The Graduate Program

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations is a multidisciplinary department comprised of faculty with expertise in the languages, literatures, histories, philosophies, and religions of South Asia. The examination of South Asian texts, broadly defined, is the guiding principle of our PhD degree, and the dissertation itself. This involves acquaintance with a wide range of South Asian texts and their historical contexts, and theoretical reflection on the conditions of understanding and interpreting these texts. These goals are met through departmental seminars and advanced language courses, which lead up to the dissertation project. We welcome your application, which must be submitted using the online application procedure on the Humanities Division website.

Advisors | Funding | Current Courses


Students develop and pursue their individual programs in active consultation with members of the faculty. To advise students on their programs and progress overall, one faculty member acts as the departmental Director of Graduate Studies (for name and contact details, see the Contact Us page). Students are required to meet the departmental Director of Graduate Studies regularly in order to have their academic program choices approved. The main advisory function will eventually be assumed by the dissertation chairperson. Students are encouraged to actively seek a faculty member of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations to fill this role as soon as possible, at the latest before the preparation of the dissertation proposal.

It is the responsibility of students to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the degree program. If they have any doubts regarding the requirements in general, or their specific applicability to their particular program, it is important to resolve them promptly in consultation with the departmental Director of Graduate Studies. Students should also remember that advising is a joint process: they can only receive guidance when they ask for it.


The information given below lists the most common sources of fellowships and grants for graduate students in the Department. Students may also be eligible for other funding administered by the University, private foundations, or other agencies. For information on the full range of sources of support, contact the following:

970 E. 58th Street, 3rd Floor (Campus Bookstore building)

Humanities Dean of Students Office
Walker Museum, Ste. 111


The Department offers a wide range of both language courses and other courses on topics relevant to South Asian Studies.