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Master of Science in Native American Leadership Online

Become a Leader Supporting the Tribal Nations

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About the Program

Complete in as few as 12 months
30 credit hours
$330 per credit hour

The Master of Science in Native American Leadership online is a leadership-focused degree program that is designed to equip you with culturally relevant knowledge and skills.

Whether you are seeking to advance your career within the tribe or looking to develop business relationships with tribal nations, this 100 percent online program prepares you for leadership. The distinctive curriculum is designed by tribal leaders and covers historical, cultural and regulatory factors affecting business and leadership within the native community.

This degree program highlights leadership-related skills like communication, presentations, critical thinking and problem-solving. Additionally, you will gain an understanding of the complex culture and history influencing modern Native American communities.

Hear what Chief Gary Batton and others have to say about our program.

M.S. NAL students and faculty attest to how this program changed their lives—and their appreciation of the native culture and heritage. Learn how students apply culturally relevant knowledge and leadership skills immediately in their work and personal lives.

Online Courses

For the Master of Science in Native American Leadership online program, students must complete 10 courses for a total of 30 credit hours.

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Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines different types of leadership styles and provides an introduction to the different frames in which leaders can view behaviors and responses within an organizational context. The course will pay special attention to a student's individual assessment of their personal leadership style, the role of self-care in leading, and gender differences in leadership. The structural, political, human resources, and symbolic frames and the impact those frames have on organizations will be examined. The course will also compare and contrast native leadership styles with styles more closely associated with Western culture.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course covers issues involved in multicultural organizations, including developing consensus within the organization for valuing diversity, relationship building, communicating across cultures, and managing people of different genders, races and cultures with an emphasis on diversity as it pertains to Native American people in the workforce. Issues of stereotype, bias and resistance are examined from both a personal and an organizational perspective with an emphasis on making meaningful contributions to diversity initiatives within organizations.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Leaders not only need a vision, but a way to effectively communicate that vision. This course will prepare the student for a variety of leadership roles by exploring contemporary concepts about the meanings and functions of communication and presentations in organizations. Communication styles of Native American peoples will be examined to better understand characteristics that may include eye contact, assertiveness, and body language. Students will analyze key aspects of knowing the audience, developing persuasive content, effectively using media, understanding delivery techniques, and the use of story in presentations. Students will contend with these concepts from a personal standpoint by using examples from their own experiences to apply best practices and improve their own communication and leadership skills.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the mental activities needed to effectively formulate or solve problems, make decisions or understand and conceptualize issues. Concepts such as free will, determinism, truth, knowing, and moral judgments will explored and applied to the modern leader. Barriers to effective problem solving will be reviewed and, along with strategies, form improvement. Special attention will be paid to the role of creativity in the problem-solving process and the role of Native American culture in viewing problems.

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the development of leadership within individuals and explores the influence of leaders regardless of position. The course will pay special attention to the role of mid-level managers in tribal organizations and their ability to work both up, down and across organizational tribal structures. The challenges of balancing the needs of supervisors, subordinates, colleagues and citizens will be addressed, along with case studies exploring how leaders successfully handled challenges and crises.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course will examine issues that directly impact the daily operations of tribal governments and the tribal members of those governments. The course will highlight areas from a broad range of topics with the understanding that these topics of interest are constantly changing and developing. Areas such as economic development, health and education, social services, culture and language, and tribal governance will be studied to provide students with a broad range of knowledge.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is a survey of historical and contemporary developments regarding native education. Conflicting values at a personal, tribal, state and federal level will be explored, along with the results of such governmental policies. The course will give careful examination to the Meriam Report, Kennedy Report, Indian Education Act of 1972, Johnson-O'Malley Act of 1934, No Child Left Behind, Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006, and current policy as it is developed. The course will begin with a historical perspective on Indian education prior to the arrival of Spanish and European influences.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course examines North American historical geography with an emphasis on the historical relationships of American Indians to place and indigenous mapping techniques, thereby allowing students to better contextualize "contemporary" issues. Generally, the course focuses on place and territorial identity in the historical and contemporary life of North American Indians and, as a result, provides insight regarding other indigenous peoples around the world. The course may touch on, but not emphasize, native themes that are not related to place. The course has four ongoing components: 1. North American historical geography, 2. Native people's "Geographies of the Homeland," 3. Historical cartography of North America, and 4. Native American treaties.

