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South Asia


The Master's program is designed for professionals who need specialized training in South Asia and for graduate students seeking area training before completing a disciplinary degree.During their period of residency, students will be expected to:

  • Develop depth in South Asia area studies, normally through courses offered by core program faculty and treating primarily the cultures and civilization of South Asia.
  • Demonstrate competence in more than one discipline, normally through course work in different departments.


The M.A. in South Asian Studies has three main requirements:

  • Residency at Cornell for at least one year (two semesters) and successful completion (with a minimum grade of B-; cannot be taken S/U) of eight one- semester courses. Note: One year fulfills the Graduate School minimum; many students will need a longer residency.
  • Language Proficiency equivalent to at least three years of normal study.
  • An M.A. thesis of 30 to 50 pages in length.

Students coming with little or no knowledge of a South Asian language will almost certainly need more than one year to complete the degree, but progress can be made during the summer. Those with an interest in Nepal should consider enrolling in the intensive summer program in Nepali (yearly) currently offered at Cornell.

Unfortunately, there is very little University aid to M.A. students at Cornell. Most have external funding or are self-supporting. Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are eligible for funding through U.S. Department of Education's Foreign Lanuage and Area Studies (FLAS) grants administered by the South Asia Program. Contact the fellowship coordinator for further details.

For further information contact
Graduate Field Assistant
Department of Asian Studies
350 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA