Asian Studies – Major

Asia Studies – South Asia Concentration – Major and Minor

South Asia includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan and Tibet. Students are expected to gain proficiency in a South Asian language (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Sanskrit are offered regularly at all levels) and to pursue a course of study that includes both disciplinary concentration and interdisciplinary breadth. Students have opportunities to pursue language study in India through the program’s membership in the American Institute of Indian Studies. Other organizations provide similar opportunities for study in many of the other countries of the region.

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Major in South Asia Studies


Course # Title Credits Quarter
JSIS 203 or
JSIS A 207
Rise of Asia or
Asian Traditions
5 Autumn
JSIS 201 The Making of the Twenty-first Century 5 Winter or Spring
South Asia
History Course
JSIS A 206 Contemporary India & Pakistan  or JSIS A/HSTAS 202 South Asian History 1500-present,
or HSTAS 201 South Asian History pre-history to 1500
5 Varies
South Asia Core Min. 10 credits from the following: 10
JSIS A 485    Special Topics on South Asia
JSIS A/HSTAS 303 Divided Lands/Divided Lives: An Environmental History of South Asia
JSIS A/ANTH  316  Modern South Asia
JSIS A/ANTH  339  Social Movements in Contemporary India
JSIS A/ANTH  341  Political Violence and the Post-Colonial State in South Asia
JSIS A/POL S  340  Politics of India, Pakistan, and South Asia
JSIS A/POL S  417  Political Economy of India
JSIS A/ GEOG 438  Social and Political Geographies of South Asia
JSIS A 461  Ramayana in Comparative Perspective
RELIG 352  Hinduism
RELIG 354  Buddhism
RELIG 356  Buddhism & Society: The Theravada Buddhist Tradition in South & SE Asia
RELIG 456  Perceptions of the Feminine Divine in Hinduism
HSTAS 401 History of Ancient India
HSTAS 402 History of Medieval and Mughal India
HSTAS 403 History of Modern India
HSTAS 404 History of Twentieth-Century India
South Asia electives Additional  South Asia electives from approved list below. 25 Varies
Max. lower division credit No more than 5 of the 35 credits for the South Asia concentration core and electives may be at the 200-level.
Research Paper Asian Research Paper written with South Asia Program Professor in one of the upper-division courses min. 15 pgs.
Minimum Grade Minimum grade 2.0 in all courses applied to major.
Resident credit 30 credits must be taken in residence through UW (not including 1st or 2nd year language).
South Asian Language South Asian Language proficiency through 2nd year college level or 3rd quarter of 2nd year college level. Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Nepali, Tibetan. (For first- and second-year language courses, grades must average 2.00)
 Total Credits (not including language)  50

Minor in South Asia Studies

30 credits, to include the following:

  1. JSIS A 206 or JSIS A/HSTAS 202 (5 credits)
  2. One additional introductory Asian civilization course from those listed above (5 credits)
  3. 15 credits of electives taken at the UW, chosen from the approved list*
  4. 5 additional credits in South Asian language beyond second-year level, or in upper-division transfer courses on South Asia, or in additional electives chosen from the approved list*
  5. Minimum grade of 2.0 required in each course applied toward the minor.

South Asia Studies Minor Electives

JSIS & Affiliate South Asia Studies Faculty

South Asia Studies Courses

Quarterly Course Lists

Approved South Asia Elective Courses

25 credits from list below:

