Minor in South Asian Languages and Cultures

A minor in South Asian Languages and Cultures combines language study in Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, or Urdu with courses on the literatures and cultures of South Asia. Students benefit from the exceptional depth of coursework taught by leading scholars in these languages, and they expand their studies with curriculum in South Asian studies from across the humanities and social sciences. By pairing the minor with a major in the College of Arts and Sciences or a professional field, students find an advantage after graduation as they enter business and nonprofit work, STEM fields, graduate programs, and more across the globe.

Elementary language courses are available only in the fall quarter. Students should sign up for elementary coursework as early as possible in order to fulfill the minor’s language requirement. If you have previous experience with Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, or Urdu, see the department's information on proficiency exams and placement interviews.

Declaring a Minor in South Asian Languages and Cultures

Students in good academic standing may declare the minor at any time by meeting with their major adviser. Please see Undergraduate Advising’s Minor page for additional considerations about earning a minor.

Minor Requirements

30 credits

  1. Language courses: 15 credits of courses in a single South Asian language (BENG, HINDI, SNKRT, URDU). Minimum 5 credits at second-year level (course numbered 203 or above) for Hindi, Sanskrit, and Urdu; minimum 3 credits at second-year level (course numbered 203 or above) for Bengali. 

    Bengali: BENG 101, BENG 102, BENG 103, BENG 201 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 202 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 203 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 301 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 302 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 303 (3 or 5 credits), BENG 499

    Hindi: HINDI 101, HINDI 102, HINDI 103, HINDI 201, HINDI 202, HINDI 203, HINDI 301, HINDI 302, HINDI 303, HINDI 321, HINDI 323, HINDI 324, HINDI 421, HINDI 422, HINDI 423, HINDI 424, HINDI 431, HINDI 499

    Sanskrit: SNKRT 101, SNKRT 102, SNKRT 103, SNKRT 201, SNKRT 202, SNKRT 203, SNKRT 311, SNKRT 312, SNKRT 313, SNKRT 494, SNKRT 495, SNKRT 499

    Urdu: URDU 101, URDU 102, URDU 103, URDU 201, URDU 202, URDU 203, URDU 301, URDU 302, URDU 303, URDU 321, URDU 322, URDU 323, URDU 324, URDU 421, URDU 422, URDU 423, URDU 424, URDU 499

2. South Asia related humanities and social science courses (15 credits)

a. Literature (5 credits): any 200-level S ASIA or ASIAN course with significant content related to South Asia.

List of Approved Courses for Introductory South Asian Literature

S ASIA 203 Love and War in Classical Indian Literature
S ASIA 206 Modern Literature of South Asia
S ASIA 225 Indian Philosophical Literature
S ASIA 254 Fairies, Genies, and Monsters: The Romance Genre in India
ASIAN 210 Asian War Epics: Working through Many Mahabharatas
ASIAN 223 Buddhist Literature

b. South Asia area studies (10 credits): courses chosen in consultation with adviser. Up to 10 credits may be fulfilled by advanced (300-level or above) South Asian language courses.

List of Approved Courses for Area-Related Humanities & Social Science Courses
ASIAN 301 Songs of the Saints of India
ASIAN 494/JSIS A 461 Ramayana in Comparative Perspective
S ASIA 316 Postcolonial Literature of South Asia
S ASIA 498 Special Topics in Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ANTH 316/JSIS A 316 Modern South Asia
HSTAS 202/JSIS A 202 Introduction to South Asian History, 1500-Present
HSTAS 303 Divided Lands/Divided Lives: An Environmental History of South Asia
HSTAS 401 History of Ancient India 
HSTAS 402 History of Medieval and Mughal India 
HSTAS 403 History of Modern India to 1900
HSTAS 404/JSIS A 409 History of Twentieth-Century India
HSTAS 408 Fabulous Gurus and Fake Fakirs: Religious Reform in Colonial India
JSIS 203 Rise of Asia
JSIS A 206 Contemporary India and Pakistan
JSIS A 340/POL S 340 Politics of India, Pakistan, and South Asia
JSIS B 406/POL S 432 Political Islam and Islamic Fundamentalism
JSIS A 417/POL S 417 Political Economy of India
NEAR E 229/JSIS A 210 Introduction to Islamic Civilization
NEAR E 230/RELIG 211 Introduction to Muslim Beliefs and Practices
RELIG 120/CHID 120 Yoga: Past and Present
RELIG 202 Introduction to World Religions: Eastern Traditions
RELIG 352 Hinduism
RELIG 354 Buddhism
RELIG 356/ANTH 352 Buddhism and Society: The Theravada Buddhist Tradition in South and Southeast Asia
RELIG 456 Gender and the Hindu Goddess

3. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW

4. Minimum 15 credits at the 300- or 400-level

Other courses with South Asia content may be substituted with prior approval. If you have questions about whether or not an outside of the department course counts towards the major, please consult with an advisor

Updated: Winter 2023