Designated Emphasis

What is a Designated Emphasis (DE)?

Graduate students in certain Ph.D. programs may participate in a Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application which is related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs.

The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript designation; for example, "Ph.D. in History with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory."  A complete listing of approved Designated Emphasis programs is located at

Benefits of a Designated Emphasis Program

Students who participate in a Designated Emphasis program benefit in several ways:

  • Coursework for the Designated Emphasis provides analytical tools that enhance their research.
  • The DE accords graduate students the opportunity to network with students and faculty across the UC Davis campus, thereby providing a larger audience for their research and work and increasing access to information about career opportunities.
  • DE students have a larger pool of professors to draw from when forming their qualifying examination and dissertation committees.

The DE in Native American Studies (DENAS)

The Native American Studies Department at UC Davis offers a Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies.  Ph.D. students in the following graduate programs can enroll in the DENAS:

  • Anthropology
  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Comparative Literature
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education (Ph.D.)
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Performance Studies
  • Psychology
  • Spanish

If you are interested in being admitted to the Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies, but your graduate program is not affiliated, contact the DENAS Chair.

The Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies affords graduate students in affiliated programs the opportunity to supplement their Ph.D. in a given discipline with a specialization in Native American Studies. A doctoral student in good standing may seek admission to the DE in Native American Studies. Students in affiliated Ph.D. programs who complete the requirements of the DE will have this noted on their transcripts and their Ph.D. diploma will note the “Ph.D. in ____ with Emphasis in Native American Studies.”

At UC, Davis, the Native American Studies Department focuses hemispherically upon the indigenous peoples of the Americans, that is, upon the peoples, nations, tribes, and communities whose ancestors have lived in North, Central and South America from earliest times. Native American Studies is interdisciplinary in its scholarly approach to the world of American Indian peoples, offering a comprehensive and comparative perspective. This unique hemispheric approach includes attention to the increasing dislocation and diaspora of indigenous people throughout the Americas, and calls upon the authority of Native intelligence (Native voices, Native texts) in all its forms and manifestations to address the issues that concern Native peoples, including the creative strategies for continuance they have developed over the centuries.


NAS Ph.D. Students

Native American Studies is affiliated with the following Designated Emphasis programs:

For additional information regarding DE requirements and admissions, contact the respective DE directly.

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