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South Asian Studies

Photo of fishermen in Bangladesh

The minor in South Asian studies focuses on the interdisciplinary study of South Asia and its diaspora. It brings together the perspectives of various disciplines, from art history to philosophy, from economics to religion, to create a sustained curricular focus on South Asian life and culture.

South Asia comprises India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and reaches out to Afghanistan, Burma and Tibet. It is home to the world’s highest mountains and to enormous ecological diversity. It is also home to more than one-fifth of the world's population and hundreds of languages. South Asia is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, and more than one-third of the world’s Muslim population resides there. It has rich traditions of art, music and dance, and is renowned for its fiction and film. As a major contributor to global culture and economics, South Asia occupies an important position for understanding colonialism, postcolonialism and geopolitics.


Keep Up-to-Date!

Stay informed about the latest news, events and opportunities in South Asian studies by signing up for our email list. Contact Phoebe McKinnell for more information. You can also check out the South Asian studies Facebook page for the latest information on events, photos and more.

Requirements & Courses

6 courses (a minimum of 24 credits) are needed to satisfy the requirements of a minor in South Asian studies, and meet the following distribution requirements:  

  1. An introductory course with a focus on South Asia. 
  2. Three courses, distributed over a) the visual, literary or performing arts; b) history, philosophy or religions; c) the social sciences.
  3. One advanced seminar in any discipline that addresses South Asia.
  4. An elective, which could be an additional course or a special studies in any of the above mentioned areas.

Fall 2020 courses in South Asian studies can be found using the Registrar's course search here.

Interterm 2021 courses in South Asian studies can be found using the Registrar's course search here.   

Spring 2021 courses in South Asian studies can be found using Registrar's course search here.  

Study Abroad & Language Programs

Studying abroad in South Asia or studying a South Asian language are not required for the minor, but they are a great way to enrich your knowledge of the region. There are a number of study abroad programs available, as well as South Asian language courses taught at the Five Colleges.




South Asian Studies
Wright Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: 413-585-3662
Administrative Assistant:
Phoebe McKinnell