Department of Alaska Native Studies & Rural Development

Fairbanks office:

3rd floor Brooks Building

PO Box 756500

Fairbanks, AK 99775


Phone: (907) 474-6528

Toll free: 1-888-574-6528

Fax: (907) 474-6325


Anchorage office:

2221 E. Northern Lights Blvd. Room 200

Anchorage, AK 99508


Phone: (907) 279-2700

Toll free: 1-800-770-9531

Fax: (907) 279-2716

Hours: M-F 8AM-5PM

"You not only earn a BA degree, but have a chance to meet people from all over the state that are active in their communities - that in itself is a learning experience."

Gilda Shellikoff, '98 False Pass

photo of RD graduates and faculty
2005 RD graduates and faculty in Fairbanks

WHAT IS THE Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development B.A. DEGREE PROGRAM?

UAF's Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development Applied Field-Based Program enables you to earn your B.A. degree in either Alaska Native Studies (ANS) and/or Rural Development (RD) while remaining at home. These degree programs are designed to educate a new generation of leaders for Alaska. Students in the program gain a broad understanding of Alaska's cultural heritage, relationships to the global economy and an appreciation for sustainable development strategies. Students also learn specific tools essential for community leadership, including business plan and grant proposal writing, community visioning and planning processes, computer business applications, and project management and evaluation techniques. Graduates typically take positions with tribal and municipal governments, fisheries, tourism, and other private businesses. Native corporations, regional health corporations or non-profits, and state/federal agencies.

In both the Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development programs, you develop a concentration in an area specific to either ANS or RD. The programs are designed especially for mature and nontraditional students in rural Alaska communities. Many are returning to higher education after many years away from study. Most students are already employed, and many are active community leaders. Nearly all have family and other obligations that make it difficult to complete a degree in a traditional campus setting.

As either an Alaska Native Studies or Rural Development student, you'll work with a faculty advisor in developing a plan of study for your B.A. degree. You'll be encouraged to use your workplace and community as part of your "campus." You'll complete your degree not only through conventional course work but also through flexible and innovative learning opportunities, including:

  • Seminars
  • Internships
  • Mentorships
  • On-the-job training
  • Credit for prior learning
  • Individualized courses

You'll also have the option of moving seamlessly between the Applied Field-Based Program and the Fairbanks campus-based programs if you choose to do so.

As regular UAF degree, the B.A. programs in ANS/RD is governed by the academic policies and procedures found in the current UAF catalog.

This Rural Development B.A. Student Guide expands on information in the catalog and answers questions requently asked by students in the Applied-Field Based Program. If you have further questions, please consult the catalog or discuss them with your advisor.