The Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies offers an interdisciplinary minor in South Asian Studies. The minor is especially suited for students with a South Asia focus as a complement to their disciplinary study. The structure of the minor provides students a great amount of flexibility; possible areas of emphasis include language and literature, as well as history and social sciences.

A minimum grade-point average of 2.75 in South Asian Studies courses is required for completion of the minor. The 18-20 hours of courses selected by students for the South Asian Studies Minor should form a coherent program of study and must meet the approval of an advisor in the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The program must include at least 6 hours at the advanced level (400 or approved 300). A student’s plan of courses for the minor must be approved by the Center. The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will verify that students have completed the program, on the recommendation of the Director of the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies.

Note: Students intending to pursue the South Asian Studies Minor have to fill the Statement of Intent to Pursue a Campus-Approved Minor (opens in a new window). Please return the completed form to Dr. Angela Williams, Associate Director, CSAMES. Email

For general information on pursuing a minor, please view the Office of the Provost webpage.

Please note that courses taken for the University's Non-Primary Language requirement cannot be counted towards the minor.


Required coursework

3-5 Hours - Fourth-semester course work in an area-relevant language Courses that meet this requirement and are currently offered on a regular basis are HNDI 404 (5 hours) and SNSK 404 (3 hours). The requirement may also be met by comparable courses in these and other South Asian and South Asia-related languages, taught at UIUC or at other universities, through online courses (where available), and through a proficiency examination.
3 Hours - HIST 130: History of South Asia (same as ANTH 130)
12 Hours - Courses on South Asian history, language, literature, culture and society from the following list:*

  • ACE 453: Economic Development in India & Southeast Asia
  • ANTH 499: Topics in Anthropolgy (appropriate sections)
  • ASST 398: Colloquium in Asian Studies (appropriate sections)
  • CWL 189 or CWL 190: Literature of Asia and Africa I & II (appropriate sections)
  • CWL 208: Literatures and Cultures of South Asia (same as ASST 208, RLST 208, and SAME208)
  • ECON 450: Development Economics (appropriate sections)
  • GEOG 356: Geography of South Asia
  • HNDI 405- HNDI 406: Advanced Hindi I and II
  • HINDI 408: Introduction to South Asian Literature
  • HIST 430: India from Colony to Nation
  • LA 218: Cultural Landscapes of South Asia (same as ASST 218)
  • MUSIC 417: Area Studies in Ethnomusicology (same as ANTH 417) (appropriate sections)
  • PS 346: Governments and Politics of South Asia (same as ASST 346)
  • RLST 104: Asian Mythology
  • RLST 213: Introduction to Islam-ACP
  • RLST 260: Mystics and Saints in Islam
  • RLST 286: Introduction to Hinduism
  • RLST 494: Topics in Religious Thought (appropriate sections)
  • RLST 403: Women in Muslim Societies (same as ANTH and GWS 403 and HIST 434)
  • RLST 408: Islam and Modern Society
  • RSOC 443: Social Change in Developing Areas (same as SOC 463)

18-20 Total hours


*Other area-relevant courses may be substituted as they are offered, with approval of the advisor. These include courses in languages other than Hindi and independent study courses with South Asia teaching faculty and with appropriate topics, such as the following ANTH 290, HIST 290, LING 290, POL S 290, RELST 290, SOC 290. Students wanting to take such independent study courses need to get permission from the instructor; not more than two independent study courses may be taken to meet the degree requirements.