Graduate Programs

The University of Chicago provides students with a rich array of options for South and Southeast Asian doctoral studies. The University has a long-established Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and ranks among the world’s leading centers for the study of South Asian language and area studies.

In recent years, an increasingly larger number of faculty members have focused on the study Southeast Asia in their research and teaching. In 2007, in response to interest in study of the region, the Committee on Southern Asia Studies instituted a Southeast Asian Studies Group to support research and teaching in this area.

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC) provides a cornerstone for the study of South Asia languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago. Language courses offered by the Department include Bangla (Bengali), Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Pali, Sanskrit and Urdu. Khowar and Panjabi are also offered with the instructor’s consent.

Students who are interested in joining a graduate MA and PhD-level program at the University are advised to apply to the program that best reflects their primary academic discipline: e.g., language and literature studies, anthropology, history, international and global studies, music, political science, and religious studies. Many graduate programs at the University are interdisciplinary; allowing students to take courses crosses departments and divisions. This is especially true for graduate students in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Divinity School. Students in these programs frequently take courses in their primary subject, while developing complementary regional specializations that include language and area studies.

The following list includes departments and divisions in which faculty members and students frequently integrate study in their primary discipline with regional language and area studies. Prospective students may also consult the Committee on Southern Asian Studies faculty directory for a listing of faculty members whose research and teaching focus upon the study of South and Southeast Asian as regions. In addition, listings of all courses offered at the University in recent years can be found in the University’s Time Schedules.

In addition, a joint international studies program is offered with the Booth School of Business leading to an M.B.A./A.M. in South Asian Studies;

While not formally a joint degree program, many students with South Asia interests enroll in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies.

Students in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) and the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) programs have written MA papers on South and Southeast Asian topics.

Prospective students are advised to carefully consider the requirements of the department to which they applying and to inquire about the feasibility of incorporating language and area studies into their academic program.