South Asian Studies Certificate Program

Undergraduates interested in cross-disciplinary study of South Asia (generally defined as the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Tibetan region) may earn a certificate in South Asian studies. The certificate can be a valuable addition to a major in anthropology, archeology, business, communications, economics, education, gender and women's studies, geography, history, international studies, journalism, languages and cultures of Asia, political science, zoology, and other departments. Completion of the certificate provides a concentration in the area through language and/or interdisciplinary training that provides enhanced career opportunities or increased preparation for graduate study.

The certificate in South Asian studies can be partially fulfilled through completion of a study abroad program in India administered by International Academic Programs.

Students interested in declaring the undergraduate certificate should contact the Center for South Asia office or the undergraduate advisor.

21 credits, Distributed as follows:

Introductory course

One course from:3-4
History of South Asia to the Present
Contemporary Indian Society
Religion in South Asia
Modern Indian Literatures in Traslation

Area courses

9 credits from:9
General Anthropology
Archaeology and the Prehistoric World
Topics in Archaeology
History of Islamic Art and Architecture
Topics in Asian Art
Visual Cultures of India
Cities of Asia
Proseminar: Special Topics in Art History
Proseminar in Medieval Art
Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces
Topics in Asian Studies
Introduction to Asian American Studies
Topics in Asian American Studies
A Survey of Asian American Literature
Special Topics
Humanities Topics
Indian Writers Abroad: Literature, Diaspora and Globalization
Feminism, Folklore and Comparative Literature
Gender, Women, and Society in Global Perspective
Special Topics in Gender, Women and the Humanities
International Development and Gender
Economic Geography
An Introduction to World History
Historical Studies
Explorations in Transnational/Comparative History (Humanities)
An Introduction to Central Asia: From the Silk Route to Afghanistan
American Foreign Relations, 1901 to the Present
Making of Modern South Asia
Topics in South Asian History
Advanced Seminar in History
International Business
Contemporary Topics
Global Marketing Strategy
Introduction to International Studies
International Learning Community Seminar
Contemporary Issues in International Studies
Mass Media in Multicultural America
Literatures of Central Asia
Modern Indian Literatures
Politics of South Asia
Modern Japanese Literature
Islam: Religion and Culture
Cities of Asia
A Survey of Tibetan Buddhism
Visual Cultures of India
Indian Writers Abroad: Literature, Diaspora and Globalization
Proseminar: Studies in Cultures of Asia
Gods and Goddesses of South Asia
Indian Writers Abroad: Literature, Diaspora and Globalization
The History of Yoga
Proseminar: Studies in Religions of Asia
First Semester Asian Language
Second Semester Asian Language
First Semester Hindi
Second Semester Hindi
First Semester Persian
Second Semester Persian
First Semester Modern Tibetan
Second Semester Modern Tibetan
First Semester Urdu
Second Semester Urdu
First Semester Sanskrit
Second Semester Sanskrit
Third Semester Asian Language
Fourth Semester Asian Language
Third Semester Hindi
Fourth Semester Hindi
Third Semester Persian
Fourth Semester Persian
Third Semester Modern Tibetan
Fourth Semester Modern Tibetan
Third Semester Urdu
Fourth Semester Urdu
Third Semester Sanskrit
Fourth Semester Sanskrit
Fifth Semester Hindi
Sixth Semester Hindi
Fifth Semester Tibetan
Sixth Semester Tibetan
Fifth Semester Urdu
Sixth Semester Urdu
Seventh Semester Asian Language
Eighth Semester Asian Language
Advanced Readings in Hindi Language
Advanced Readings in Sanskrit
Advanced Readings in Tibetan
Law and Colonialism
Legal Pluralism
Literatures of Central Asia in Translation
World Hunger and Malnutrition
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease
Global Health Field Course
Introductory Topics in Religious Studies (Humanities)
Introduction to Sufism (Islamic Mysticism)
Meditation in Indian Buddhism and Hinduism
Religion in Critical Perspective
Postcolonial Theatre: Drama, Theory and Performance in the Global South
Total Credits9

Disciplinary courses

6 credits from:6
Topics in Archaeology
Language and Culture
Topics in Asian Art
Indian Writers Abroad: Literature, Diaspora and Globalization
Making of Modern South Asia
International Business
Religion in South Asia
Modern Indian Literatures
Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters
Modern Japanese Literature
Islam: Religion and Culture
Proseminar: Studies in Religions of Asia
The History of Yoga
Proseminar: Studies in Cultures of Asia
A Survey of Tibetan Buddhism
Special Topics in Theatre and Drama
Total Credits6


3 credits from:3
Problems in Anthropology
Special Topics in Film
Topics in South Asian History
Capstone Seminar in Asian Humanities
Proseminar: Studies in Religions of Asia
Proseminar: Studies in Cultures of Asia

Residence & Quality of Work

  • 2.750 GPA in all certificate-approved courses
  • 11 credits in the certificate must be taken in Residence


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. (Historical Grounding) understanding the historical, political, and cultural forces and conditions that have given rise to the unity and diversity in the region today.
  2. (Multi-disciplinarity) analyzing contemporary political, economic, and cultural realities in the region from at least two disciplinary perspectives, ideally including humanities, social sciences and sometimes natural science approaches.
  3. (Depth of knowledge) mastering at the undergraduate generalist level a particular facet of life in the region by taking courses on a particular sub-region or country, or by studying a regional language, or by taking at least two courses on the region in one discipline.

Advising for the certificate is administered by the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS). The IRIS assistant director for students and curriculum can assist you in developing your plan of study for the certificate, track progress towards your certificate, explore study abroad and international internship options, and begin the career exploration process. We offer walk-in advising, advising workshops, and scheduled appointments. We strongly encourage students to begin career exploration early on and to make use of the many resources available on campus.

Contact the certificate advisor (Csanád Siklós, 262-5006; to create a plan that includes a well-balanced selection of area studies and disciplinary courses and for approval of appropriate introductory and capstone seminar courses.

L&S career resources

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.

Center for South Asia Advisory Committee: B. Venkat Mani (director), Sumudu Atapattu, Anthony Cerulli, Lalita du Perron, Sundaram Gunasekaran, Stephen Young, Todd Michelson-Ambelang, Laura Hammond

As a regional center within the Institute for Regional and International Studies, we support and enhance international and global awareness in our student communities and inspire informed thinking about the complexities of our world. We encourage our students to connect to international networks and our regional communities through our program’s lecture series, film screenings, and varied outreach events and activities. We encourage our students to study abroad, do international internships, learn foreign languages, and expect them to gain an interdisciplinary grounding in global and regional affairs. We provide resources and expertise on our world area to students, and prospective students, and more broadly to K–12 teachers and students, postsecondary educators and graduate students, businesses, the media, the military, the community at large, and anyone else who is interested.

Information about resources and scholarships through the Center for South Asia is available from our website. We also encourage our students to explore funding options available through the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) Awards Office.