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Study South Asia at Cornell

Cornell University has trained experts on the countries, cultures, and languages of South Asia for decades, focusing on the breadth of South Asia, not only India and Pakistan, but also Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, teaching the languages of all these countries.

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in Asian Studies at Cornell can help prepare you for a variety of careers in professional, business, or Ph.D. fields. The M.A. in Asian Studies is administered through the Department of Asian Studies, and draws on the expertise of faculty from across the university, along with the resources and support of the South Asia Program.

In one to two years of study (depending on your language proficiency) you can delve deep into the language and culture of South Asia, and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities Cornell has to offer.

You can study one (or more!) of 11 South Asian languages: Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, Pali, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tamil, Tibetan, and Urdu. Cornell is the only institution in North America to offer Sinhala and Nepali at all levels.

The South Asia Program (SAP) brings together over 50 faculty from across Cornell’s colleges and schools, working in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The U.S. Department of Education has designated the South Asia Program as a National Resource Center for South Asia, in a consortium with the South Asia Center at Syracuse University, one of just eight in the United States.

The South Asia Program offers a range of funding opportunities to support students across Cornell's departments in their studies, travel, language study, and research. This includes summer and academic year Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships, covering tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend.

The South Asia Program also hosts a weekly seminar series with presentations by world-class scholars, and other events throughout the year.

The annual Tagore Lecture in Modern Indian Literature, held every fall, features an author from South Asia or its diasporas. SAP also partners with Cornell student organizations to bring South Asian musicians, dancers, and other artists for campus performances.

Ready to jump in?

For questions about applying to the M.A. in Asian Studies, please contact the Department of Asian Studies (asian@cornell.edu).

For questions about funding and other resources for the study of South Asia at Cornell, please contact the South Asia Program (sap@cornell.edu).