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Graduate Programs in Cherokee Studies

Cherokee Studies Graduate Certificate

Gives you control in matching your educational interests with your crowded schedule.  Students can enroll in any graduate program at WCU and earn a Cherokee Studies Certificate by taking 15 hours of approved coursework. More information about this program, including a full listing of course requirements.

Who should consider a Certificate?

School and College Teachers...  Health Practitioners... Linguists..... Resource Managers.... Environmental and Cultural Preservation Professionals.... Archaologists....  Lawyers and Mediators..... Consuelors... Theatre and Art.....   

Whether you are aiming for a new career, or are considering a return or enrichment of your current professional life, the intercultural skills you can gain here are in demand locally and globally in nearly all professional fields and buisnesses.  

Culturally-based Native Health Program

The Culturally-Based Native Health Program is a collaborative initiative among Western Carolina University, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Wake Forest University.  Our mission is to provide a culturally oriented approach to training for health professionals serving Native peoples, grounded in a tribal community, and integrated into the core of the University.  This is a new national model, involving native communities from the ground up to improve health care delivery for indigenous people and for all who want a more effective health system.

The CBNHP is an interdisciplinary certificate program requiring 12 credit hours. It is not intended to be transitional to a master’s degree. All courses are offered online.  Two required courses are:

NAS 474/574 Issues in Indian Health  (3): Historical and cultural context of disease in the Americas from 1500 AD to present, with focus on health of Indigenous Peoples of the Southeast. PREQ: Junior or senior standing for 474; graduate standing for 574.

NAS 470/570 Cherokee Culture and History (3): Course will provide a general introduction to Cherokee culture and history with an emphasis on relationship to health and policy.  PREQ:  Junior or senior standing for 470; graduate standing for 570.

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Lefler at Health and Human Services Building, Room 116, email; or phone 828-227-2164.

Master of Arts Degree in American History, Cherokee Studies Track

The Master of Arts Degree in American History, Cherokee Studies track, requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of approved course-work, including 18 hours in American history courses (including HIST 545, 631, and 632); 6 to 9 hours in Cherokee Studies concentration selected from: ANTH 561, ANTH 573, ASI 594, ENGL 564, or other courses approved by the graduate adviser. The program may be completed with or without a thesis.

For more information, email Andrew Denson at or Alex Macaulay at

Enhance your experience

Student work or study co-operatives are available to graduate students through Western's Cherokee Center and external organizations within the Native American community.

For more information, email Center Director Roseanna Belt at

Research Facilities

Graduate students and scholars have access to extensive research facilities. Hunter Library's holding includes nearly 500,000 books, one million units of microforms, and 3,000 periodicals, including newspapers and magazines. It has one of the largest map collections in the state. The library's Special Collections holding houses a rich variety of materials on regional, Appalachian, and Cherokee history.

The university is located near several other depositories and has access to research facilities on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Books may easily be borrowed from the libraries of UNC-Asheville and Appalachian State University.


In the Cherokee syllabary, the characters above spell "study".
In the Cherokee syllabary, the characters above spell "study".


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