Established in 1967, Ohio University’s Southeast Asia program is a National Resource Center for Southeast Asian Studies as designated by the U.S. Department of Education. The rich variety of cultures and societies of Southeast Asia, both historical and contemporary, are the focus of an interdisciplinary program that offers a master’s degree and supports doctoral studies in disciplines that include an emphasis on Southeast Asia. Courses in professional fields such as development studies, communication, education, international business and management enrich the options. Dual degrees are available in some areas, including the MBA. The graduate program benefits from a faculty having expertise in anthropology, communications, economics, geography, history, linguistics, management, political science, sociology, music, and world religions. The Southeast Asian Collection offers extensive library holdings and houses the Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center. The library has special strengths in the insular nations of Southeast Asia.
Students entering the program often plan careers in Foreign Service, government, non-governmental organizations, business, and international development agencies, as well as scholarly careers in teaching and research.
The Southeast Asian Studies master’s program provides a flexible curriculum, one that permits students to enroll in courses offered by a range of schools and departments across the university. Courses can be taken in areas such as Anthropology, Business Management, Geography, History, International Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science and Telecommunications. Upon graduation, students receive a Master of Arts degree awarded by the Center for International Studies with a specialization in Southeast Asian Studies.
The Master’s Program requires a minimum of 70 credit hours. Students must complete 40 hours from designated core courses in a minimum of three disciplines. The remaining 30 hours of the program can be filled by coursework in a scholarly or professional specialization, by the completion of a graduate certificate, and/or through language study (up to 10 credit hours of language coursework can count towards the 70 hours to complete the program). Students selecting the professional project or thesis capstone option are required to complete a course in research methodology prior to conducting research, appropriate to the nature of the research.
Master’s degree students in Southeast Asian Studies must enroll in INST 501, Introduction to Southeast Asia in the Fall Quarter of the student’s first full year. Additionally, all students are required to take INST 690, Southeast Asia Colloquium, each quarter that they are enrolled. Attendance at weekly colloquium sessions is mandatory.
The course work may be completed in as little as fifteen months. The course of study concludes with a capstone project. Three capstone project options are available: the comprehensive written examination during the last term of a student’s program, a professional project, or a thesis.
An important element within the Southeast Asia program is proficiency in a Southeast Asian language. Two years of course work or its equivalent in a vernacular Southeast Asian language is required of non-native speakers, while native speakers of a Southeast Asian language are encouraged to study another regional language. Presently Ohio University offers classroom instruction in Indonesian, Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese.