The University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) is set to offer a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Indigenous Studies (IS) program. It is a program in which graduates will be grounded in theories and frameworks which will enable them to teach, conduct, and publish research or implement programs on indigenous issues. Preparations for the roll-out of the PhD-IS program are underway, following the approval of the UPB proposal for the institution of said doctorate degree program by the University of the Philippines Board of Regents at its 1360th meeting held on 29 April 2021.
Responsive of local and international developments in relation to initiatives for Indigenous Peoples (IP) rights and cultures, the PhD-IS program of UPB seeks to valorize indigenous epistemologies or ways of knowing that have been neglected and marginalized by hegemonic scientific epistemologies. It is also projected to contribute to the efforts in IP education.
The program, which has options for three (3) years of full-time and four (4) years of part-time study plans, is designed to employ interdisciplinary perspectives in engaging with historical and contemporary issues confronting IP in the Philippines and elsewhere. Core and major courses include Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Research Methodologies, Directed Readings in World Ethnographies, Historical Construction of Being and Becoming Indigenous, Perspectives on Indigenous Languages, and Indigenous Management of Resources, among others. On top of these are courses constituting a wide range of electives in the areas of Material Culture, Gender and Sexuality Systems, Culture and Psychology, Indigenous Religions, Heritage, Indigenous Communication, and Representation in Media and Literature. Also among the electives are courses in Ethnobotany, Ethnomathematics, Literature in the Oral Tradition, and Ethical, Legal and Social Issues on the Environment.
A first of its kind, the PhD-IS will be UPB’s second doctorate degree program. Existing graduate and post-graduate programs offered by UPB are: MA in Language and Literature, MA in Social and Development Studies, Master of Management, MS in Conservation and Restoration Ecology, MS in Mathematics, and PhD in Mathematics.