Indian and South Asian Studies Minor

Students in the Minor in Indian and South Asian Studies will: gain a linguistic, communicative, and cultural competence in Hindi/Urdu or another South Asian language; analyze culturally significant differences among and within the nations of South Asia, home to over one quarter of the world’s population, and its diaspora, the world’s largest;  and prepare to engage with India and South Asia in post-graduate professional life.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

We offer

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Small Classes

Benefit from individual attention from award-winning faculty

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Hybrid courses that give students more flexibility in their schedule and materials designed specifically for their level and interests


Students establish productive and supportive communities through clubs, labs, and guest speakers.







Study Abroad Programs

To further foster exploration of the language and culture, classroom experiences are enhanced by students’ participation in any of the multiple department-sponsored study abroad programs. Students can earn credit towards their major or minor programs.

View Courses

Learn more about our program and the courses you can take. We offer a variety of classes for you to take and explore.

View Courses

Learn more about our program and the courses you can take. We offer a variety of classes for you to take and explore.

India and the other countries and territories of South Asia—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet—remain, as they have for millennia, extraordinarily important sites in the global system—culturally, artistically, economically, and politically. One in four people resides in South Asia, as well as one in three Muslims. Moreover, India, the world’s largest democracy, is projected to have the world’s largest economy by 2050. For undergraduates across the colleges of Michigan State University, a transcriptable regional expertise in South Asia is now more than ever an asset for future employment in industry, business, STEM, arts, and humanities.

The Minor in Indian and South Asian Languages and Cultures will equip students with linguistic and cultural proficiency focused on India and South Asia to enable their future work across the region and the disciplines. Students gain global cultural understanding, develop communication skills, and think analytically. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad programs, internships, student-centered organizations, and experiential learning opportunities through which they can practice their language and deepen their cultural understanding. In preparation for their career beyond MSU, students will become conversant with digital technologies as an integrated part of their academic training.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

To enroll in the minor or for more information, contact the minor advisor Cindy Walter.

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Minor Requirements (17 credits) 

  1. Complete the equivalent of 2.5 years of academic study in a South Asian language or demonstrate equivalent proficiency through placement testing. Any courses needed at the 200-level or above to fulfill this proficiency requirement count towards the 17 credits required for the minor.
  2. Complete any additional courses needed to reach 17 credits from the list of approved South Asian language and culture courses.

Indian and South Asian Language Courses

All of our language courses are currently under the “LL” course code.

Hindi, also called Hindi-Urdu or Hindustani with reference to the spoken vernacular, is one of the official languages of India and one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. Hindi is mutually intelligible with its ‘sister’ language Urdu, however Hindi and Urdu are typically written in different scripts. Truly a ‘world language’, it is understood by about 500 million people, most of them within the Southasian subcontinent! The so-called Hindi belt is a swath of northern and central Hindi where Hindi is the mother tongue of most. While there is great regional variation in the way Hindi is spoken, the form of Hindi taught at MSU is the Delhi standard or ‘Khari Boli’ Hindi. First-year Hindi is taught under LL151 and LL152, second-year under LL251 and 252, and so on.


  • LL 151.2 Basic Hindi I
  • LL 152.2: Basic Hindi II
  • LL 201.2: Intermediate Hindi I
  • LL 202.2: Intermediate Hindi II
  • LL 301.2: High Intermediate Hindi I
  • LL 302.2: High Intermediate Hindi II
  • LL 401.2: Advanced Hindi I
  • LL 402.2: Advanced Hindi II

Contact Dr. Rajiv Ranjan if you have any questions about Hindi.


  • LL 151.23: Basic Urdu I
  • LL 152.23: Basic Urdu II
  • LL 201.23: Intermediate Urdu I
  • LL 202.23: Intermediate Urdu II
  • LL 301.23: High Intermediate Urdu I
  • LL 302.23: High Intermediate Urdu II
  • LL 401.23: Advanced Urdu I
  • LL 402.23: Advanced Urdu II

Contact A. Sean Pue if you have any questions about Urdu.

Indian and South Asian Culture Courses

  • ASN 291/491: Special Topics in Asian Languages*
    • Offered in Fall 2019: ASN 291.2 Introduction to History and Culture of India and South Asia
  • ENG 360: Studies in Postcolonial and Diaspora Literature*
  • HA 260: Asian Art
  • HA 261: Modern Asian Art
  • HA 461: Selected Topics in Modern Asian Art*
  • MUS 425: Music of South Asian and Its Diaspora
  • REL 340: Hinduism
  • REL 345: Religions of South Asia
  • REL 350: Buddhism of South Asia

*Courses with asterisk have variable content. Students in the minor must obtain advisor approval before enrolling in ASN 291, ASN 491, ENG 360, and HA 461 to ensure appropriate South Asian content. Other courses may be used to fulfill the requirements of the minor if approved by the advisor.