Columbia University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

South Asian Studies


630 West 169th Street

New York City, NY 10027

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.A. in South Asian Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

With a rich and diverse linguistic, cultural, and political history, South Asia has moved to the center of the global stage due to its dramatic economic growth and strategic importance. The M.A. program in South Asian Studies provides an opportunity to engage with critical issues in a region that includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in an academic environment that includes many of the most distinguished South Asia Studies faculty in the U.S.

Students can deepen their knowledge of the cultural, economic, political, and social processes shaping the region. Ideal for both professionals seeking regional knowledge and students intending to pursue a Ph.D. in the future, the South Asia Studies program prepares graduates for careers in government, public policy, non-profit organizations, journalism, education, the private sector, and academia.

The curriculum combines integrative core seminars with the opportunity to take South Asia Studies courses in a variety of disciplines. Core courses address key issues and approaches to South Asia Studies. The program includes training in research methodologies and the critical use of scholarship as a foundation for developing the M.A. thesis. To complement the core curriculum, students choose from a variety of courses offered regularly by South Asia Studies faculty in anthropology, art history, history, international affairs, literature, politics, and religion. Although there is no language requirement for the M.A., Columbia offers elementary through advanced levels of training in Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Tibetan, and Urdu.

The Institute provides resources and guidance for students to develop both a broad interdisciplinary expertise in South Asia Studies and an area of specialization to be chosen by the student across a range of disciplines in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. As a capstone project, student completes a master's thesis in consultation with an advisor from the student's field of specialization.


Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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