Modern South Asia

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 29.9 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 29.9 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
155 place StudyQA ranking:1950 Duration:5 years

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The Tufts History Department has a distinguished tradition of offering doctoral training in Modern South Asian history. Successful Ph.D candidates have gone on to obtain positions in some of the most prestigious institutions of American academe. The program provides doctoral students with an ambience geared to intense and focused research into the most pressing questions of South Asian scholarship today, while also connecting students to the larger international expertise of the Tufts History Faculty, as well as the resources of the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Students in this major field also partake of the active intellectual life surrounding South Asian studies in the Boston area, including the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies.

The Modern South Asia Ph.D. immerses students in both the breadth and the detail of a complex arena of historical inquiry. Students study local and regional specificities, and also the large-scale political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual interactions that have made South Asia a nexus for globalizing forces in the modern period.

Focus is placed on building expert skills in historical reasoning and analysis, in good writing and exposition, and in historiographic theory and debates.

Students who enter the Ph.D. program in Modern South Asian history at Tufts secure themselves a place in a scholarly tradition that has significantly influenced academic discussions in the United States and abroad by the formulation of

Requirements for completion: proficiency in two foreign languages; completion of sixteen courses at the graduate level, including the Historiographical Proseminar and two Graduate Colloquia; at least three semesters of independent readings or research; oral and written examinations in three fields, based on course work and readings, administered by the appropriate members of the department; dissertation directed by the supervising faculty, to be read and defended before a committee including the adviser, at least one other member of the department, and a third faculty member in the field, drawn, if possible, from another institution. This defense will also include presenting a chapter to the Graduate-Faculty Roundtable.

Additional requirements for Ph.D. in Modern South Asian History:

  • Language requirements: English, at least one major South Asian language, and one other appropriate language
  • Primary field of concentration: Nineteenth-and twentieth-century South Asia
  • Secondary geographic field: An appropriate field in the history of the Middle East, East Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, or East Asia
  • Thematic field: An appropriate interdisciplinary and comparative field in topics such as nationalism, agrarian or labor history, world history
  1. Online application for admission
  2. Scanned copies of all college transcripts
  3. Letters of Recommendation: one for certificate programs, two for the engineering management program, and three for all other degree programs
  4. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  5. Personal statement elaborating on your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study at Tufts
  6. Application fee of $85 
  7. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  8. Achieved competitive scores on both the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections of the GRE
  9. Applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 90 on the internet based exam is required for M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. applicants, and a minimum score of 85 is required for M.F.A. applicants. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5. 
  10. Proficiency in one foreign language.
  11. Submit a statement of intent, detailing the planned dissertation field.
  12. GRE General Test scores and writing sample required.


For students who show scholarly promise, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering offer scholarships, fellowships, and research or teaching assistantships to full-time students in doctoral programs. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also offers awards to full-time students in master’s programs. Certificate students are not eligible for these awards.

  • Tuition Scholarships are available in most master's and doctoral programs for qualified students.
  • Teaching Assistantships are offered by most departments.
  • Research Assistantships are generally available in the science and engineering areas.
  • Fellowships are offered to students who demonstrate outstanding records of achievement and a well-articulated plan of study.
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