Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate Certificate in South Asian Studies

Undergraduates interested in cross-disciplinary study of South Asia (generally defined as the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Tibetan region) may earn a Certificate in South Asian Studies. The certificate can be a valuable addition to a major in anthropology, archeology, business, communications, economics, education, geography, history, international studies, journalism, languages and cultures of Asia, political science, women’s studies, zoology, and other departments. Completion of the certificate provides a concentration in the area through interdisciplinary training and language study (optional) that provides enhanced career opportunities or increased preparation for graduate study. Applicants must fulfill the UW-Madison requirements for an established major in their school or college and achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all courses they wish to count toward the certificate. Courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. Language study is not required for the completion of the certificate, but one year of a South Asian Language will partially fulfill the area studies requirement.

A new undergraduate major in Asian Languages and Cultures is under development. Details will be posted here as they become available. Contact Rachel Weiss for additional information.

Certificate Advisor

Csanád Siklós Assistant Director for Students and Curriculum, Institute for Regional and International Studies, Room 301 Ingraham Hall. Email: siklos@wisc.edu

Virtual Advising Options

Advising Appointments – Certificate students now have the option to schedule an appointment with Csanád Siklós via the Starfish scheduling system. Students can of course also continue to contact Csanád Siklós by email to schedule appointments.

Virtual Drop-Ins – During designated drop-in hours, Csanád will be available via chat/message on Microsoft Teams. Csanád will answer a student’s chat in the order in which it is received.  If they are already with a student at that time, they will let the waiting student know, ask them to stay online, and get to them as quickly as possible. Any student can message Csanád on MS Teams during these open times: Mondays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 AM Central Time (GMT-05:00)

Students interested in declaring the certificate should contact Csanád Siklós, general advisor for the certificate program. Csanád helps manage students’ progress towards completion of the program. Should students have questions that require content expertise, they will be referred to the Associate Director for the Center for South Asia, Sarah Beckham.


21 credits in at least 7 courses to be distributed as follows:

3 credits of an introductory course

9 credits in area courses (includes language option for 6 credits)

6 credits in disciplinary courses

3 credits of capstone seminar

Certificate Course List

View the Spring 24 Course list here. All courses applied to the certificate can also be used to satisfy breadth requirements.

Business Courses

The Center for South Asia is working with the International Business program in the UW Business School to develop a track in South Asian Studies. Currently the following classes are approved for credit in the South Asia Certificate: International Business 200: International Business and International Business 365: Business in Emerging India. For more information about these courses, please contact, Sachin Tuli.

South Asia Language Study

South Asian Languages are offered either in academic year through the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures or in the summer through the South Asia Summer Language Insitutue.. Please check the offerings available within each unit as they are subject to change. Languages included in the course list are: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu.

Study Abroad in South Asia

Academic year, Semester-long, and Summer programs are offered through the UW-Madison International Division. Please refer to their website for program information and deadlines. Currently there are opportunities such as the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative Program, SIT Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya, UW Global Health Community Health and Health Disparity in Nepal, and UW Global Health Community Health & Asset-Based Community Development in Sri Lanka.