Thank you for your interest in the study of Southern Asia at the University of Chicago.
The Committee on Southern Asia Studies (COSAS) is the main body through which research, teaching and events related to Southern Asia are facilitated. COSAS is organized to foster one of the most vibrant, cross-disciplinary scholarly communities dedicated to research and teaching in Southern Asia, though neither are degree-granting programs themselves. Students interested in Southern Asia must apply directly to the degree granting programs across the university that offer courses of study in Southern Asia.
Students with a core Southern Asia interest entering any of the degree-granting programs across the University would have access to, and be able to participate in COSAS events, regularly meet and collaborate with Southern Asia faculty and students outside their disciplines and departments, and be eligible for FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowships, and for other graduate fellowships administered by COSAS for research in Southern Asia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Departments of English Language and Literature, Music, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and South Asian Languages and Civilizations
The Departments of Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Committee on Human Development
The Departments of History of Religions and Philosophy of Religions
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.
The University of Chicago has a long-established Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC) that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in South Asian language and area studies. Language courses offered by the Department include Bangla (Bengali), Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Pali, Sanskrit and Urdu.
Undergraduate students may choose to pursue a major or a minor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations (SALC). The Department is a member of the Humanities Division; however, the social sciences and religious studies are well-integrated into the Department’s South Asian Civilizations course program, with courses which are cross-listed in the Social Sciences Division and Divinity School.
Department faculty members work with members of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies to coordinate the South Asian Civilizations course, which is offered both on campus and in India through the College’s study abroad Program in India. The course may be taken by undergraduates to fulfill the College’s Civilizations requirement. In recent years, an average of 25 undergraduate students per year have taken the course through participation in the study abroad program in India.
Prospective students may consult the Committee on Southern Asian Studies faculty directory for a listing of faculty members whose research and teaching focus upon, or intersect, the study of South and Southeast Asia as regions.
Listings of all courses offered in recent years can be found in the University’s Time Schedules. Undergraduate courses are generally listed as 2000–3000 level courses, with a selection of upper level courses open to undergraduates with consent of the instructor.
Prospective undergraduate students should contact the University’s College Admissions Office for general information regarding the admissions application process and general requirements of the University of Chicago’s College. They may also contact Rashmi Joshi (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Associate Director of the Committee and Center for information regarding programs focused on the study of South and Southeast Asian studies at the University of Chicago.