Certificate Programs

Online or In Person

Don’t Just Make Art, Make a Living Making Art!—IAIA is one of the few art schools in the United States to offer an online certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship. Additionally, IAIA also offers certificates in Museum Studies and Native American Art History.

Apply today to the online certificate programs and be part of IAIA’s commitment “To empower creativity and leadership in Native Arts and cultures through higher education, life-long learning and outreach.”

IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Spring and Fall

For more information about application deadlines, start dates, and happenings, please see the Academic Calendars. See the Admissions page for admission requirements.

SemesterApplication DeadlineCourses Begin
Fall 2019July 27, 2019August 19, 2019
Spring 2020January 4, 2020January 21, 2020

Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program

The IAIA Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is a course of study that provides a solid foundation in business and entrepreneurial skills for interested parties of all levels. The program is designed to meet the needs of small business owners and self-employed individuals. With a focus on applied skills, people taking the course are taught processes that can be repeated in the development of a variety of future business opportunities.

Terrance A. Clifford (Lakota, Pine Ridge, ’16)

“The IAIA Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program seated in me a foundational understanding in how to manage finances, create a business plan, advertise through social media, and how to engage with prospective clients.”
—Terrance A. Clifford (Lakota, Pine Ridge, ’16)

Courses cover personal finance, accounting, marketing, small business development, the business of art, legal concepts, principles of sustainability, e-commerce and online marketing, innovation, and writing a business plan. All students are encouraged to personalize their learning by focusing their coursework on a business of their choice. Past students have developed a variety of business plans, including: a professional artist, massage therapist, filmmaker, graphic design studio, plumber, and organic restaurant. The program attracts students of all ages and backgrounds and although some certificate students have decades of business experience, the program teaches from the ground up and no experience is necessary.

If started in the Fall, the certificate program can be completed in two semesters. The certificate program is available for online delivery every semester.

Guiding Statement

IAIA is not your traditional business school. Entrepreneurship is a creative process and an art school is the ideal place to expand the way you think about business. There is potential for change, both personally and socially, that entrepreneurship education can inspire. Creating plans that serve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities are at the heart of this program.


The program is focused on the concept that education about money, business, and entrepreneurship is ultimately a personal journey. Instructors are committed to making the knowledge relevant, satisfying, and exciting to the students. The program emphasizes active learning with classes that encourage student discussion and group and peer interaction.

Terrance A. Clifford’s (Lakota, Pine Ridge, ’16)

A viewer looking at Terrance A. Clifford’s (Lakota, Pine Ridge, ’16) photographic works on display at the nationally-recongized IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)


  • Provide a solid foundation of business literacy and applied business skills for running a small business
  • Teach professionalism across the curriculum
  • Increase entrepreneurship in Indian Country and within the creative economy

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the IAIA Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program will create a business plan of their original business concept by applying skills learned from across the certificate curriculum.

Business plans will incorporate an understanding of the following:

  • Legal structures
  • Target audience
  • Primary and secondary market research
  • Marketing activities
  • Pro-Forma financial statements
  • Financial planning and budgeting

The students finish the program with a completed business plan that be used to start a business and/or to obtain financing.

Scholarships are available for qualified business students.

Watch Student Testimonials

Watch Student Testimonials

Museum Studies Certificate Program

The Museum Studies Certificate Program offers both an on-campus and an online certificate degree composed of 30 credits to students who have completed a degree in another field and have an interest in the museum field, who already work in a museum or related institution but wish to further their knowledge, or for those who wish to test the college experience and perhaps use their certificate credits towards another degree.

The Museum Studies Certificate Program includes oversight of the newly renovated Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery and classes are held in the state-of-the-art Conservation Lab and Exhibit Preparation Classroom. Internship opportunities for students to work in our IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) collection (located on campus) provide direct hands-on experience, as well as opportunities to intern at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Tazbah Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo/Navajo)

“It was the hands-on classes, supportive staff, internships, and gallery preparation experiences that were most beneficial to me. After I graduate, I plan to use my knowledge and experience within my community and career.”
—Tazbah Gaussoin (Picuris Pueblo/Navajo, ‘16)

Guiding Statement

The Museum Studies Certificate Program is dedicated to providing a well-rounded education in the field of museology specific to best practices of cultural object care and cultural presentation. Students learn the techniques, methods, and practices and the critical thinking necessary to assist communities in maintaining their cultures and heritages through museums and cultural centers.


