelope closure.

All application materials should be submitted to:

Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 757480
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7480

For further information, go to http://www.uaf.edu/admissions/pdf/grad_app.pdf.