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South Asia comprises some of the most geographically diverse and populous countries in the world. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet are all South Asian countries. That’s a lot of real estate to cover, not to mention history, which in some cases stretches back for several millennia—almost to the dawn of civilization itself. There are hundreds of languages and several religions (including Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity) that converge in the South Asian Studies major. Part of what’s important about a South Asian Studies major is that you don’t try to learn everything in detail. In combination with an interdisciplinary approach that includes related fields such as history, political science, literature, and economics, you will have the opportunity to pick a region or country that interests you most and focus on it.

Not all colleges and universities offer a major specifically in South Asian Studies. In some cases it is listed as a possible concentration within a larger major such as International Studies or Asian Studies.


  • Electives in International Studies

  • Electives in South Asian Philosophies

  • Hindu Mythology

  • History of India

  • History of Indian Art

  • Indian Demographics

  • Readings in South Asian Islam

  • Religion in Modern South Asia

  • The Civilization of South Asia


Knowledge of a language spoken in South Asia (besides English) is, of course, a great skill to have, but such language courses are not easy to come across in most high schools. In lieu of speaking fluent Urdu, you can always do your own research about the region, as well as keep up on current events. The Economist is an excellent, albeit dense, resource for keeping up on world politics and business from week to week. Keep those critical reading and writing skills finely honed because you will definitely need them.