nl en

MA Thesis Languages and Cultures of Indian America


Admission requirements

Admission requirements and any restrictions.


The student spends most of the second semester on writing the MA thesis (20 ects). The thesis must demonstrate the student’s grasp of the discourse in the field of American Indian Studies as well as his/her ability to conduct original research with a high degree of independence. The topic is chosen in consultation with the thesis supervisor. The MA thesis is written in English or Dutch. The MA-thesis has a maximum length of 20,000 words, including footnotes, bibliography, and appendices.

Course objectives

The thesis must demonstrate that the student is able to:

  • Independently formulate a research question which displays insight into the methodological principles as well as an in-depth grasp of the state of the art of his/her field of research

  • Independently formulate a realistic research plan

  • Critically and analytically report on existing academic debates and propose creative solutions based on secondary literature

  • Apply concepts/methods of his/her field to a corpus of primary source material (whether existing or collected during the student’s own fieldresearch or archive/museum research) and critically analyse the primary source material

  • Formulate ideas clearly and correctly, according to generally accepted academic practices and formal conventions



  • The student should contact the supervisor at an early stage, preferably upon commencement of the programme.

  • The final date to submit the MA-thesis is four weeks after the last lecturing week of the second semester.

  • Upon the agreement of the supervisor, it is possible to submit a final corrected version at a later date, at the latest in the last examination week of the next semester. The student cannot lay any claim on supervision during that period, or, in general, during lecture-free periods.

  • The supervisor is the first reader. He bears primary responsibility for the supervision of the thesis writing process. A second reader reads and evaluates the final version of the thesis.

  • The student submits at least three copies of the thesis: two for the two readers (supervisor, second reader), and one for the thesis archive kept by the secretary of the Examination Committee. Copyright for the thesis belongs to the student.

Mode of instruction

Independent work.

Assessment method

Essay (to a maximum of 20,000 words)



Reading list

To be selected by the student in consultation with the thesis supervisor


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Prof. dr. W. Adelaar

Dr. E.B.Carlin