Graduate Programs for Master's and Ph.D. Students

For students who wish to engage in primary research, the Graduate Program in Native Studies provides opportunities that lead to a M.A. or Ph.D. degree.  Our graduate program offers opportunities for specialization in First Nation, Inuit and Métis histories, cultures, social and theoretical issues. Areas include: Aboriginal land, resource and constitutional rights; governance; politics; economic and ecological development; identity; contemporary Aboriginal literatures; Indigenous film; languages; gender; justice issues; post-colonial historiography and criticism. The graduate program reflects Aboriginal perspectives in teaching and research.

The Graduate Program consists of core courses in the Native Studies Department and optional course offerings in other departments.  The emphasis of the program is on research and therefore a thesis is a degree requirement in both the MA and Ph.D. programs.

Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunnuk adresses the Native Studies Graduate Colloquium. The weekly Colloquium series provides opportunities  for graduate students to present their own research and to hear from some of the top academics and practioners in the field of Native and Indigenous Studies from across Canada and around the world.

Admission to Graduate Study at the University of Manitoba    

General regulations and criteria for admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Native Studies are presented in the University of Manitoba Graduate Calendar.  Copies may also be obtained from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Room 500 University Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2.  Students should refer to the Graduate Calendar for admission requirements and procedures, except as outlined below.

While students interested in applying to the M.A. or Ph.D. programs in Native Studies should contact the department if they require information specific to their program, applications and supporting documentation are to be sent directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Applications for admission can be obtained HERE from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Students wishing to be considered for a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship must submit a complete application for admission, a Fellowship application, and all required documentation by mid January of each year (contact the department for this year's deadline date and eligibility criteria).

Students may apply for admission to the M.A. program on a full- or part-time basis.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program must apply as full-time students to fulfill the residency requirements, but may thereafter register on either full- or part-time basis.  (This decision should be made in consultation with the Chair of Graduate Committee and the student's Advisor.)

Applications will not be processed unless accompanied by the application fee of $100 in Canadian funds.  The application fee is non-refundable and is not credited against tuition.


1.    Fellowships and Scholarships: The Faculty of Graduate Studies maintains an up-to-date listing of all fellowships and scholarships available to graduate students in Native Studies. The most noteworthy of these are the University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Fellowships, and Manitoba Health Research Council Studentships. Students are strongly urged to pursue these opportunities. Such awards usually provide the most generous remuneration and at the same time allow students to devote all of their time to their studies. It should also be noted that the holding of a fellowship/scholarship does not preclude the student from obtaining other forms of assistance (e.g., teaching assistantships).

2.    The Department of Native Studies Graduate Scholarship:  this scholarship of at least $2,000 shall be awarded to students who:
       (1)  are enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in the Master of Native Studies program;
       (2)  have achieved a minimum degree grade point average of 3.0 (or equivalent) based on the last 60 credit hours of study (or equivalent);
       (3)  have completed the two required courses Methodology and Research Issues in Native Studies (NATV 7230) and Issues in Colonization (NATV 7240) with a minimum combined grade point average of 3.0*;
       (4)  will undertake thesis research during the summer term of their first or second year of study in the program.
*Priority will be given to students who have completed their course work for the program and have submitted a thesis proposal.

3.    CD Howe Foundation Fellowships in Creative Writing and Oral Culture

4.    Grant-Supported Research Assistantships: Faculty members with research grants frequently require research assistants. The number of such opportunities varies from year to year, but some graduate students are regularly employed in this way.

5.    Canada Student Loans and Manitoba Government Bursaries: Students who can demonstrate need may be eligible for loans and/or bursaries. Contact the University's Financial Aid & Awards Office for details.

6.   Teaching Assistantships and Sessional Lectureships: This is the major form of assistance for graduate students. Funds for these positions are made available to the Department by the University and are then allocated and administered in accordance with the Collective Agreement between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the University of Manitoba. Students must apply for Teaching Assistantships by responding to a position vacancy posting found on the Human Resources web page on the University of Manitoba website.

These vacancies are usually posted mid-July - mid-August for Fall and Winter term for T.A-ships and in March for positions in spring/summer session.  An email will be sent to all registered Native Studies graduate students informing them of these postings. Students should consult the Collective Agreement for terms and conditions governing these appointments both during the regular academic session and summer session. New applicants who are interested in obtaining such employment should contact the Department Head as early as possible.  Sessional Lecturerships are only available for students in the Ph.D. program.

7.    Conference Travel Support: Graduate students in the Department of Native Studies can apply to the department for financial support to attend a conference at which they will present a paper or play a role of similar import.  They may also get support from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Alumni Association, the Faculty of Arts Endowment Fund (one competition each February), and the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (formerly the Learned Societies) Traveling Scholarships administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

For complete information on awards see the Funding and Awards webpage.

To learn more about the Native Studies Graduate program at the University of Manitoba, contact:          

Dr. Peter Kulchyski