South and Southeast Asian Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies offers undergraduate students an opportunity to focus on the histories, religions, cultures, and textual traditions of a region encompassing a third of the world’s population. Students can complete either a major or minor program. We provide training in 14 languages and specialize in various areas, including literature, history, and religious studies from classical to modern times. Our faculty conducts research across South and Southeast Asia, including India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. A maximum of one course may be taken P/NP.

  2. A maximum of two courses from other departments may be counted toward the major.

  3. To fulfill the major requirements, a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in upper and lower-division courses.

  4. For double majors, no more than two upper-division courses may be used in common to fulfill requirements in both majors.

Please see the College Requirements tab for information regarding residency and unit requirements.

South and Southeast Asian Studies Major

The South and Southeast Asian Studies major is a flexible, interdisciplinary program offering opportunities for both the wide-ranging and comparative study of South and Southeast Asian cultures.  The mission of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies is to train students in the study of the cultures and civilizations of South and Southeast Asia. Our department teaches the following 14 languages:
 

Bengali
Burmese
Filipino
Hindi
Indonesian
Khmer
Malaysian
Punjabi
Sanskrit
Tamil
Telugu
Thai
Urdu
Vietnamese

Declaring the Major

Students are advised to begin preparation for the major as soon as possible while completing university, college, and department requirements. For the most up-to-date information, students can view the department's South & Southeast Asian Studies Website

Students interested in majoring in the program should schedule an appointment with the undergraduate adviser regarding major requirements, transfer credits, and other academic concerns.

Honors Program

Criteria:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses taken to meet major requirements.

  • An overall GPA of 3.0 at the university.

Program Structure and Requirements:

  • Qualified seniors may apply for admission to the honors program.

  • Accepted students will enroll in an SSEAS Independent Study (research) and an SSEAS H195 honors course (writing) over two consecutive semesters.

  • Participants must complete an honors thesis submitted by the 13th week of the semester in which they expect to graduate.

Guidance and Assessment:

  • During the program, students will undertake independent advanced study under the guidance of an assigned honors thesis adviser.

  • A faculty committee will evaluate the completed thesis and the student's overall performance within the department to determine the level of honors awarded: honors, high honors, or highest honors.

Graduation Criteria:

  • To be eligible for honors, students must also achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 in all undergraduate coursework at the university by graduation. Failure to meet this criterion will result in the non-issuance of honors recognition.

Organizing an Honors Thesis Project

To initiate an Honors Thesis Project in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies (SSEAS), a student should follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Supervisor:

    • The student must approach and secure a faculty member from the SSEAS department to serve as the thesis supervisor. The faculty member should have expertise in the area of study the student wishes to explore.

  2. Project Development:

    • Together, the student and the faculty supervisor will determine the topic, scope, and a detailed plan for research and writing of the thesis. This collaborative planning ensures the project is feasible and aligns with academic standards and goals.

  3. Forming the Thesis Committee:

    • In consultation with the faculty supervisor, the student will identify and invite two additional faculty members to join the thesis committee. This should be completed by the beginning of the student’s final semester before graduation.

    • The committee members provide additional perspectives and expertise, contributing to a robust review and guidance process.

  4. Registration and Support:

    • The student should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to discuss the process for enrolling in the necessary thesis courses and to receive advice on getting started with the thesis project.

These steps are designed to ensure that the student is well-prepared and supported throughout the process of completing the honors thesis, leading to a meaningful and academically rigorous culmination of their studies in the SEASS department.

Major Requirements

Prerequisites

  • Language—One semester of SSEAS language study (with a letter grade of C or higher) at UC Berkeley.

  • Gateway - Completion of one Gateway Course with a letter grade of 2.0/C.

Language
A minimum of two semesters and six units in any language the department offers. The precise number of total units varies according to the language and the language course level in which the student enrolls.

Gateway Courses
Students must take at least two of the following:

  • South Asia 100A (Ancient South Asia)
  • South Asia 100B (Medieval-Modern South Asia)
  • Southeast Asia 101A (Mainland Southeast Asia)
  • Southeast Asia 101B (Insular Southeast Asia)

*Students can take any combination of these courses and in any order.

