Southeast Asia Studies

Why Southeast Asia Studies at SAIS?

Southeast Asia is now a region of dynamic, rapidly developing societies: 11 countries, 600 million people, and a GDP of over $1 trillion. Elections and markets matter more than strife and revolution.

Why Southeast Asia Studies at SAIS?

Offsetting the high cost of education, fellowships include the Philip W. Thayer Fellowship, the Alumni & Friends Fellowship, the Prem Fellowship, and the Freeport McMoRan Fellowship.

Why Southeast Asia Studies at SAIS?

The program brings together 35-40 highly qualified U.S. and international students annually - generating an unprecedented number of regional experts in the public, private, and multilateral sectors.

The Southeast Asia Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the nations, states, institutions and peoples of Southeast Asia in the 21st century. The program offers courses in Southeast Asia history, politics, economics, development and security.

Students are attracted to the program's unique dual-concentration structure combining international economics and regional expertise. To prepare students for the demanding working environment of Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asia Studies Program offers a rigorous, policy-oriented curriculum, high language proficiency, direct in-country summer internship experience, unparalleled Washington D.C.-based forums that examine domestic politics and international relations of Southeast Asian countries, and an unsurpassed global alumni network.

If interested in graduate studies, you are most welcome to contact Karl Jackson, director of Southeast Asia Studies (202.663.5837), to discuss joining the program.

Recent Photos & Video

Curriculum

 

Southeast Asia Studies | M.A. Academic Requirements

Southeast Asia Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2014-2015
 
Students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 or 14 courses as approved by Academic Affairs.
 
SOUTHEAST ASIA STUDIES
Students concentrating in Southeast Asia Studies must take at least 4 courses within this program.
 
ASIAN STUDIES
Students also must fulfill the general requirements for the field of Asian Studies, that is, an additional 2 Asian Studies courses outside of Southeast Asia Studies.
 
Students in Southeast Asia Studies also have the option of pursuing a specialization in the International Relations of Asia (AsiaIR).

 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
·         Microeconomics
·         Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
·         International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
 
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Micro and/or Macro in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

 

QUANTITATIVE REASONING

Students must complete one course from the list below.
·         Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
·         Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
·         Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Risk Analysis and Modeling
·         Corporate Finance (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         Quantitative Methods in International Relations (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
 
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.

 

CORE COURSES/EXAMS

All SAIS students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses. Southeast Asia Studies concentrators must pass Comparative National Systems as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
·         American Foreign Policy Since World War II
·         Comparative National Systems
·         Evolution of the International Systems
·         Theories of International Relations

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Southeast Asia Studies MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in Burmese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering SAIS. Native Southeast Asia concentrators must demonstrate proficiency in a Southeast Asian language other than their own choosing from Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese.

 

CAPSTONE

Southeast Asia Studies concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
 
1.     Southeast Asia Oral Exam. The exam is designed to test substantive knowledge and oral communication skills covering SEA politics, economics, history and their impact on international relations. The one-hour exam will be administered by the Program Director, Associate Program Director and others as designated by the program.
2.     MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS BY ACADEMIC YEAR

Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010

Curriculum

 

Southeast Asia Studies | M.A. Academic Requirements

Southeast Asia Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2014-2015
 
Students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 or 14 courses as approved by Academic Affairs.
 
SOUTHEAST ASIA STUDIES
Students concentrating in Southeast Asia Studies must take at least 4 courses within this program.
 
ASIAN STUDIES
Students also must fulfill the general requirements for the field of Asian Studies, that is, an additional 2 Asian Studies courses outside of Southeast Asia Studies.
 
Students in Southeast Asia Studies also have the option of pursuing a specialization in the International Relations of Asia (AsiaIR).

 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS

Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
·         Microeconomics
·         Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
·         International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
 
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Micro and/or Macro in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

 

QUANTITATIVE REASONING

Students must complete one course from the list below.
·         Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
·         Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
·         Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
·         Risk Analysis and Modeling
·         Corporate Finance (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         Quantitative Methods in International Relations (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
 
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.

