Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.

Native American Student Experience

Native American Student Experience


A Campus for Groundbreakers

Native American students, faculty and scholars have made important contributions to UC Riverside throughout the university's history, and their impact continues today. Native American scholars and activists Rupert (Cahuilla) and Jeannette Henry (Cherokee) Costo created the Costo Chair of American Indian Affairs at UCR, the world's first American Indian chair endowment, and established both the Costo Library of the American Indian and Costo Archives at the university. Costo Hall, the building that houses many of UCR's Ethnic & Gender Centers, is named in their honor.

UCR was the first university with a graduate from a California reservation, cognitive psychologist Marigold Linton (Cahuilla-Cupeño). We're the first in the UC system to establish an office dedicated to Native American student support, Native American Student Programs (NASP). UCR is the first and only school in the UC system to offer a Native American history Ph.D.

Partners in Your Success

You have the drive and the passion to pursue your dreams. UCR has the programs and resources to make those dreams a reality.



Academic Enrichment & Support

If you need extra help in your classes, or are interested in helping fellow students excel, the Academic Resource Center offers tutoring, workshops, and mentorship programs to all undergraduate students. Work as a research assistant or find a peer mentor in your major. Intern with a government agency in Washington, D.C., earn academic credit for community service projects, or create and teach your own course through Undergraduate Education programs.


Campus Life

UCR is home to more than 450 student clubs and organizations covering a wide range of interests, including fraternities, sororities, social justice organizations, cultural organizations and academic organizations. One campus group is the Native American Student Association (NASA), which is dedicated to establishing strong ties with neighboring Native American communities and increasing the Native American student population at UCR. The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS) at UCR supports and promote the success of Native American and Hispanic/Chicano scientists to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) provides support, programs, and educational services to ensure the success of American Indians in college and careers in engineering, science, and related fields.


Financial Aid

Find out how affordable and valuable a UCR degree can be for California residents and out-of-state students, including being automatically considered for scholarships. In 2023-24, 85% of UCR undergraduates who applied for aid were awarded aid, and 97% of undergrads who were awarded aid received need-based scholarships and/or grants. The Financial Aid office also provides Financial Wellness programming to help you make smart choices for managing your money now and planning for the future. NASP can connect you with scholarship opportunities.


Health & Wellness

The health of your mind, body, and spirit are integral to your personal and academic success. The Well is UCR's student-focused well-being and health promotion department. They develop and implement innovative health campaigns, programs, and events with our partners and peer educators to provide awareness, skills, and support to help students develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.



Live in a supportive community with other students who share your goals and interests in one of UCR's Living-Learning Community options, featuring halls based on major — CHASS, Enginuity, Honors, Pre-Business, and Students in Math and Sciences (SiMS). There are also themed halls for students with similar ethnic, cultural, or gender backgrounds — Gender-Inclusive Housing, Markaz, Mundo, Pan-African Theme Hall (PATH), and Stonewall.


Native American Student Programs

Thanks to the efforts of Native students, UCR became the first UC campus to open an office focused on serving American Indian students. Native American Student Programs (NASP) opened its doors in 1980 to serve the needs of Native students and educate the campus community about the uniqueness of the American Indian. Through the Gathering of the Tribes Summer Residential Program, NASP welcomes American Indian high school students to campus and introduces them to university life. The Medicine Ways Conference workshops and discussions. The UCR Pow Wow is an inter-tribal social gathering and cultural celebration featuring singing, drumming, and dancing. The achievements of graduating students are celebrated at the Native Graduation Banquet. One of UCR's nine Ethnic & Gender Centers, NASP also offers supportive resources to UCR students, including the Intertribal Connect (I-Connect) Peer Mentorship Program, which matches incoming students with a trained peer mentor who will help support their positive transition to UCR.

Native American Student Spotlights


“Allowing the Indigenous students a space to collaborate, organize, and share is UCR's way of supporting us.”

Madison Garcia (Kumeyaay)

“I aspire to be a professor of Native American History/Studies and UCR has programs that will help me with my career.”

Joshua Thunder Little (Oglala Lakota)



Native American Student Videos

    • Video: Meet the Generations of Students Who Call UCR R'Home

      Learn About UCR and Its
      Native American Programs

    • Video: Learn About Christopher Houston's Transfer Student Experience

      Meet Neuroscience
      Major Raelyn Castillo

    • Video: Learn About Christopher Houston's Transfer Student Experience

      Learn About UCR's Cahuilla
      Connections from LeeAna
      Micaela Espinosa Salas

    • Video: Learn About Christopher Houston's Transfer Student Experience

      Meet 2012 Distinguished
      Alum Marigold Linton

    • Transfer Student Experience

      Discover the Resources Available to Transfer Students