South Asian Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

South Asian Studies Program
SCI 222/EP 411
Falu Bakrania, Ethnic Studies, 405-0389
Prithvi Shobhi, Humanities, 338-1220


Minor in South Asian Studies

Program Scope

South Asian studies is the focus of this minor. South Asia refers to Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. These countries are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The South Asian Studies minor is multidisciplinary and is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the culture, history, economics, and politics of South Asia and its diaspora.

The region of South Asia is a crucial area of study given its linguistic, ethnic, and religious diversity (its traditions draw from Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, and Christianity), its experience of British colonial rule and independence, its recent economic expansion and technological influence globally, and the widespread migration of South Asians over the last century. The study of South Asia thus offers students opportunities to explore pressing questions concerning colonialism and nationalism, political conflict and government, economic liberalization, cultural diversity and its expression in literature, art, and popular culture, and globalization.

The South Asian Studies minor is useful for students planning careers in education, social service, law, politics, government, business, media, and art, both nationally and internationally. It also prepares students for graduate study in a number of academic fields.


The minor consists of 18 units; three courses are taken from the core curriculum, which give students a basic framework for South Asian studies. These courses fully concentrate on South Asia and/or the diaspora and provide students with a broad introduction to the history, culture, and politics of South Asia (one course each need to be taken from the clusters of “Culture of South Asia,” “History and Politics of South Asia,” and “South Asian Diaspora”).

The remaining units can be taken from the core curriculum or from a long list of electives. Elective courses provide the opportunity for more in-depth or topical and comparative study as well as the study of South Asia in relation to other regions of the world.

The minor is designed to give flexibility to students who can select from courses across disciplines, including Art, Asian American Studies, Economics, English, Ethnic Studies, History, Holistic Health, Humanities, International Business, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, and Women’s Studies.

For more information, consult the South Asian Studies website ( or contact the program directors: Falu Bakrania ( or Jessica Elkind (

Core: Select at least three courses (9-17 units) from the core according to the requirements indicated below. The core consists of three core areas identified as Culture of South Asia, History and Politics of South Asia, and South Asian Diaspora.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Program Units
Core Area 1: Culture of South Asia 3-6
ART 502 Art of South Asia [prerequisite of ART 205]  
HUM 535 Classical South Asian Cultural Forms
HUM 536 Modern South Asian Cultural Forms
Core Area 2: History and Politics of South Asia 3-8
HIST 584 History of the Indian Sub-Continent  
IR 326 South and Southeast Asia Foreign Relations (4)
IR 412/
PLSI 412 
South Asian Politics (4)
PLSI 415 Politics of India (4)
Core Area 3: South Asian Diaspora 3
AAS 340 South Asians in America  
ETHS 657/
AAS 657 
South Asian Diaspora
ETHS 694 Community Service Learning [prior approval of minor adviser]
Electives: Select 1-9 units from the following. 1-9
Any courses not completed in fulfillment of the core above  
AA S 200
AA S 300
History of Asian Americans
Asian Americans in California
ART 504 Art and Architecture of Islam
ART 205/
HUM 205 
Asian Art History
HIST 585 India Since Gandhi
HIST 606 History of Iran and Afghanistan, 1500-Present
HNDI 101 First Semester Hindi (5)
HUM 366 India's Gandhi
HUM 375 Biography of a City: Delhi
IBUS 594 Doing Business in Asia-Pacific Countries [Prerequisite of IBUS 330]
MUS 530 Musics of the Middle East and India
PHIL 509 The Buddhist Tradition
PLSI 416/
IR 416 
Ethnicity and Nationalism (4)
SNSK 699 Sanskrit (1-3)
Total minimum units for minor: 18

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Last modified July 06, 2012 by