Upper Division Electives
Four upper-division courses offered by the department are required to complete the major. Upper-division courses are numbered 100 - 194. Courses numbered 195, 198, and 199 cannot meet major requirements.

Allowances

  • Only one summer course from the department will count toward the required number of upper-division courses.

  • If you wish to include an upper-division course related to the major from outside the department, it is important to note that only one such course can be accepted to meet major requirements. This course must be approved by the department. To initiate the request for acceptance, please submit the institution's details, course, and syllabus to the Undergraduate Major Advisor.

Course Requirement List
 

Prerequisites

One Gateway Course
SASIAN 100AIntroduction to Ancient South Asia4
SASIAN 100BIntroduction to Medieval and Modern South Asia4
SEASIAN 101AIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Mainland Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 101BIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Insular Southeast Asia4
One SSEAS Language Course Taken at UCB
Choose from any of these languages:
Bengali, Burmese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Khmer, Malaysian Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Urdu, or Vietnamese

Major Requirements (including Prerequisites)

Two Gateway Courses
SASIAN 100AIntroduction to Ancient South Asia4
SASIAN 100BIntroduction to Medieval and Modern South Asia4
SEASIAN 101AIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Mainland Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 101BIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Insular Southeast Asia4
Two SSEAS Language Courses Taken at UCB
Choose from any of these languages:
Bengali, Burmese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Khmer, Malaysian Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Urdu, or Vietnamese
Electives
Four Upper-Division SSEAS Courses
Can include the two Gateway courses not taken for the requirement (see list above)
South & Southeast Asia
SSEASN 120Topics in South and Southeast Asian Studies4
SSEASN 149Studies in South and Southeast Asian Languages2-5
SSEASN 190Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies3
South Asia
SASIAN 110Introduction to Hinduism4
SASIAN C113Buddhist Thought in India4
SASIAN C114Tibetan Buddhism4
SASIAN 118Gender and Sexualities in South Asian Literature and Film4
SASIAN 121Classical Indian Literature in Translation4
SASIAN 122The Novel in India4
SASIAN 123Religion in Medieval India4
SASIAN 124Modern Indian Literature4
SASIAN 125Screening India: Bollywood Cinema4
SASIAN 127Religion in Early India4
SASIAN 128Religion in Modern India4
SASIAN 130Film, Visual Media and Spectatorship Practices in Modern South Asia4
SASIAN 131Introduction to Contemporary Tamil literature4
SASIAN 136Framing Tamil Worlds: Histories, Cultures and Identities4
SASIAN 140Hindu Mythology4
SASIAN 142India's Great Epics4
SASIAN 144Islam in South Asia4
SASIAN C144Islam in South Asia4
SASIAN 146Mughal India4
SASIAN 147Pakistan: An Introduction4
SASIAN C154Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism4
Southeast Asia
SEASIAN 121Visual Culture and the Environment in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 128Introduction to Modern Indonesian and Malaysian Literature in Translation4
SEASIAN 129Mainland Southeast Asian Literature4
SEASIAN 130Articulations of the Female in Indonesia4
SEASIAN 137Islam and Society in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 138Southeast Asian Cultures, Texts, and Politics4
SEASIAN 148Philippines: History, Literature, Performance4
SEASIAN 150Southeast Asian Mythology4
SEASIAN 152Filipino Mythology4
SEASIAN 154Philippines: Narratives of Tradition and Resistance6
SEASIAN 160Philippine Cultural Politics4
SEASIAN 162Philippine Cuisine Narratives: Sinigang Stories4
SEASIAN C164DUTCH C164 The Indonesian Connection: Dutch (Post)colonial History and Culture in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 165Introduction to the History and Culture of the Philippines4
SEASIAN 166Southeast Asian Life Writing: Biography and the History of the Everyday4
SEASIAN 167Contemporary Popular Cultures of the Philippines4
SEASIAN 170Narratives of Vietnam and Vietnamese Diaspora4
SEASIAN 175Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 188Southeast Asian Cinema: History, Memory, Politics4
SEASIAN 190Love Craft: Epic Romance of Southeast Asia4
Can include Upper-Division Language Courses not used to meet major requirements.
Bengali
BANGLA 101AIntermediate Bengali5
BANGLA 101BIntermediate Bengali5
Burmese
BURMESE 100AIntermediate Burmese5
BURMESE 100BIntermediate Burmese5
Filipino
FILIPN 100AIntermediate Filipino5
FILIPN 100ABIntermediate Filipino AB9
FILIPN 100BIntermediate Filipino5
FILIPN 101AAdvanced Filipino3
FILIPN 101BAdvanced Filipino3
Hindi
HINDI 100AIntermediate Hindi4
HINDI 100BIntermediate Hindi4
HINDI 101AReadings in Modern Hindi4
HINDI 101BReadings in Modern Hindi3
Indonesian
INDONES 100AIntermediate Indonesian5
INDONES 100BIntermediate Indonesian5
Khmer
KHMER 100AIntermediate Khmer5
KHMER 100BIntermediate Khmer5
KHMER 101AAdvanced Khmer3
KHMER 101BAdvanced Khmer3
Punjabi
PUNJABI 100AIntermediate Punjabi5
PUNJABI 100BIntermediate Punjabi5
Sanskrit
SANSKR 100AElementary Sanskrit5
SANSKR 100BElementary Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101AIntermediate Sanskrit: Epic and Puracic Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101BIntermediate Sanskrit: Sastraic (Scientific) Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101CIntermediate Sanskrit: Sahitya (Literary Sanskrit)5
Tamil
TAMIL 101AReadings in Tamil4
TAMIL 101BReadings in Tamil4
Thai
THAI 100AIntermediate Thai5
THAI 100BIntermediate Thai5
THAI 101AAdvanced Thai3
THAI 101BAdvanced Thai3
Urdu
URDU 100AIntermediate Urdu4
URDU 100BIntermediate Urdu4
URDU 101AAdvanced Urdu3
URDU 101BAdvanced Urdu3
Vietnamese
VIETNMS 100AIntermediate Vietnamese5
VIETNMS 100BIntermediate Vietnamese5
VIETNMS 101Late Intermediate/Early Advanced Vietnamese4
VIETNMS 101AAdvanced Vietnamese4
VIETNMS 101BAdvanced Vietnamese4