Duration: 8 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course presents an overview of major legal principles of federal Indian law, major developments in federal Indian policy, and how they have affected the education of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Three fundamental legal principles of federal Indian law are presented: Tribes are independent sovereign governments, separate from the states and the federal government; tribal sovereignty generally extends over a federally recognized geographic territory and over the activities and conduct of tribal and nontribal members within that territory; and tribal sovereignty is inherent and exists unless and until Congress takes it away. Court case examples illustrating these principles are used. Since questions about tribal sovereignty are often viewed as questions of the intent of Congress, acts of Congress concerning treaties, statutes and public laws are reviewed, along with court case examples. A history of federal Indian education laws and policies traces tribal control from pre-contact through federal control, state control, and finally to the return toward tribal control.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Ethnohistory is the study of ethnographic cultures and indigenous customs by examining historical records. It is also the study of the history of various ethnic groups that may or may not exist today. Ethnohistory of Native Peoples uses both historical and ethnographic data as its foundation. Its historical methods and materials go beyond the standard use of documents and manuscripts. Practitioners recognize the utility of such source material as maps, music, paintings, photography, folklore, oral tradition, site exploration, archaeological materials, museum collections, enduring customs, language, and place names.

Optional Course to Replace Any of the Above Courses if Needed (Approval Required)

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Specifically for the Special Studies course, the objectives are to provide a flexible evaluation of skills needed regarding the organization and history of Native American peoples and tribes. The course may be adjusted to fit specific needs of employers and individuals pursuing the degree while remaining focused on Native American Leadership.


At SOSU, we offer multiple start dates throughout the year so you never have to wait long to get started on your online degree program. The chart below shows upcoming start dates, along with important deadlines, such as when your application should be submitted and when payments are due.

Term Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Spring 2019 3/11/2019 2/25/2019 2/25/2019 3/8/2019 3/8/2019 5/5/2019
Summer 2019 5/13/2019 4/29/2019 4/29/2019 5/10/2019 5/10/2019 6/30/2019
Summer 2019 7/1/2019 6/17/2019 6/17/2019 6/27/2019 6/27/2019 8/18/2019
Fall 2019 8/26/2019 8/12/2019 8/12/2019 8/23/2019 8/23/2019 10/13/2019
Fall 2019 10/21/2019 10/7/2019 10/7/2019 10/18/2019 10/18/2019 12/15/2019

Tuition & Financial Aid


Southeastern Oklahoma State University offers its students the opportunity to earn their online degree with affordable, pay-as-you-go tuition and the convenience of tuition that includes fees.

Per Credit Hour Per Three Credit Hour Course Per Program
$330 $990 $9,900* total tuition, including fees

Additional Fees

Application: $20
International Student Application: $55

Books will average about $100 per course.

*Tuition and fees as of Fall 2017. University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for those who qualify. The first step in applying for financial aid is to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). SOSU's Federal School Code is 003179.

Contact Us

Student Financial Aid Office
425 W. University Blvd.
Durant, OK 74701-3347

Phone: (580) 745-2186

Fax: (580) 745-7469



Southeastern Oklahoma State University's online M.S. in Native American Leadership program has specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll. Please read the admission guidelines to ensure you qualify. If you have any special circumstances that need further clarification, please contact us at 844-515-9100. To meet the admission requirements for the M.S. in Native American Leadership online program, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.75 overall GPA or minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of courses, OR
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA AND a current resume demonstrating two years of experience in the field of study that must be reviewed and approved by program coordinator
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and at least 6 hours in a graduate program from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and must be in good standing at previous university.
  • No GRE is required for Southeastern Oklahoma State University online MS-NAL programs

The M.S. in Native American Leadership degree online at SOSU allows a maximum of nine credit hours that can be transferred from another program with approval from the program coordinator.

