Requirements for the Minor

  • SAS 100A
  • Four additional courses from the approved South Asian Studies curriculum, taken from at least two different departments

A minimum of three of the five courses required for the minor must be taken from Brandeis faculty. Courses taken at other institutions for credit must be approved by the student’s advisor and the SAS program chair.

No course with a final grade below C- can count toward the SAS minor. No more than two courses taken for the SAS minor can double-count toward any other single major or minor.

See the University Bulletin for a complete list of SAS courses.


The South Asian Studies Program offers courses in a range of disciplines. See the Fall 2017 Schedule of Classes for additional details and the University Bulletin for a complete list of SAS courses.

Fall 2017 Courses

SAS Core Course

SAS 100A: India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia
[ nw ss ]
Professor Rupa Pillai
M,W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

An exploration of the history, societies, cultures, religions, and literature of South Asia--India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Uses perspectives from history, anthropology, literature, and film to examine past and contemporary life in South Asia. Usually offered every year.

Core Electives

HIST/SOC 170B: Gender and Sexuality in South Asia
[ ss ]
Professor Gowri Vijayakumar and Professor Hannah Muller
T,Th 3:30 PM–4:50 PM

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

Explores historical and contemporary debates about gender and sexuality in South Asia; revisits concepts of "woman," "sex," "femininity," "home," "family," "community," "nation," "reform," "protection," and "civilization" across the colonial and postcolonial periods. Usually offered every second year.

REL/SAS 152A: Introduction to Hinduism
[ hum nw ]
Professor Rupa Pillai
T,F 12:30 PM–1:50 PM

Introduces Hindu practice and thought. Explores broadly the variety of forms, practices, and philosophies that have been developing from the time of the Vedas (ca. 1500 BCE) up to present day popular Hinduism practiced in both urban and rural India. Examines the relations between Hindu religion and its wider cultural, social, and political contexts, relations between the Hindu majority of India and minority traditions, and questions of Hindu identity both in India and abroad.

Additional Electives (requiring a paper and prior approval from the SAS UAH)

AAPI 140B: The Asian American Experience
[ oc ss ]
Professor Leanne Day
M,W 5:00 PM–6:20 PM

May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 140b in prior years.

Examines the political, economic, social, and contemporary issues related to Asians in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics include patterns of immigration and settlement, and individual, family, and community formation explored through history, literature, personal essays, films, and other popular media sources. 

ECON 176A: Health, Hunger, and the Household in Developing Countries
[ nw ss ]
Professor Nidhiya Menon
T,F 11:00 AM–12:20 PM

Prerequisites: ECON 80a and ECON 184b or permission of the instructor.

Examines aspects of poverty and nutrition that are confronted by households in low-income countries. Examines these issues primarily from a microeconomic perspective, although some macroeconomic angles are explored as well. Usually offered every second year.

HS 236A: International Health Systems and Development
Professor Diana Bowser
M 2:00 PM–4:50 PM

Provides students with the framework to understand how health systems are organized and to understand what affects their performance. Students also will be able to describe key features of health systems; how health system performance is measured; and how lessons from other countries can be applied to their own countries. The course examines different health system frameworks, how to use these frameworks to ask health system questions, different aspects of health systems, how national health systems differ, and what measures are being implemented in different countries to improve their health system performance and eventually health outcomes. The course will also take a broader look at the relationships between health policy, economic policy and development policy, examining some of the main economic and development theories shaping global policies and also examine the international institutions and political dynamics in health policy making. Usually offered every year.

HSSP 102A: Global Perspectives on Health
[ ss ]
Professor Alice Noble
T,Th 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

A primer on major issues in health care in developing nations. Topics include the natural history of disease and levels of prevention; epidemiological transitions; health disparities; and determinants of health including culture, social context, and behavior. Also covers: infectious and chronic disease incidence and prevalence; the role of nutrition, education, reproductive trends, and poverty; demographic transition including aging and urbanization; the structure and financing of health systems; and the globalization of health. Usually offered every year.