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared prior to the first day of classes of the student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the student's EGT is a summer term, the deadline to declare a minor is prior to the first day of classes of Summer Session A. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process. 
  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Minor in South & Southeast Asian Studies

The Minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies offers students a comprehensive introduction to the region's culture and traditions. It is designed to complement majors in the humanities and social sciences, providing depth to these fields of study. Additionally, it is an excellent supplement for science, math, or engineering students, broadening their academic experience with humanities and cultural studies training.

Requirements

One course (letter-graded) selected from among the following gateway courses: South Asia 100A (Ancient South Asia), South Asia 100B (Medieval-Modern South Asia), Southeast Asia 101A (Mainland Southeast Asia), or Southeast Asia 101B (Insular Southeast Asia).

Four additional letter-graded courses, with a minimum 2.0 GPA. All courses with a 100 or higher designation count as upper-division.

Note that these can include:

  • one course with South and/or Southeast Asia content from outside the department

  • two upper-division South and/or Southeast Asia language courses

  • Courses offered by other departments cross-listed with SSEAS count as SSEAS department courses for the minor.

How to Declare the Minor

Requirements

Gateway Course
Choose one course from the following:
Upper Division
SASIAN 100AIntroduction to Ancient South Asia4
SASIAN 100BIntroduction to Medieval and Modern South Asia4
SEASIAN 101AIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Mainland Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 101BIntroduction to the History, Religion, and Culture of Insular Southeast Asia4
Electives
Select four upper-division courses from the department's offerings.
South & South East Asia
SSEASN 120Topics in South and Southeast Asian Studies4
SSEASN C147Introduction to Pali4
SSEASN 149Studies in South and Southeast Asian Languages2-5
SSEASN 190Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Studies3
South Asia
SASIAN 110Introduction to Hinduism4
SASIAN C113Buddhist Thought in India4
SASIAN C114Tibetan Buddhism4
SASIAN 118Gender and Sexualities in South Asian Literature and Film4
SASIAN 121Classical Indian Literature in Translation4
SASIAN 122The Novel in India4
SASIAN 123Religion in Medieval India4
SASIAN 124Modern Indian Literature4
SASIAN 125Screening India: Bollywood Cinema4
SASIAN 127Religion in Early India4
SASIAN 128Religion in Modern India4
SASIAN 130Film, Visual Media and Spectatorship Practices in Modern South Asia4
SASIAN 131Introduction to Contemporary Tamil literature4
SASIAN 136Framing Tamil Worlds: Histories, Cultures and Identities4
SASIAN 140Hindu Mythology4
SASIAN 142India's Great Epics4
SASIAN 144Islam in South Asia4
SASIAN C144Islam in South Asia4
