Home / Prospective Student FAQs

Prospective Student FAQs

What is the Pueblo Master’s and Doctoral Cohort?
The Pueblo Indian Master’s and Doctoral Cohort Project is a mixed cohort of master’s and doctoral students in Justice and Social Inquiry (JSI) in the School of Social Transformation (SST). This project originated out of a partnership between The Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School (LI) and SST. A relationship between these institutions was formed when the LI envisioned a doctoral program for Pueblo students based on their work in community development, and SST faculty and leadership and the LI agreed to co-develop, collaboratively design, and host the first cohort project—from 2012-2015. We join the LI in thanking the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their support of this project, as well as the ASU School of Social Transformation and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Cohort will consist of highly qualified students with a strong record of demonstrated commitment to Pueblo Indian nations, people and issues, current work commitments in the Pueblos, and a long-term commitment to work with their own or other Pueblo Indian communities throughout their graduate studies and upon completion of their studies.

The Cohort will be instructed by JSI faculty who are interdisciplinary scholar-researcher-practitioners exploring the most pressing issues of our time that link our local lives with global cases. A concentration on Indigenous Justice will be crafted for each individual cohort member, matching student interests and tribal community priorities with an appropriate course of study within the JSI doctoral framework, and all students will be matched with a devoted faculty mentor.

Why SST and why ASU?
All too often, boundaries and borders—whether local, tribal, state, or national—create dividing lines that separate our shared visions for access, equality, equity, and quality within a society that is democratic and just. In SST and at ASU, we like to think beyond these boundaries and borders that stretch our thinking and action by using creativity and innovation. The Pueblo Indian Doctoral Cohort is one example of doing this work in a way that honors the voices and lives of people who call the Southwest their homelands. While we share these hopes with our fellow institutions of higher education in the Southwest, the following themes exemplify why SST at ASU is a great place to share your visions with us.

We listen to you
Our faculty are interested in the issues and priorities that are most pressing to Indigenous peoples today. We are interested in not only working to confront those issues with you, but also in preparing you to face those issues with your communities while building a strong network of colleagues who are also working towards social change.

We build with you
In addition to SST faculty commitment to working with Indigenous communities across the Southwest, in the U.S., and globally, our leadership at ASU has charged us with a vision for transforming higher education. ASU President Crow’s design aspirations for a “New American University” include major themes that you will see across SST, from faculty projects to new and refreshing courses based on our cutting-edge research. They include, 
01. Leverage Our Place
02. Transform Society 
03. Value Entrepreneurship 
04. Conduct Use-Inspired Research 
05. Enable Student Success 
06. Fuse Intellectual Disciplines 
07. Be Socially Embedded
08. Engage Globally 
These design aspirations are directives that challenge us to consider our roles as educators. They signify to us a change in the way we deliver higher education, but most importantly, the way in which we construct higher education opportunities that are meaningful to you.

We advocate with and for you
Patricia Sandoval (Pueblo of Laguna), the Director of Planning and Evaluation at the Santa Fe Indian School, has said that “the education of Indigenous peoples is a social justice issue, and where better to address this issue than in a School of Social Transformation.” Within SST, not only do we see beyond boundaries and borders, but we also share with you the work and commitment towards a world that is socially just.

One of the major struggles in the education of Indigenous peoples is that within institutions of learning, the individual is asked to conform to demands that may not be relevant to the things that are most important to them. SST represents an interdisciplinary faculty with a proven record of building creative and innovative programs at all levels of education and within multiple contexts. We listen to you and with you in order to build courses of study within our JSI curriculum that will meet your demands and exceed your expectations for a respectful and relevant undergraduate and graduate educational experience that is itself transformative. We believe in your power to address the things that are most critical to your families and communities and are honored to stand with you.

What does the program entail?
Participation in this Cohort requires a full two-year (6 semesters) commitment for the M.S. degree, and a full three-year commitment (9 semesters) for the Ph.D. degree, including all summer semesters. Doctoral students will take a total of 54 credit hours, and Master’s students will take a total of 36 credit hours.

Cohort members will participate in an average of two or more courses (6+credits) per semester that include video conferencing, faculty lectures on site in New Mexico and Arizona, and required faculty advisement sessions. Cohort members will also participate in travel module coursework that includes 1-2 weeks of in-person coursework and online readings and discussion work, totaling 40 hours of class time. Finally, cohort members will receive training in writing for publication and will culminate their graduate experience with an applied project (M.S.) and publication-worthy manuscript (Ph.D.).

