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South and Southeast Asian Languages and Literature


Programs in South and Southeast Asian languages and literature teach people the spoken and written traditions of the region.

South and southeast asian languages and literature programs teach students about a variety of topics.

South and Southeast Asian languages and literature programs include topics such as:


A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in South and Southeast Asian languages and literature. Some schools offer concentrations as part of a larger program in Asian language and literature. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

A few universities offer graduate degrees in South and Southeast Asian languages and literature. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. In addition, you must be able to speak, read, write, and understand at least one South or Southeast Asian language at an advanced level.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in South and Southeast Asian language and literature typically require:

Things to Know

In the South and Southeast Asian region there are over 650 individual languages. Some of the more commonly spoken languages are Hindi, Bengali, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Because this area is so diverse (and often, rather loosely defined), not all programs will offer the same course work. Make sure to investigate individual programs, as each will have its own unique focus.

Students who major in South and Southeast Asian languages and literature may be required or encouraged to spend some time living, working, and studying abroad. Most programs coordinate semester abroad or work internships. In most cases, you can participate in these after you have completed at least two years of language study.

Colleges that do not have complete programs in South and Southeast Asian languages and literature may offer elective courses as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Tacoma Area

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom