What will I learn?

The internationally renowned language and degree programs in South Asian languages at UW are systematic and rigorous, as well as tailored to the needs of a diverse student population. These programs equip students with a full complement of skills, including speaking, reading, writing, aural comprehension, translation, and grammatical analysis, in order to meet the needs of students with different interests and goals.

Full programs of instruction, comprising three years of basic instruction plus an array of supplementary courses, are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level for Hindi and Sanskrit. In addition, three years of instruction are available for Urdu and two for Bangla (Bengali). Other languages taught at the graduate level on a more limited basis include Apabhramsa, Avadhi, Braj, Pali, and Prakrit (including Gandhari). Students at the UW have also been able to obtain language training in other South Asian languages (e.g. Malayalam, Panjabi, Tibetan) through the UW's participation in various national and international consortia and language training programs

M.A. Program

I. Requirements for Course Work and Credits

1. For the M.A. non-thesis option, 45 course credits, 18 of which must be 500 level and above, are required. Students are required to complete language study through the fourth-year level in their major language. In addition, the student must present two seminar papers which are approved by the student's faculty adviser and at least one other faculty member in the Department.

2. The M.A. thesis option requires a minimum of 45 course credits plus 9 thesis credits. At least 18 of the 45 credits must be taken at the 500 level or above. The language requirements in this program are the same as in the non-thesis program. In addition, the student must write an acceptable M.A. thesis according to the rules and policies of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature.

II. Foreign Language Requirements

Students must demonstrate competence in their major South Asian language. In addition, students must demonstrate through a written examination reading knowledge of one foreign language relevant to their research, which must be other than English and the student's native language. At the M.A. level, this language may be an Asian or European language.

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (45 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$30,208.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements: Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1or its equivalent from a foreign institution; Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. Other English Language Requirements: 580 paper-based TOEFL.

For international students

The applicant must meet the requirements of the Graduate School as outlined in the University Catalog. An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credit hours is a prerequisite for admission, together with three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. for admission to the M.A. program with specialization in South Asian Languages and Literature, preference will be given to students with prior preparation in a South Asian language and literature, in South Asian regional studies, or in a humanistic discipline pertinent to the study of South Asian civilization. Students lacking such preparation may be admitted to the M.A. program; however, they must remedy any deficiencies by adding, as early as possible, such courses as the academic adviser considers necessary. South Asian languages in which specializations are offered at the University are Sanskrit and Hindi.

English Proficiency:

The Graduate School is temporarily accepting official test scores for both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China to assist international students with remote testing options. This policy is currently in effect through the autumn 2021 admission cycle (i.e., students enrolling in autumn 2021).

TOEFL iBT - Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 80; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 92 or higher

TOEFL pBT - Minimum Required Score: 500

Duolingo: Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 105; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 120 or higher

IELTS: Minimum Required Score 6.5

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

Pathways options

Offered by this university

University of Washington offers below pathways course for this subject