  • JSIS A 485 Special Topics on South Asia 1-5, max. 15 
  • JSIS A 206 Contemporary India & Pakistan** 
  • JSIS A 316 Modern South Asia 5
  • JSIS A 339 Social Movements in Contemporary India 5
  • JSIS A/ ANTH 341 Political Violence and the Post-Colonial State in South Asia 
  • JSIS A 340 Government and Politics of South Asia 5
  • JSIS A 417 Political Economy of India 5
  • JSIS A/ POL S 434 International Relations in South Asia 
  • JSIS A 438 Social and Political Geographies of South Asia 5
  • JSIS A 461/ ASIAN 494 Ramayana in Comparative Perspective 
  • JSIS B 320 Yoga: History, Health and Practice 
  • JSIS B 331 Political Economy of Development* 
  • JSIS B 345 Women and International Economic Development 5
  • JSIS B/ POL S 337 Collective Violence and the State* 
  • JSIS B 406 Political Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism 5
  • JSIS B 407 Political Islam and Contemporary Islamist Movements 5
  • JSIS B/ POL S 436 Ethnic Politics and Nationalism in Multi-Ethnic Societies* 
  • RELIG 202 Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions** 
  • RELIG 211 Introduction to Muslim Beliefs and Practices ** 
  • RELIG 352 Hinduism 
  • RELIG 354 Buddhism 
  • RELIG 356/ ANTH 352 Buddhism and Society: Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia 
  • RELIG 456 Perceptions of the Feminine Divine in Hinduism 
  • RELIG 459 Topics in the Buddhism of Tibet 
  • ANTH 317 Anthropology of Tibetan Civilization 
  • ANTH 352/ RELIG 356 Buddhism and Society: The Theravada Buddhist Tradition in South and SE Asia 
  • JSIS A 412 South Asian Social Structure 5
  • ANTH 471 Colonialism and Culture* 
  • ART H 214 Art of India: Mohenjodaro to the Mughals** 
  • ART H 306 Indian Art of South Asia 
  • ART H 400 Art History and Criticism* 
  • ART H 414 Topics in South Asian Art 
  • ASIAN 203 Literature and Culture of Ancient and Classical India** 
  • ASIAN 206 Literature and Culture of South Asia from Tradition to Modernity** 
  • ASIAN 207 Special Topics in Literature and Culture of Asia** 
  • ASIAN 223 Buddhist Literature* 
  • ASIAN 225 Indian Philosophical Literature** 
  • ASIAN 263 Great Works of Asian Literature** 
  • ASIAN 401 Introduction to Asian Linguistics* 
  • ASIAN 404 Writing Systems* 
  • ASIAN 405 Advanced Problems in Asian Linguistics* 
  • ASIAN 498 Special Topics* 
  • HSTAS 201 Ancient Indian Civilization**[if not already counted toward civilization req. above] 
  • HSTAS 202 Modern Indian Civilization** [if not already counted toward civilization req. above] 
  • HSTAS 303 Divided Lands/Divided Lives: An Environmental History of South Asia 
  • HSTAS 401 History of Ancient India 
  • HSTAS 402 History of Medieval and Mughal India 
  • HSTAS 403 History of Modern India to 1900 
  • HSTAS 404 History of Twentieth-Century India 
  • MUSIC 428 Music of North India 
  • MUSIC 445 Selected Topics in Ethnomusicology* 3, max. 9 
  • MUSIC 447 Music of Southern India 

Any South Asian language courses, third-year and above (see list below)

Other courses may be added at a later date. Please watch for newly approved electives on annual and quarterly course listings.

* When taught by South Asia Program faculty.

** A maximum of 5 credits at the lower division level may be counted toward the 35 elective credits comprising the South Asia Concentration.

Advanced South Asian Language Electives

Max. 15 credits allowed toward electives:

  • BENG 301-303 Advanced Bengali 5, 5, 5 
  • HINDI 301-303 Advanced Hindi 5, 5, 5 
  • HINDI 404 Derivational Morphology of Hindi/Urdu 
  • HINDI 421 Survey of Modern Hindi Literature: Short Story 
  • HINDI 422 Survey of Modern Hindi Literature: Poetry 
  • HINDI 423 Survey of Modern Hindi Literature: Novel 
  • HINDI 424 Survey of Modern Hindi Literature: Drama 5, max. 15 
  • HINDI 451 Advanced Hindi Readings 5, max. 15 
  • INDN 400 Practicum in South Asian Languages 5 max 15 (if advanced level) 
  • INDN 401-402 Pali 5, 5 
  • INDN 410 Prakrit 5, max. 15 
  • SNKRT 311-313 Advanced Sanskrit 5, 5, 5 
  • SNKRT 491-492 Vedic Studies 5, 5 
  • SNKRT 494 Readings in Religious Classics of India 
  • SNKRT 495 Studies in Indian Thought 5, max. 15 
  • URDU 301-303 Advanced Urdu 5, 5, 5 
  • URDU 424 Survey of Modern Urdu Literature 5, max. 15 

South Asia Studies Minor Electives

Any JSIS A-prefix course on South Asia or its joint-listed equivalent, plus: