The M.A. Program in South and Southeast Asian Studies

This program is offered for students seeking a terminal M.A. degree or students with limited backgrounds who are preparing for more advanced work.  Emphases in the program include the languages and literatures of Hindi, Indonesian, Khmer, Sanskrit, Tamil, Tibetan, and Urdu.

Prerequisites for Admission to the M.A. Program

  • Two years of study in the language of emphasis or the equivalent, as determined by the Head Graduate Adviser;
  • Five undergraduate courses concerning South and Southeast Asia or the equivalent, as determined by the Graduate Adviser.

Program Requirements

  • A minimum of twenty units of course work in graduate status at UCB, including at least two graduate seminars in the language of emphasis (which may be taken outside the Department, with permission of the Head Graduate Adviser) and the departmental Methods Seminar (SSEAS 294);
  • A historical knowledge of the area of emphasis, demonstrated by appropriate course work.
  • Completion of a Master’s thesis, supervised by a committee of three faculty members;
  • Advanced competence in the language of emphasis, as demonstrated by course work through the third-year level or the equivalent and completion of seminar and thesis research in that language;
  • Advancement to M.A. candidacy.

Notes on these requirements may be found in the previous sections of this document.  For information about applying for advancement to M.A. candidacy, see the Student Affairs Officer.

Students are expected to complete the requirements within two years.

Students in the M.A. program who wish to pursue the Ph.D. must submit to the Department a completed "Graduate Petition for Change of Degree Goal" form and a "Change of Degree Objective Application" form, as well as the following documents:  A Statement of Purpose (approx. 500-1,000 words), a writing sample (approx. 20 pages), and three letters of recommendation by January 20 of the year in which they seek admission to the Ph.D. program.  The Head Graduate Adviser will present all Change of Major applications to the Admissions Committee, for discussion and action at the regular spring meeting of that committee.

Additional Requirements for the Sanskrit Emphasis

  1. Completion of a written competency examination in Sanskrit (three hours in length, dictionary may be used);
  2. One course in Linguistics (Linguistics 100 is strongly recommended);
  3. Reading knowledge of an additional language of scholarship in the field, normally French or German, to be demonstrated either by written examination of two years of course work at the college level.

Reading ability in a second South Asian or other related foreign language (such as Latin, Greek, Old Iranian) is strongly recommended.