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Southeast Asian Studies, M.A. University of Wisconsin - Madison



Course info


The M.A. degree in Southeast Asian studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to meet the unique needs of two broad groups of students: those seeking certification of area expertise en route to a disciplinary doctoral degree and those seeking a terminal M.A. en route to a wide range of careers in Southeast Asia, including employment in business, journalism, and various government and international organizations. The program requires two years of coursework (or the equivalent) in a Southeast Asian language and 30 graduate credits in Southeast Asian studies courses.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies administers a formal graduate program in Southeast Asian studies and facilitates interdisciplinary study on Southeast Asia in intercollege, professional, and other degree programs throughout the university. The Southeast Asian studies program provides students with the opportunity to concentrate their study of this dynamic region in several disciplines and professional areas: anthropology, communications (journalism), development, education, economics, environmental studies, geography, history, linguistics, literature, music and dance (performing arts), political science, public health, religion, sociology, and urban and regional planning, as well as natural resources, business, and law, and public policy. Faculty expertise and library holdings are particularly strong for in-depth study of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The goal of the program is to provide students with a strong area and language background on Southeast Asia and to prepare them for a range of academic and professional careers.

Language study is a critical component in area studies, and the center encourages students to develop proficiency in at least one Southeast Asian language. During the academic year, instruction is offered through the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in five Southeast Asian languages: Filipino (Tagalog), Hmong, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Each language is offered at two or more levels of instruction, with advanced readings and literature courses available in Indonesian.


Interdisciplinary courses may be taken from many departments. Courses must contain a minimum of 25 percent Southeast Asia content to be counted for all the graduate programs. For a more complete and up-to-date listing of currently available courses, contact the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Because the instructors and contents of many courses may change over time (especially for graduate level topics courses and seminars), students should consult the Center for Southeast Asian Studies for confirmation on whether a course may count for the M.A. degree, the graduate certificate, or the doctoral minor.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of one or more regions of Southeast Asia, focusing on a research question(s), problem or case study situated within a broader analytic framework and knowledge of the cultures, religions, history, anthropology, geography, economics, literature, and/or languages within scholarship on Southeast Asia.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in reading, speaking, and listening in one or more Southeast Asian languages, at least at the proficiency level of four semesters.
  • Analyze and synthesize information and ideas within the context of interdisciplinary Southeast Asian studies.
  • Understand, respond to, and construct arguments across disciplines relating to the study of Southeast Asia.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Southeast Asian Studies, M.A..

Full Time (Minimum of 30 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$25,506.00 (18,69,574) per year


21 Jan, 02 Sep


College of Letters and Science

South Hall, 1055 Bascom Mall,

University of Wisconsin–Madison,



53706, United States

Entry requirement for international students

International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree.

English Language Requirement

Minimum TOEFL requirement: 92 internet (iBT); 580 paper-based test (PBT)

Minimum IELTS requirement: 7.0

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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