Best Colleges and Universities in the World for Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Sanskrit and Classical Indian languages, literatures, and linguistics have been around for centuries and continue to be a prominent field of study in many universities around the world. As a language that has been referred to as the “sacred” and “eternal” language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, it not only has a rich history but is still very relevant in modern times. With so many terrains to explore in this field of study, it is important to attend a well-ranked institution. In this blog, we will dive into some of the best colleges and universities in the world for studying Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.

1. Harvard University:

Harvard University’s Department of South Asian Studies has established itself as a leading department in the study of Sanskrit and classical Indian languages, literatures, and linguistics. This Ivy League institution allows students to explore a broad range of topics, from Indo-European linguistics to the study of Vedic literature. The department’s faculty consists of experts in the field who have published numerous works and are actively engaged in research.

2. University of Chicago:

The University of Chicago’s South Asian Languages and Civilizations Department has a well-established program in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. The department offers an undergraduate major and minor in South Asian Studies, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in South Asian Languages and Civilizations. Students have the opportunity to study various Indian languages, such as Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, and Tamil, to name a few. Additionally, the department is home to the South Asian Language Resource Center, providing students with language-learning resources.

3. University of California, Berkeley:

UC Berkeley’s South and Southeast Asian Studies Department offers a wide range of courses in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. The department’s programs include a major and minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies, a master’s degree in South and Southeast Asian Studies, and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and South Asian Studies. The department’s faculty includes specialists in various fields, including linguistics, religion, and literature.

4. Columbia University:

Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) has a program dedicated to the study of Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. The program offers courses that cover the history of Indian languages, such as Sanskrit and Hindi, as well as Indian philosophical traditions. MESAAS also hosts the South Asia Institute, which provides students with access to language-learning resources and research support.

5. University of Oxford:

The University of Oxford’s Faculty of Oriental Studies has a Sanskrit Studies program that covers a vast range of topics in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. The program focuses on teaching students Sanskrit as a living language, thereby allowing students to gain proficiency in the language. Students also have the opportunity to study ancient Indian epics, religious texts, and other literary works. Oxford’s faculty consists of experts in the field who are actively engaged in research.

In conclusion, the study of Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics is a vibrant and important field, and the institutions mentioned above offer the best programs in the world. These universities provide students with a broad range of courses and resources to explore this fascinating language and its cultural traditions. So if you’re considering studying Sanskrit or Classical Indian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, these universities are definitely worth considering!

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