University of Chicago

Division of the Humanities

South Asian Languages and Civilizations


Wieboldt Hall 205A,1050 E. 59th Street

Pick Hall 301

Chicago, IL 60637

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

The geographical region South Asia, which includes the Indian subcontinent and surrounding areas, may be studied as an academic area of focus from within a number of departments at the University of Chicago, which is one of the foremost centers of South Asian Studies in the world. Each Department has its own disciplinary focus: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Divinity, English, and so on. The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC) in the Division of the Humanities, founded in 1965, emphasizes a text-based approach. Historical, social, literary, and political issues of South Asia are addressed here through fine-grained textual analysis and studies of South Asian textual traditions. That is why training in South Asian languages - four years minimum for the language of concentration, two years minimum for the secondary language - is seen as an integral part of the department's program. The languages regularly taught in the department are Bangla, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan and Urdu. Persian is also available, mainly through the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, though some advanced courses in the language are also offered through SALC. The research interests of individual faculty members are described in the faculty pages of the Department's website. In the University as a whole, especially in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, there are a number of areas in South Asia of special focus, which involve at least one member of the SALC Department faculty: they include (with relevant languages) West Bengal and Bangladesh (Bangla), Buddhist Studies (Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese), the Deccan (Marathi, Telugu), North India and Pakistan (Hindi, Urdu), Sanskrit Studies (including special attention to regional uses of Sanskrit), South India (Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu), and Southeast Asia.


Since 1913, the University of Chicago has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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