We believe museums and cultural centers can serve as focal points in providing educational contexts for the appreciation of Native Arts and cultures. These spaces can provide unique opportunities for the recognition and acknowledgement of the many contributions, past, present and potential, of Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples.

Although our program is focused on Native American and Alaskan Native culture, the program is cognizant of other Indigenous cultures throughout the world. We encourage the enrollment of non-Native Americans and applicants from other nations who share our philosophy.


The goals of the Museum Studies Department are:

  • To teach students essential knowledge and skills with respect to conventional museum and gallery methods and trends
  • To develop students’ critical analyses of western and Indigenous models cultural stewardship
  • To inspire students’ creativity toward the exploration of uncharted and expressive directions in the field of museology
  • To provide a strong learning experience that will support students in becoming sensitive and capable leaders in their respective communities and chosen career fields

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Museum Studies Certificate program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills and techniques of museum exhibit design and installation
  • Contextualize components of museum collections as they pertain to its cultural meaning
  • Apply Indigenous protocols, customs, and sensitivities with regard to museological applications
  • Analyze and critique the roles and responsibilities of the various museum professions
  • Apply new and applicable technologies to culturally-based museum exhibitions and collections
  • Construct new models of museum representation and interpretation

(Picuris Pueblo/Navajo, ‘16)

Tazbah Gaussoin’s (Picuris Pueblo/Navajo, ‘16) exhibition installation in the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery

Native American Art History Certificate Program

The Native American Art History Certificate Program takes an interdisciplinary approach, examining Indigenous artistic practice as a form of discourse and a focus for cultural exchange. Survey courses provide a broad historical overview of the history of Native American, First Nations, and Central and South American art forms. The survey courses in Native art critically examine the disciplinary lenses applied to Indigenous art, including archaeological, anthropological, ethnographic, and art historical methods—analyzed with close attention to the ethical and conceptual concerns of indigenous scholars, artists, and activists. European Survey Courses provide a useful comparative background in Western material culture and history. 300-level courses examine intersections between technologies, social movements, institutional policies and art movements, as well as guide students in ethical research methods for working with Indigenous art and artists.

IAIA Native American Art History students discussing and critiquing peer exhibitions.

IAIA Native American Art History students discussing and critiquing peer exhibitions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Observe how cultural values, practices, beliefs, and physical environments shape the production of art
  • Identify major art movements and artworks and their historical, social, political, and philosophical contexts
  • Compare, contrast, and critique texts written about art
  • Apply appropriate art historical research methods
  • Practice effective writing and oral communication skills
  • Analyze connections between art movements and the students’s own artistic practice

Gainful Employment (GE)

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any Title IV eligible program that prepares students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” The educational programs offered by public institutions that are subject to the gainful employment regulations are non-degree programs, including all certificate programs. Specifically at IAIA, gainful employment programs are all stand-alone certificate programs. The following gainful employment disclosure information must be provided:

  • Occupations the program prepares students to enter
  • Occupational profiles
  • Tuition and fees the institution charges the student for completing the program within normal time
  • Costs for books and supplies
  • Cost of room and board (if applicable)
  • On-time graduation rate for students completing the program (only if there are more than 10 students that completed the program)
  • Job placement rate for students completing the program (not currently required in New Mexico)
  • Median load debt incurred by students who completed the program (only if there are more than 10 students that completed the program)

The “gainful employment” certificate programs listed are eligible for Title IV federal student aid. View the Gainful Employment disclosure information for each program.

Computer System Requirements

Computer System Requirements

To participate in an online degree and certificate program your computer system should meet the basic minimum requirements listed below.


  • Computer less than four years old
  • Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, or Mac OS X
  • Internet speed: Broadband connection (cable modem or DSL via phone company)
  • A program that can read PDF files (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application)
  • Word processing software that can save to the Microsoft Word file format (e.g., Microsoft Office 365 for Windows or Mac, Open Office, etc.)

Supported Browsers

Blackboard supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer on Windows and Mac. See .

Tablets and Phones

Most online course materials can display on a tablet or mobile phone. However, some course activities—such as submitting assignments online—may be more difficult on these devices compared to a laptop or desktop computer.

If you have questions about meeting these requirements, please contact sfadden@iaia.edu.

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