What can I do with my degree upon completion of study? 
The program is designed to train students as researcher-scholar-practitioners to address multiple issues related to social justice and social transformation that impact New Mexico’s Pueblo communities and the larger global community. The program will be rigorous in terms of justice theory, including notions of Indigenous justice, as well as research-intensive with training on the "how-to" of research that focuses on Indigenous research methods, and also have a practical application, strengthening student ability to navigate and work within their own fields of interest.

Where will the cohort be based? 
The home base for the cohort is both ASU’s Tempe campus and New Mexico. Students may travel to Tempe throughout the year for short team-building and advisement sessions.

What is the financial cost to me? 
This program offers full support for tuition, fees, books, and program-related travel and expenses. Funding for this program is made possible by The Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ASU School of Social Transformation, and ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Who can apply? 
Prospective students with the following are encouraged to apply: a strong record of demonstrated/proven commitment to Pueblo Indian nations, people and issues; current work in the New Mexico Pueblos; previous lack of access or opportunity to higher education pursuits; experience and interest in working with children and families, education, health, and research; long-term goals directed towards social transformation in New Mexico. Additionally, a commitment to work with your own or other Pueblo Indian communities throughout the course of graduate studies and upon completion of these studies is required. Sponsors, organizers and funders encourage only those who meet the criteria below to apply:

  1. Have an extensive history of strong commitment to New Mexico Pueblo Indian communities;
  2. Demonstrate current work with New Mexico Pueblo Indian communities;
  3. Exhibit long-term commitment to Pueblo communities through professional and/or academic career aspirations;
  4. Willingness to commit to five years of service to Pueblo people upon completion of graduate studies;
  5. Demonstrate strong interest in collaborative research in Indigenous communities;
  6. Ability to commit to completion of the program within the required timeline (2 years for the M.S. and 3 years for the Ph.D.);
  7. Submit full application with all required materials.

This program has been designed to honor the community-based commitments of Pueblo individuals and communities, and full-time working professionals are encouraged to participate. This program is highly suitable for those community members who have not had the opportunity to pursue graduate studies because of previous issues of access and opportunity.

What is the application process? 
Applications are now open. The deadline for full applications is Friday, July 10, 2015. Orientation will begin August 2015, and classes begin October 2015. Application requirements are as follows,

  • Regular application: Complete the regular application online at http://graduate.asu.edu/admissions
  • Transcripts: Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts should mailed to: 

    Arizona State University
    Graduate Admission Services
    P.O. Box 871003
Tempe, AZ 85287-1003
    Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.

    All other materials listed below must be submitted to JSI at the School of Social Transformation. Materials must be mailed to: Justice and Social Inquiry Graduate Programs
    Attn: Dr. Vera Lopez, Graduate Committee Chair
    Arizona State University
    PO Box 876403
    Tempe, AZ 85287-6403

    Please do not e-mail any application materials.

  • Personal statement: In 2-3 pages, double spaced, outline areas of academic and scholarly interest, educational and career goals, and address the following questions: How have you been actively engaged in your Pueblo community/ies? What do you hope to achieve through your doctoral studies? How do you envision “giving back” to Pueblo people after your studies?
  • Three letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should include strong academic, community (i.e. Pueblo/tribal leadership, school community leadership, or tribal organization/institutional leadership), and/or professional references.
  • Writing sample: A research or professional document that best represents your critical thinking and writing skills—minimum of 20 double-spaced pages.
  • WICHE application: The in-state tuition application is due with your application to this program.

Is there specific information I need in order to complete the online application? 
You will use the following information to complete the online application process, which is accessible at http://graduate.asu.edu/admissions.

Degree Category: JUSTICE STUDIES
Degree Location: TEMPE

Should you have any questions about the online application, please contact Nancy Winn, Student Support Specialist, Sr. by phone at 480-965-6008 or by email at Nancy.Winn@asu.edu

Who can I contact if I have questions about the program or admissions?
For specific questions not found on the ASU cohort website, please contact both Dr. Elizabeth Sumida Huaman atesumidah@asu.edu and Dr. Bryan Brayboy at bryan.brayboy@asu.edu.