International Application and Admissions Requirements:

Please note, unfortunately, students with an F-1 visa are ineligible for online programs. Scan and email #2, #4 and #5 to International Student Services at

  1. Complete Profile (this will also serve as the application)
  2. Academic Records:
    • Original final post-secondary transcript(s) and diploma(s) from each college or university attended. If your transcript is not issued in English, we require the original document as well as an English translation done by your school(s) or a professional translating company. Original = issued by a school or examination board with an official signature and school stamp or seal.
    • Post-secondary records from outside the U.S. must be analyzed by a NACES educational credential evaluation service such as IERF or WES or ECE. For IERF, students need to choose the "detailed report" option and select Southeastern Oklahoma State University from the menu. IERF will send the evaluation of your records to our International Student Services office.
  3. English Proficiency: Internet-based TOEFL score of 79 or an IELTS Academic score of 6.5; taken within 2 years of enrollment.
    • For TOEFL, let us know your registration number and have your score report sent to Southeastern (institution code: 6657).
    • For IELTS, let us know your TRF number.
    • You do not need TOEFL or IELTS scores if:
      1. English is your first language
      2. You have a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university.
  4. Financial Support: Submit a Graduate Affidavit of Financial Support along with an original bank statement stamped and signed by a bank official (within 6 months of your enrollment) demonstrating that your sponsor has a liquid US$ balance that covers the cost of your enrollment at Southeastern for the first year of your degree program. All documents must be in English. If not, an English translation must accompany the original.
  5. Passport Name Page: Copy of the biographic page of your passport showing your name, date of birth, passport number and expiration date. If dependents will accompany you to Southeastern, provide copies of their passport biographic pages, along with marriage and birth certificates, as applicable, to verify your family relationship.
  6. US $55.00 Application Fee: This is not refundable. You have two options for making the payment:
    • Credit card: Call the Southeastern Business Office (+1-580-745-2350) with a credit card number and your Student ID (we will e-mail your student ID number to you after you submit the Complete Profile). Note: Please tell the Business Office that you are an international applicant.
    • Money order: Pay to Southeastern Oklahoma State University (in US$ and with your name on it).

Official sealed transcripts from all previous institutions should be sent to Southeastern Oklahoma State University:

Southeastern Oklahoma State University/Registrar
425 W. University Blvd
Durant, OK 74701-3347


"It changed my life. It gave me some tools to use in my job now."
—Amy Gantt, MSNAL, MFA, instructor and alumna

See how the M.S. in North American Leadership online program impacts lives.

"Those professors really want to help you and they really want you to succeed."
—Crystal Bully, MSNAL student

Hear about the ways in which every SOSU online student feels supported.

"This is the history that we should hear."

Jill Reyna – M.S. NAL Student, Academic and Employment Specialist at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Career Development Department

"I felt like it was actually more one-on-one than if I was in a physical classroom setting."

Jody Nelson, MBA – M.S. NAL Student, Audit Manager at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

"This graduate program, being online, worked for me. A lot of times, I work more than 40 hours a week—plus, I travel ... I can do this at my own pace."

Robin Counce – M.S. NAL Student, Director of Career Development at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

"The Native American Leadership program does change lives."

Leslie Wesberry, JD – M.S. NAL Professor

"I really feel like it changed my life in that it gave me ... tools to use in my job now and, hopefully, in the future."

Amy Gantt, MFA – M.S. NAL Graduate and Instructor

"I know that this program has already changed my life tremendously."

Jason Campbell – M.S. NAL Graduate, Director of the STAR Program at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

"I delved deeper into my culture, my ancestry, and learned a lot that I did not know ... It makes me proud that we have come as far as we have as a tribe, overcoming much adversity to get to where we are today—and that makes me so proud that I'm a member of the Choctaw Nation."

Julia Boyd, MBA – M.S. NAL student, Senior Director of Human Resources at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma