Skip to main content


About the program

The South Asian Studies program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program housed in the Department of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. The program offers a range of courses that allows students to pursue their cultural and academic interests in South Asia and its Diaspora. Organized around carefully selected themes in culture, history, politics, literature, religion, economics, and development, the core and other courses directed by experts in the field provide critical perspectives for those who would like to know more about South Asia as well as for those who wish to deepen their pre-existing knowledge about South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora, which has become a significant presence in North America and elsewhere.

The Program Office is housed in the Ross Building and associated faculty members have their offices in different University buildings. The South Asian Studies program coordinates several cultural events and academic activities like guest lectures, workshops and seminars, often in collaboration with the York Centre of Asian Research. Students are encouraged to participate in these events.

Combining a major in South Asian Studies with any discipline in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies offers employment opportunities in international organizations, government or the private sector. The fields vary from academic teaching, international journalism, fine arts, films and theatre, literature, environmental studies, economics, linguistics and international development.

Who may take South Asian Studies?

The program is open to all students pursuing an Honours BA in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies as well as the Faculty of Fine Arts. It is available as either a Major (36 credits) or Minor (30 credits) degree program and must be combined with a major in another discipline. It can also be taken as a Certificate (24 credits). Students who have already chosen a major may be able to add a specialization in South Asian Studies. If you come from a faculty other than the ones listed above, please contact the Program Coordinator for more information.  We can guide you through the process.

How do I sign up?

To declare South Asian Studies as a major/minor degree, please sign up through the Registrar's website. For entry into the certificate program, please complete this form. Both forms need to be signed by the program coordinator.



The program provides a vibrant space for students and the South Asian community-at-large to participate in cultural events, academic presentations, films and documentaries as well as talks by internationally known scholars, artists, and activists who visit Toronto and the GTA. Please send a note to to sign up to our listserv for email notifications.



 Calendar & Checklist

Hear from Our Alumni

Ali Abbas
Major: Professional Writing
Minor: Sociology and a Certificate in SAST

"Various situations of uncertainty, both personal and political, made me understand the importance of studying South Asia. My dream is to take my education further into the media industry. I want to establish a medium for sharing my insights and experiences with others like me."

Shruti Kankaria
Major: Psychology
Minor: SAST

"The prgram helped me learn many significant things about South Asia. In my third year, I took part in a York International Exchange program to the National University of Singapore. This opened up my horizons even further. I feel doing a Minor in South Asian Studies allows one to study a wide variety of subjects that all show how diverse South Asia is."

Tanya Panjwani
Double Major: Internationalal Development Studies and SAST

"I came to study at York from the US. My interest is in gender and development economics with a focus on India. I find the interdisciplinary approach of York's South Asia program immensely valuable."

Balraj Persaud
Double Major: Political Science and SAST

"South Asian Studies most importantly, has taught me about the need to exam societal formation in many lights; that is, through the prisms of as many relevant disciplines as possible. It has also taught me to recognize continuity and appreciate change."

Sarbjit Sondha
SAST Alumni
MA London School of Economics

She would like to return to academia, earn a Phd and become a professor of South Asian Studies one day.

"I truly believe that the South Asian Studies program was fundamental to the the reshaping of many orientalist ideas that I had and in helping me to develop an understanding of the diversity and complexity of South Asia."