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2023 Native American Languages Degree Guide

Before Christopher Columbus and the colonization of the new land, the Native Americans were the first inhalants of the Americas. There were thousands of different tribes with their own languages, cultures and traditions. If you are interested in learning about America's past, majoring in Native American Languages is ideal.

While studying this major, you will focus on one or more of the native languages of the Western Hemisphere. The emphasis of this program will be placed on American Indian languages, in addition to other Native American languages. You will study oral and written literature of the Inuit and Aleut, Hawaiian and North American families. These languages include, but are not limited to, Athabascan, Siouan, Iroquoian, Algonkian, Yuman, Xapotecan, Mayan, and Uto-Aztecan. Some programs include languages in the South American families, which include Andean-Equatorial, Marcro-Chibchan, and Ge-Pano-Carib.

During the course of the program you will take courses in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Language, Native American Philosophy, Gender and Sexuality in Native North American, Tribal Service Learning, and Tribal Governance and Leadership.

Native American Languages Degrees Decreasing

#388 Most Popular Major
16.0 Degrees Awarded
-168.8% Increase in Graduates

Native American Languages was the 388th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 16 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 168.8% reduction in Native American languages degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 43.

This year's Best Native American Languages Schools ranking compares 1 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom Native American languages rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Native American Languages
2023 Overall Best Native American Languages Colleges >

Best Native American Languages Schools by Degree

Bachelor's Degrees in Native American Languages

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Native American Languages

An open mind and love for storytelling are good traits to have in order to fully appreciate and grasp Native American Language. The majoring of their culture and history was passed down by word of mouth in the practice of oral storytelling. Students with an ear for languages will do well in this major.

You can prepare for this major while still in High School. Students are advised to take courses in U.S History, Geography, Humanities, Political Science, and Language. These courses would help potential students learn the fundamentals of Native American Languages and culture.

Native American Languages Degree Program Entry Requirements

Native American languages degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic Native American languages program qualifications, to serve in some Native American languages careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Native American Languages Degree Types

There are various different levels of Native American languages degrees. Native American Languages programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest Native American languages degree you can get. The time it takes to complete a Native American languages degree varies depending on the program.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4 years

A doctor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to Native American languages, with approximately 36.7% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for Native American languages workers below.

Level of EducationPercentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree37.8%
Bachelor’s Degree30.1%
Master’s Degree21.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)5.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate4.3%

About 62.8% of workers in careers related to Native American languages obtain at least master's degrees. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in Native American languages careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the Native American languages career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Native American Languages Majors

Below Average Number of Jobs
67.2k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Majoring in Native American Studies provides graduates with a broad set of skills applicable in many different job fields. Some students choose to continue their education in order to become a University Professor. Another option is to become an Anthropologist or Archeologist. Both of these fields examine the past of different cultures. As an Anthropologist you will examine the elements of human culture and society. As an Archeologist, you would examine the relics from the past to recreate history and culture accurately. Grads may also be interested in becoming a Historian and spend their time researching, analyzing and explaining past events to people. Historians have the potential to get their research and work published in textbooks, newspapers, journals, and other publications.

High Growth Projected for Native American Languages Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your Native American languages degree? Native American Languages careers are expected to grow 15.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to Native American languages.

Occupation NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
Interpreters and Translators80,30017.7%
Foreign Language and Literature Professors39,10011.7%

How Much Money Do People With a Native American Languages Degree Make?

As you might expect, salaries for Native American languages graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Native American Languages Careers

Salaries for Native American languages graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers Native American languages grads often go into.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Foreign Language and Literature Professors$79,160
Interpreters and Translators$55,230

Getting Your Native American Languages Degree

With over 27 different Native American languages degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased Native American languages school rankings to help you with this.

Native American Languages is one of 17 different types of Foreign Languages & Linguistics programs to choose from.

Related MajorAnnual Graduates
Romance Languages15,009
Linguistics & Comparative Literature8,539
American Sign Language2,724
East Asian Languages2,293
Classical Languages & Literature1,428

View All Native American Languages Related Majors >


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