Skip navigation

Requirements | Southeast Asia Studies

Learn about the requirements for the Southeast Asia Studies program. 

Master of Arts (MA) Requirements

MA students concentrating in Southeast Asia Studies must complete 24 credits of applicable coursework and a program capstone. 16 credits must be Southeast Asia Studies courses. The remaining eight credits must be from one or more of the areas below:

Students are also required to achieve proficiency in Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese. Native speakers of Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese must demonstrate proficiency in any other language taught at the school, which can include English. Native speakers of a Southeast Asian language are encouraged to pursue proficiency in a different Southeast Asian language.

  • 3 Southeast Asia Studies SA.770.XXX (or cross-listed) courses
  • 2 semesters of Southeast Asia language study or proficiency

For additional requirements, click here


Southeast Asia Studies concentrators must complete one of the following capstones:

  • Southeast Asia Oral Exam. The exam is designed to test substantive knowledge and oral communication skills covering Southeast Asia politics, economics, history and their impact on international relations. The one-hour exam will be administered by the Southeast Asia faculty and others as designated by the program.
  • MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors — if eligible)

These requirements must be completed in addition to the requirements for your degree program.

Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) Requirements

MIPP students can add an affiliation in Southeast Asia Studies to their degree plan. At least three of your eight courses must be Southeast Asia Studies courses to complete the affiliation requirement.

These requirements must be completed in addition to the requirements for your degree program.

Learning Goals

Southeast Asia concentrators learn an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the nations, states, institutions and peoples of Southeast Asia in the 21st century. Students will gain in-depth knowledge and critical analytical and problem-solving skills for the demanding working environment of Southeast Asia. This will be obtained through a rigorous and policy-oriented curriculum and program-sponsored forums that examine domestic and international relations of Southeast Asian countries, covering history, politics, economics, development and security.

Through extensive alumni networks developed by the program, students will be assisted in undertaking direct in-country summer internships that combine theory and practice, and experience in particular professional fields. Students will be proficient (speaking, listening, writing, and reading) in at least one modern language of Southeast Asia: Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Thai, or Vietnamese.

  1. Students will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of complex issues governing the political and economic framework of Southeast Asia, in contemporary and historical contexts;
  2. Develop analytical skills and methodology relevant to Southeast Asia that will retain value over time;
  3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of individual nations of Southeast Asia, the regional organization (ASEAN), and Southeast Asia’s relationship with the United States and the major Asian powers (China, India, and Japan);
  4. Demonstrate an intellectual background on Southeast Asia, covering issues on international relations, security, the policymaking process, democratization, human rights, and economic development, in order to conduct well-informed analysis of current developments and provide sharp insight into new challenges facing Southeast Asia;
  5. Develop a familiarity with major theoretical concepts applied to the analysis of Southeast Asia’s domestic, regional, and foreign policy;
  6. Apply hands-on experience acquired during summer internships to post-graduation challenges in professional settings, such as government, business, NGOs, and academia; and
  7. Speak, read, and write Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Thai or Vietnamese at a level of professional proficiency.