Applying for the Graduate Program in South & Southeast Asian Studies

If you are interested in applying for 2019-2020 you may do so online at Grad Admissions after early September.

We admit students for the fall semester only.

All applications must be submitted online by Monday, December 16, 2019.

Links to our graduate program and information about our faculty are on this web site. This material should answer most of your questions about the program's prerequisites and requirements. Please call (510) 642-4219 or e-mail kristenbrooks [at] berkeley [dot] edu (Kristen Brooks) if you would like additional information.

As a language and literature department strong language preparation — in one of the languages we offer at the graduate level — is essential. These languages are Hindi, Urdu, Indonesian, Tamil, Tibetan, Khmer and Sanskrit.

The website of our Graduate Division will give you details of the university's requirements and instructions regarding letters of recommendation and uploading your writing sample and transcripts into your application.

If you are unable to complete the online application contact the Graduate Division via phone at (510) 642-7405 or gradadm [at] berkeley [dot] edu (e-mail).

We request that you include a writing sample with your application. The writing sample is intended to gauge an applicant's ability to write on a graduate level. While it is ideal that this writing sample be 10-15 pages on some topic related to South or Southeast Asian studies (as an indicator of knowledge of the area), a paper on another topic or of a different length can be acceptable.

The sample may be a paper written for a class (or for the purpose of the application), an honors thesis, an article written for an academic journal — whatever you think best reflects your knowledge, interest, and writing ability.

Domestic applicants: The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required.
International applicants who must take TOEFL: The GRE is not required.
International applicants who are exempt from TOEFL: The GRE is required.

Consult the Graduate Division website to determine whether you are exempt from the TOEFL.

Note: Although applicants who are required to take the TOEFL are excused from the GRE requirement, it is sometimes to the applicant's advantage — for university fellowship purposes — to submit GRE scores.

While we can accept letters of recommendation (three are required) and GRE and TOEFL scores after the deadline for applications, please keep in mind that letters and scores arriving after January 7 may not be part of the application consideration process.

As a humanities department at a public university our funding capacity is quite modest. A few full fellowships are available for top-ranked PhD candidates. Both PhD and M.A. applicants (domestic) are eligible for FLAS. Most of our students support themselves through a combination of Graduate Student Instructorship positions (which include income plus fee waivers), some grants, and financial aid.