Collaborative Master's and Doctoral Specialization in South Asian Studies

a man pulls a horse in a field

The Collaborative Master's and Doctoral Specialization in South Asian Studies allows you to address questions related to South Asia while fulfilling the degree requirements in your own academic home department.

By providing methodological grounding, the program gives you an interdisciplinary overview for the critical study of South Asia as a region of expertise and as a lens through which to read a wide range of global processes. The region covers the South Asian subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. 

Our strengths

  • A vibrant community: The Collaborative Specialization is part of the exciting intellectual community of the Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) within the Asian Institute at the Munk School, linking students to affiliated scholars from across U of T and an elite global network of experts on South Asia. In addition, the South Asian diaspora in Toronto ranks among the largest and most diverse in the world. 
  • Library: As the premier research institution in Canada, the University of Toronto libraries holds over 200,000 titles and 150 journals in the multilingual South Asia collection. The holdings are among the best in North America.

  • Awards: Each spring, students can apply for a number of awards to support graduate student research on South Asia. These awards recognize academic merit and financial need and support research related travel.

About the program

Program requirements

Master's level

  • A mandatory half-year core course, SAS2004H, Critical Issues in South Asian Studies: A Region and the Disciplines. With the permission of the home graduate unit, the core course can be taken in lieu of one of the courses required by the home unit.
  • Attendance at a minimum of 2 lectures per term from the Centre for South Asian Studies lecture series during the academic year in which the student takes the core course (September to May). You must register online for the lectures to confirm attendance.
  • If writing a thesis, it is expected to include a significant South Asian component.

Doctoral level

  • A mandatory half-year core course, SAS2004H, Critical Issues in South Asian Studies: A Region and the Disciplines (unless already taken in the master’s program). With the permission of the home graduate unit, the core course can be taken in lieu of one of the courses required by the home unit.
  • Active participation at a minimum of 2 lectures per term from the Centre for South Asian Studies lecture series for a total of two years, including the academic year in which the student takes the core course.
  • The dissertation must include a significant South Asian component, with appropriate language skills as necessary.
  • A research presentation in the Asian Institute PhD Seminar Series on a South Asian topic in year 3, 4, or 5 of the program. Students must contact the Program Administrator at ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca in September to schedule the presentation for that academic year. The student’s dissertation committee should be in attendance at the talk.
How to apply

To be considered for admission into the Collaborative Master’s or Doctoral Specialization in South Asian Studies, apply for a University of Toronto Master's or Doctoral program through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Application. Since this is a collaborative specialization, applicants need to apply to a home department first (see the list of participating departments below - under certain circumstances, students from other departments may also be admitted). In the Collaborative Specializations section of the application, please indicate that you are also applying to the Specialization in South Asian Studies to ensure we will receive a copy of your application. Your statement of interest should indicate that your research will include a significant South Asia focus. If you are accepted into the home department, we will review your application for admission into our program.

Start your application >

If you have already been admitted to a home department and/or have already begun your degree, and would like to be considered for our specialization, please contact ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca to express your interest.

Participating home departments:

Please consult individual websites for program requirements, application procedures, and deadlines.

 

Scholarships and Bursaries

The Centre for South Asian Studies administers a number of awards to support graduate student research on South Asia.

The application deadline is in April each year. Please check back in February for updated timelines and instructions. Students may apply for more than one award, as long as their research fits the general description of any given award. Results are announced and funds are disbursed in May.

Please submit separate applications for each award. For each separate application, please submit the following documents in a single pdf file titled with your last name and the award title, eg., LastName.IndCanAdvisoryGrp.pdf. Send them via email with the subject line CSAS 2023/Award Title (eg., CSAS2023/India-Canada Association Scholarship) to ai.asianstudies@utoronto.ca.

  • Proposal for the deployment of funds, based on your academic research and project (500 words)
  • Curriculum vitae (including contact information and the names and contact information for 2 academic referees)
  • Academic transcript (printout or pdf from ACORN is fine)
  • A 5–10 page writing sample
  • If the award you are applying for is an OSOTF award, then you must also complete the SGS Financial Needs Assessment Form. This is only necessary for awards with an asterisk (*) below. This may be submitted as a separate pdf with your application pdf file.

Diljit and Gulshan Juneja Award for South Asian Studies*

Value: Approximately $566 – $1,133
Description and eligibility: Awarded to one or more master’s or doctoral students in any department or faculty in the University whose course program or research is concentrated in the area of South Asian Studies. This is an OSOTF award and is made on the basis of qualifying Ontario residency, financial need, and academic merit.


India's 50th Anniversary Graduate Prize* 

Value:  Approximately $1,259 – $2,519
Description and eligibility: Awarded to one or more students. Recipients must be enrolled at the graduate level in social sciences or humanities, and their study or research must be focused on India. This is an OSOTF award and is made on the basis of qualifying Ontario residency, financial need, and academic merit.


India-Canada Association Scholarship

Value: Approximately $1,023 – $3,070
Description and eligibility: Awarded to one or more graduate students at the University of Toronto engaged in research in the field of South Asian Studies. This award is made on the basis of academic merit. Preference will be given to candidates whose research activities require travel to India.


Indo-Canadian Advisory Group Bursary for the Study of India*

Value: Approximately $2,326
Description and eligibility: Recipient must be enrolled in the Collaborative Master’s or Doctoral Specialization in South Asian Studies. Preference will be given to students whose course of study or research is focused on India. This is an OSOTF award and is made on the basis of qualifying Ontario residency, financial need, and academic merit.


Sandhya and Riten Ray Award for Indian Philosophy and Religion

Value: Approximately $519 – $1,038
Description and eligibility: Awarded to one or more graduate students at the University of Toronto who have demonstrated excellence in study or research in religion and/or philosophy of India, preferably with special emphasis on humanism and spiritualism in ancient Indian philosophy. Excellence may be demonstrated by grades in courses, academic essays, or research (in progress or completed).


Shirley Uldall Memorial Book Prize*

Value: Approximately $262
Description and eligibility: Awarded to one or more graduate students in the Collaborative Master’s or Doctoral Specialization in South Asian Studies who has completed or is currently taking SAS2004H. This is an OSOTF award and is made on the basis of qualifying Ontario residency, financial need, and academic merit.

Meet your professors

Professional headshot of Christoph Emmrich
 

Director, Centre for South Asian Studies; Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Religion

Francis Cody
 

Associate Professor, Asian Institute and Department of Anthropology, UTM

Graduate symposium

Crisis and Catastrophe: How Did We Get Here? 20-21 April 2023, 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium

The Centre for South Asian Studies Graduate Symposium was conceived by students at the CSAS in the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy as a platform for graduate students engaging in critical research connected to South Asia. Presenters in the conference draw attention to a range of lenses to observe and imagine possibilities within history, religion, politics, and technology. The symposium invites students, faculty, professionals, and practitioners of South Asian Studies from across geographies to engage with and learn about emerging research in the field.

The 2022-23 Symposium will be held on April 20-21, 2023. Scroll down to view the Call for Papers, which invites submissions from graduate students whose work engages with South Asia at the University of Toronto and beyond. 

Areas of focus - Victor Dementiev/Unsplash

CONTACT US

 

KATHERINE MACIVOR
Program Advisor and Communications Officer, Asian Institute
416-946-8832