SASIAN 146Mughal India4
SASIAN 147Pakistan: An Introduction4
SASIAN C154Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism4
Southeast Asia
SEASIAN 121Visual Culture and the Environment in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 128Introduction to Modern Indonesian and Malaysian Literature in Translation4
SEASIAN 129Mainland Southeast Asian Literature4
SEASIAN 130Articulations of the Female in Indonesia4
SEASIAN 137Islam and Society in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 138Southeast Asian Cultures, Texts, and Politics4
SEASIAN 148Philippines: History, Literature, Performance4
SEASIAN 150Southeast Asian Mythology4
SEASIAN 152Filipino Mythology4
SEASIAN 154Philippines: Narratives of Tradition and Resistance6
SEASIAN 160Philippine Cultural Politics4
SEASIAN 162Philippine Cuisine Narratives: Sinigang Stories4
SEASIAN C164DUTCH C164 The Indonesian Connection: Dutch (Post)colonial History and Culture in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 165Introduction to the History and Culture of the Philippines4
SEASIAN 166Southeast Asian Life Writing: Biography and the History of the Everyday4
SEASIAN 167Contemporary Popular Cultures of the Philippines4
SEASIAN 170Narratives of Vietnam and Vietnamese Diaspora4
SEASIAN 175Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 188Southeast Asian Cinema: History, Memory, Politics4
SEASIAN 190Love Craft: Epic Romance of Southeast Asia4
Language
Two upper-division language courses may be used to meet minor requirements
Bengali
BANGLA 101AIntermediate Bengali5
BANGLA 101BIntermediate Bengali5
Burmese
BURMESE 100AIntermediate Burmese5
BURMESE 100BIntermediate Burmese5
Filipino
FILIPN 100AIntermediate Filipino5
FILIPN 100ABIntermediate Filipino AB9
FILIPN 100BIntermediate Filipino5
FILIPN 101AAdvanced Filipino3
FILIPN 101BAdvanced Filipino3
Hindi
HINDI 100AIntermediate Hindi4
HINDI 100BIntermediate Hindi4
HINDI 101AReadings in Modern Hindi4
HINDI 101BReadings in Modern Hindi3
Indonesian
INDONES 100AIntermediate Indonesian5
INDONES 100BIntermediate Indonesian5
Khmer
KHMER 100AIntermediate Khmer5
KHMER 100BIntermediate Khmer5
KHMER 101AAdvanced Khmer3
KHMER 101BAdvanced Khmer3
Punjabi
PUNJABI 100AIntermediate Punjabi5
PUNJABI 100BIntermediate Punjabi5
Sanskrit
SANSKR 100AElementary Sanskrit5
SANSKR 100BElementary Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101AIntermediate Sanskrit: Epic and Puracic Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101BIntermediate Sanskrit: Sastraic (Scientific) Sanskrit5
SANSKR 101CIntermediate Sanskrit: Sahitya (Literary Sanskrit)5
Tamil
TAMIL 101AReadings in Tamil4
TAMIL 101BReadings in Tamil4
Thai
THAI 100AIntermediate Thai5
THAI 100BIntermediate Thai5
THAI 101AAdvanced Thai3
THAI 101BAdvanced Thai3
Urdu
URDU 100AIntermediate Urdu4
URDU 100BIntermediate Urdu4
URDU 101AAdvanced Urdu3
URDU 101BAdvanced Urdu3
Vietnamese
VIETNMS 100AIntermediate Vietnamese5
VIETNMS 100BIntermediate Vietnamese5
VIETNMS 101Late Intermediate/Early Advanced Vietnamese4
VIETNMS 101AAdvanced Vietnamese4
VIETNMS 101BAdvanced Vietnamese4

