Welcome to the Department of Alaska Native Studies & Rural Development

Welcome to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development website. DANSRD has a great team in place ready to assist students in meeting their personal, professional and educational goals. Our highly qualified team knows and is sensitive to the needs of Alaska’s rural and Native communities. Because of our background and experience, our team holds itself to the highest standard of excellence maintaining high expectations. We provide quality instruction, rich and rewarding experiences, seek out innovative and creative opportunities, and provide a solid foundation for building a strong and vibrant future.

If you are interested in further developing your leadership and management skills for improving the quality of life in your indigenous or rural community, please feel free to contact us at any time. Our faculty and staff are eager to answer your questions and assist you to pursue your academic and professional goals. You can earn an Alaska Native Studies ANS or  Rural Development (RD) degree on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks or by distance delivery through audio conference classes from wherever you are. Our programs are flexible and students in the ANS program can select from three concentrations including Indigenous Peoples in Law, Governance and Politics, Alaska Native Knowledge, Cultural Resources and Expression, or Alaska Native Peoples: Health, Wellness and Environment. In the Rural Development program, students can select from five concentrations including Human and Social Development, Tribal and Municipal Governance, Integrated Resource Management, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, and Multidisciplinary. And, students can now major in Fisheries and have a concentration in Rural and Community Development. We offer students a wide range of opportunities and students learn from highly qualified faculty, including Native faculty, Elders, guest presenters, and perhaps most importantly, from each other.

The DANSRD Program has a rich history. The Rural Development BA program has been in existence since 1984, the B.A. distance-delivered Program since 1994, and the Rural Development M.A. program since 2000. We are very proud of the positive impact our students and graduates have on their communities. Since its inception our programs have produced 200+ graduates. Our students and graduates are in many management and leadership positions with their village governments, corporations, organizations and government agencies. Our students and graduates are spread throughout Alaska and beyond. Our program is beginning to impact more rural communities around the globe as more international students are joining the program.

One of our goals is to create a network of Alaska Native Studies (ANS) and Rural Development (RD) graduates throughout Alaska, the Circumpolar North, and around the world. If there is one thing we can say about our students and graduates it is that they are truly making a difference. If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of Alaska Natives, Indigenous peoples, and in rural communities, come in and join our dynamic alumni! We have the talent, knowledge, and experience to help you find your personal and professional paths. Hope to see you soon!