South Asia Regional Studies, MA

South Asia Studies is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the history, languages, society, literature, and art from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bhutan. America's oldest and most distinguished South Asia program, faculty work in multiple disciplines and offer study in nearly 15 South Asian languages.

The Department of South Asia Studies (SAST) offers PhD and MA degrees, attracting exceptional students from around the world. Candidates for the MA develop a broad knowledge of disciplines relevant to the study of South Asia and competency in a South Asian language at an Intermediate-High level equivalent to a minimum of two years of study.

If students elect to write a Master’s Thesis they must produce a piece of original research that includes sources in a South Asian language. 

View the University’s Academic Rules for Research Master's Programs.

Required Courses

A minimum of 12 course units are required.

Core Requirements
Select 10 disciplinary courses 110
Primary Language Requirement
Select 2 intermediate level or higher courses in a South Asian language 22
Total Course Units12

At least six content courses (not including language courses and independent studies) must be taken with six different Standing Faculty of the South Asia Studies department.


Candidates who demonstrate Advanced knowledge of a South Asian language may be excused from taking additional language courses. The course units may then be reallocated to electives. In no case will exemption from further language study result in a reduction of the total number of 12 course units required for the degree.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2024 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.