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For a detailed lists of L&S requirements, please see Overview tab to the right in this guide or visit the L&S Degree Requirements webpage. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley and must be taken for a letter grade. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and American Institutions requirements are based on the principle that all U.S. residents who have graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this campus requirement course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses are plentiful and offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer/data science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course taken for a letter grade.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work taken for a letter grade.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College of Letters and Science requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester for a letter grade.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes at Cal for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you graduate early, go abroad for a semester or year, or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an L&S College adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your B.A. degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative (USLI) Goals

The mission of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies is to enable students to learn about the cultures and civilizations of South and Southeast Asia. The religions, histories, and literatures of South and Southeast Asia are crucial for understanding the region’s diverse cultures. Our major seeks to train students in these traditions by providing a strong grounding in the texts, languages, and cultures of South and Southeast Asian societies. In addition to a minimum of two years of language study, the major provides humanities-based interdisciplinary training in broader comparative studies of South and Southeast Asian cultures and a more focused concentration on a particular area of interest or geographical focus.
Berkeley has experts in many areas of South and Southeast Asian Studies, and our students are encouraged to take relevant courses in departments such as History, Music, Political Science, Ethnic Studies, Art History, Linguistics, Gender and Women’s Studies, and English. Qualified undergraduates are also encouraged to participate in our graduate seminars.

Goals of the South & Southeast Asian Studies Major

  1. Students should have a broad general acquaintance with South or Southeast Asia, including a more in-depth knowledge of the cultural history, literature, or religion of a particular culture or area of their choosing.

  2. They should be able to engage critically with contemporary scholarship on South and Southeast Asia and their chosen field of specialization.

  3. They should have mastered the grammar (including complex grammatical features) of at least one South and Southeast Asian language (out of Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, and Telugu for South Asia and Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Khmer for Southeast). They should be able to read stories, newspapers, and the like in the modern language they specialize in.

  4. They should be able to speak and move about using the language (if relevant) and write simple prose in the modern language.

  5. For classical languages such as Sanskrit, students should have basic facilities in reading various genres in the original. They should be comfortable using standard resource materials such as dictionaries, traditional grammar, online resources, etc.

Paths to the Goals

Foundation Courses

  • South Asian 100A and B give students an overview of ancient and modern civilizations' history and textual traditions and basic analytical and writing skills.

  • Southeast Asian 101A and 101B are broad civilizational courses that give students a grounding in Southeast Asia's religion, history, culture, and literature.

Language Courses

  • Introductory courses

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

Upper Division Courses

  •  The 100-level courses expand skills initiated in the foundational courses.

  • They give students more detailed knowledge about South and Southeast Asia's cultures, texts, religions, and politics.

  • These courses also foster research skills. 

Optional Senior Thesis

How student learning will be evaluated with these goals

The department closely monitors and evaluates the attainment of our program goals throughout a student's progress through the major.

  • Language skills are assessed continuously through written and oral quizzes and exams.

  • Lecture courses require research, analytical papers, and/or oral presentations and exams.

  • Larger lecture courses include discussion sections for group discussions.

As a capstone experience, our department offers advanced undergraduate seminars taught by ladder-rank faculty that are research—and writing-intensive. We also encourage eligible students to undertake an honors thesis project and offer a departmental Chair's Book Prize presented at Commencement to students who completed the best honors thesis.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the South and Southeast Asian Studies Major Map PDF.

Courses

Languages and Culture:

Languages:

South and Southeast Asian Studies

Southeast Asian Studies

South Asian Studies

Bengali

Burmese

Filipino

Hindi

Khmer

Indonesian

Punjabi

Sanskrit

Tamil

Telugu

Thai

Urdu

Vietnamese

 

Contact Information

Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies

3413 Dwinelle Hall

Berkeley, CA 94720-2540

Phone: 510-642-3480

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Sylvia Tiwon

342B Dwinelle Hall

https://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/sylvia-tiwon

tiwon@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Faculty Adviser

Jacob Dalton

3114 Dwinelle Hall

https://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/jacob-dalton

jakedalton@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Cassandra Dunn

7228 Dwinelle Hall

https://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/cassandra-dunn

cassandrajj@berkeley.edu

Equity and Inclusion Officer

Munis D. Faruqui

358 Dwinelle Hall

https://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/munis-d-faruqui

faruqui@berkeley.edu

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