South Asia Studies, BA

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. We are America's oldest and arguably most distinguished South Asia regional studies program dealing with the past and contemporary life of one-fifth of the world’s population and teaching more languages than any other South Asian studies program in the US. Having a deep knowledge of the country set to outpace the US as the second largest economy in the world in an increasingly competitive global job market gives graduates a competitive edge over others with more generic skills. Make your home in a department where you get to know your Faculty and they know you as an individual, whether as a major or double major. You don’t have to know anything about India or be South Asian to find a home with us; just be curious!

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 32. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Language Requirement
Select 2 course units in South Asian language 22
Foundational Requirements
Select 2 course units from the following:2
Introduction to Modern India
The City in South Asia
History, Culture, and Religion in Early India
India's Literature: Love, War, Wisdom and Humor
Performing Arts of Modern South India
Hindu Mythology
Introduction to Modern South Asian Literatures
India: Culture and Society
Introduction to Hinduism
SAST Freshman Seminar
Major Courses
Select 8 course units8
Total Course Units32

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


A South Asian language with a grade of "B" or higher. Students may be exempted from this requirement by passing a language proficiency test administered by the department. Students who pass the proficiency test are required to fulfill the necessary credits with a distribution of other courses. While only 2 course units in a South Asian language are required, 4 course units are encouraged.


Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5.

SAST 4998UNDERGRADUATE THESIS (or Research Paper)1


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.