Southwest Studies

This award is not eligible for Financial Aid

The Southwest Studies Program applies a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the peoples and places of the American Southwest. Three certificates in American Indian Studies, Chicano-Chicana Studies, and Southwest Studies are available. Certificates may be attained independently of any degree program, but students may also apply course credits toward a degree.

Students enrolled in the Southwest Studies Academic Certificate will study the environment of the region and how people have historically related to that environment. The Certificate approaches the cultural issues more broadly and includes a stronger emphasis on the ecology, geography, and political history of the region.


Field of Interest
Culture and Society
Degree Type
Academic Certificate (AC)
Academic Plan
Southwest Studies (CER)
Academic Plan Code
Total credits required
Effective Term
Fall 2006

This program is not eligible for Title IV Federal Financial Aid.

What You'll Learn
  • Describe the climatic patterns, geologic features, and general geography of the Southwest and the effects they have in shaping plant, animal, and human communities. (BIO109)
  • Compare and contrast the major biomes of the Southwest and the adaptations of plants, animals, and humans for survival under the unique conditions found in them. (BIO109)
  • Identify representative plants and animals and describe their role in Southwestern ecosystems. (BIO109)
  • Analyze environmental impacts of modern human activities in the Southwest and evaluate their significance for the continued functioning of Southwestern ecosystems. (BIO109)
  • Review the physiography, principal rivers, flora, fauna, and climatic changes characteristic of the American Southwest. (BIO109, GCU221, HIS105, HIS106)
  • Identify the basis and possibilities for future environmental, demographic, political, and economic trends in the Southwest. (BIO109, GCU221, HIS105, HIS106)
  • Describe the physical characteristics of the Southwest, including climate and vegetative zones. (GCU221)
  • Describe demographic characteristics of the Southwest, including growth, distribution, and migration of major population. (GCU221)
  • Define and exemplify the process of "Americanization" of the Southwest. (HIS105, HIS106)
  • Describe and analyze the historical and continuing interactions between Hispanic, Anglo, African-American, and Native cultures of the peoples who have settled the American Southwest. (HIS105, HIS106)
  • Describe the characteristics of the prehistoric native cultures of the American Southwest. (HIS105, HIS106)
  • Describe the nature of the early Spanish exploration and settlement of the American Southwest. (HIS105, HIS106)
Program prerequisites
Course #Course TitleCredits
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3)3
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment0-3
Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
BIO109Natural History of the Southwest4
GCU221Arizona Geography3
HIS105Arizona History3
HIS106Southwest History3
Restricted Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
AIS/HIS170American Indian History of the Southwest3
ASB235Southwest Archaeology3
BIO105Environmental Biology4
ENH112Chicano Literature3
EDU230Cultural Diversity in Education3
ENH259American Indian Literature3
ENH260Literature of the Southwest3
HIS109Mexican American History and Culture3
HIS145History of Mexico3
POS220U.S. and Arizona Constitution3
SPH245Hispanic Heritage in the Southwest3

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Read the official description