IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

First-Year Program

Jeminie 2Welcome to the journey of a lifetime!

Education is a journey, and it begins with a first step. Along this educational journey will be excitement, risk-taking, challenges, and opportunities. At IAIA, staff and faculty see the success of our students as their primary purpose. Once students apply to IAIA, they begin their journey with us. Upon acceptance, students begin to receive our materials about campus housing, financial aid/scholarship opportunities and academic program information. They are registered for classes and assigned an academic advisor who serves as a guide and mentor throughout their first year.

First Year Orientation Week is the first campus activity and is mandatory for all new students as it provides a solid learning community for social networking, orientation to college life, and support for a successful transition. In the First Year Program, Essential Studies faculty and Student Success Center staff work hand in hand to provide a well-rounded structure of support for student success. For more detail on our courses and the major programs, including the initial courses in Essential Studies, please see the following pages.

General Education

General education represents the core requirements that all students meet regardless of their major field of study. There are 31 required credits in the general education program. These courses are provided from a variety of academic programs, including Essential Studies, New Media Arts and Indigenous Liberal Studies Throughout the fall and spring semesters of the first year, students are enrolled in a common core of classes to complete their general education requirements.

These classes include: First Year Seminar, Math, English, Introduction to Indigenous Studies, Introduction to Digital Media, and Science. Additionally, they may enroll in introductory courses in the major program of their choice in the first year. For more detail see Block Schedules under each major program.

Here’s what students have said about this program:

“The IAIA Orientation changed my life. Suddenly I belonged to a community of Native artists!”

“The first year program helps us focus on success by reminding us that the motivation to succeed is up to us.”

“In my first year, I learned about careers I never thought of before and now I want to be a Museum professional.”

“I became part of a community. I have been waiting for this all my life.”

“The friends I made my first week at IAIA have stayed with me through graduation and beyond. They are my inspiration.”

“The faculty and staff at IAIA have helped me become the creative person I wanted to be.”

See also information on the Student Success Center and Essential Studies

Degree Requirements, Course Descriptions, and Block Schedules

For more information about degree requirements, course descriptions, and block schedules, please see the IAIA College Catalog.