Native American Art Work

American Indian Studies

American Studies

Division: Social and Behavioral Sciences
MD 139-147
Palomar College
San Marcos, California


Below is a listing of classes offered by the American Indian Studies Department.  Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the Palomar College current course catalog for a complete listing of classes being offered and instructor.Courses may be offered in one or more of the following manners:  Traditional Lecture, On-Line (remote access course) or Hybrid (combination of Traditional Lecture and On-Line instruction).

 Click here to access the latest, 2014-15, College Catalog information

AIS 100 Introduction to American Indian Studies

American Indian cultures in North America are studied from early cultures to contemporary society. A cross-disciplinary approach examines applicable methods and theories from sciences and humanities.

AIS 101 The American Indian Frontier from Colonialism through the Present

The historical, economic, and cultural development of the American Indian in relation to European and American contact. Extensive use and analysis of historical sources from the colonial period to the present. This course plus AIS 102 meets the state requirement in American History and Institutions.

AIS 102 The American Indian and the U.S. Political System

Surveys the role of American Indian people in the U.S. political system and institutions. Includes an examination of American Indian political structures and functions from pre-contact period to contemporary as well as analysis of federal Indian policy and leading issues and organizations that affect the American Indian community. This course plus AIS 101 meets the state requirement in American History and Institutions.

AIS 105 History of Native American Arts

An historical survey encompassing North, Meso, and South American Indian arts from pre-Columbian through contemporary periods. American Indian art forms are examined in terms of cultural context, history of styles, and artists.

AIS 110 History of the Plains Indians

An analysis of the Plains Indian. Examines lifestyles, mores, traditions, and tactics of war. Attention will be given to relations with the U.S. government and to the background and evolution of acculturations.

AIS 115 A History of Southwest Indians

A history, transculturation, and present culture of the Southwest Indians with emphasis on their retention of traditional customs.

AIS 120 Indians of the Americas

A cross-cultural study of American Indian peoples in South America, Mesoamerica, and North America. Emphasis is placed on the contrast of societies as diverse as Incans, Amazonians, Eskimos, and Mayans.

AIS 125 American Indians Today

The development of a greater sensitivity to the American Indian though analysis of ethnocentrism exhibited in contemporary American pluralistic society. This will be done through the analysis of stereotyping, history, cultural practice, and contemporary issues.

AIS 130 Pre-Historic Cultures of North America

Emphasis given to prehistoric cultural traditions of the Eastern Woodlands, Central Plains, and Far Western United States and Canada. Special concern for archaeological problems; reconstruction of these traditions and cultural changes. This course is dually listed as ANTH 130.

AIS 135 California Indian Arts

Emphasis on the regional styles of California tribal arts with analysis of the social, religious, political, and cultural contributions. A combination of lectures, slides, individual projects, small group discussions, field trips, and guest artists.

AIS 139 Native American Linguistics

This introductory linguistics course will enable the student to create a practical orthography and basic standardized grammar for an endangered language with no literary tradition.

AIS 140 The Original Californians

Native people of California; their origin, language, arts, customs, religions, folklore, and music. Special emphasis on Southern California.

AIS 141 Elementary Luiseño IA ; AIS 142 Elementary Luiseño IB

An introduction to the fundamentals of the Luiseño language, one of four indigenous languages of San Diego County. This course will include a survey of Luiseño language phonology, morphology, syntax, and grammar with special emphasis on culturally relevant terminology.

AIS 143-144 Elementary Luiseño IIA & IIB

Elementary grammar, review, composition, and continued oral practice. NOTE: AIS 141-144 are cross-listed FL 141-144.

AIS 145 American Indian Literature

A survey of historical and contemporary American Indian literature. Examines traditional and contemporary genres.

AIS 150 American Indian Philosophy and Religion

The principles of American Indian philosophy and religious rites practiced prior to extensive European contacts with North American tribes, and the subsequent impact of European cultures on American Indian philosophy and religion.

AIS 151-154/FL 151-154 Elementary Cupeño

Elementary grammar, review, composition and continued oral practice.

AIS 155 American Indian Community Development

Investigation and analysis of relationship between American Indian and the non-Indian in contemporary society with special emphasis on fieldwork and research to explore the existing programs and to develop solutions to problems originating from these programs.

AIS 160 American Indian Education

The historical development of American Indian education. Emphasis is placed on traditional philosophies as well as American philosophies as they relate to the educational process of the American Indian.

AIS 161/CS 161/ FL 161 Elementary Classical Nahuatl

This is an introductory course on the Classical Nahuatl language of the Aztec Empire. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the Nahuatl morphology and syntax.

AIS 165 American Indian Women

Social and psychological comparison of the role of Indian women among U.S. tribes. Areas of emphasis will include: kinship, childbearing, leadership, and religious roles. These will be examined in traditional and contemporary settings.

AIS 170 Political/History Problems and Issues of California Indians

Examines the political structure and functions of American Indians in California as they relate to federal, state, and local governments. Includes analysis of problems and issues relevant to California Indians through an historical, political, and economic framework.

AIS 175 American Indian Science and Technology

An introductory course in the development of scientific ideas in American Indian cultures as compared to other cultures in terms of context, practitioners, and technological applications. Primary comparison is with conventional western areas of physical, biological, and applied sciences derived from scientific methodology.

AIS 197 American Indian Studies: Special Topics (As of 2011 this course is currently not being offered.  Please see the AIS Department Chair for specific instructions.)

Prerequisite: any course in American History, Behavioral Science, or American Indian Studies. Directed study in special topics relating to American Indian people and cultures.

AIS 295 Directed Study in American Indian Studies (See AIS Department Chair for specific instructions.)

Independent study for students with demonstrated proficiency in American Indian Studies to engage in self-directed projects or research outside the context of regularly scheduled classes.

 Click here to access the latest, 2014-15, College Catalog information


1140 W. Mission Road, MD-140
San Marcos, CA 92069

(760) 744-1150, Ext. 2425