 

CORE COURSES/EXAMS

All SAIS students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses. Southeast Asia Studies concentrators must pass Comparative National Systems as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
·         American Foreign Policy Since World War II
·         Comparative National Systems
·         Evolution of the International Systems
·         Theories of International Relations

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Southeast Asia Studies MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in Burmese, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering SAIS. Native Southeast Asia concentrators must demonstrate proficiency in a Southeast Asian language other than their own choosing from Burmese, Indonesian, Thai or Vietnamese.

 

CAPSTONE

Southeast Asia Studies concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
 
1.     Southeast Asia Oral Exam. The exam is designed to test substantive knowledge and oral communication skills covering SEA politics, economics, history and their impact on international relations. The one-hour exam will be administered by the Program Director, Associate Program Director and others as designated by the program.
2.     MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

 

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS BY ACADEMIC YEAR

Entering Class 2013-2014
Entering Class 2012-2013
Entering Class 2011-2012
Entering Class 2010-2011
Entering Class 2009-2010

Waiver Exams

Faculty

Featured Courses

For regional specialization, the Southeast Asia Studies Program offers a range of courses on the history, politics, economics, development, culture, and security of Southeast Asia. Students gain in-depth knowledge on specific Southeast Asian countries, as well as cross-regional analysis.

Select course offerings include Myanmar/Burma: Inside Challenges, Outside Interests (SA.770.745), Contentious Politics in Southeast Asia (SA.770.742), Covert Action and Foreign Policy in Asia (SA.755.712), Current Asian Security Issues (SA.755.704), Democracy and Democratization in Southeast Asia (SA.770.631), Domestic Politics of Thailand and the Philippines (SA.770.718), International Relations of Asia: The Policy Process (SA.755.702), International Relations of Southeast Asia (SA.770.712), The Political Economy of Development in Southeast Asia (SA.770.720), Political Parties and Elections in Asia (SA.755.717), and Politics in Indonesia (SA.770.610). 

  1. Spring 2014

    International Relations of Southeast Asia

    Events of the last two years have brought Southeast Asia...

  2. Fall 2013

    Myanmar/Burma: Inside Challenges, Outside Interests

    This course will examine Myanmar/Burma as an example of a...

  3. Spring 2014

    The Political Economy of Development in Southeast Asia

    Reviews development trajectories across Southeast Asia, from technical considerations of...

  4. Fall 2013

    Politics in Indonesia

    Since 1968, Asia has witnessed the greatest reduction in poverty...

  5. Spring 2014

    Covert Action and Foreign Policy in Asia

    A government seeking to influence another government, or events, organizations,...

Program Activities

 

Roundtables and Forums

The SAIS Philippines Roundtable, the SAIS Burma Study Group, the SAIS Indochina Roundtable, and the Southeast Asia Studies Wednesday Lunch Seminar offer opportunities for students to interact with diplomats, policymakers and academics concerned with Southeast Asia. In addition, conferences, special lectures, book launches and film screenings introduce students to established regional expertise and cutting edge scholarship. More.

 

The Asia Democracy Study

The SAIS-USKI Asia Democracy Study is a research initiative looking at public opinions on attitudes and behaviors toward democracy and governance in Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. More.

SAIS 2011 Survey Questionnaire.

 

SAIS-Myanmar Initiatives

More than five decades after closing its center at the University of Rangoon, SAIS is rebuilding ties to Myanmar as it emerges from a half century of military rule.

 

Internships

Between the first and second year of studies, students participate in internships of eight weeks duration in Southeast Asia.  Internships provide students with the opportunity to combine theory and practice, to gain hands-on experience in a professional field, and to experience the rich and varied dimensions of Southeast Asian societies.

 

Language Training

Language expertise in Bahasa Indonesian, Burmese, Thai or Vietnamese gives graduates a strong competitive edge.  Proficiency in a modern language helps students broaden their regional competency.  The program assists students to acquire additional language training in the region during the January inter-sessions in well regarded local academic institutions such as the Alam Bahasa Language School (Yogyakarta), Unity Thai Language School (Bangkok), and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Ho Chi Minh City).

 

Southeast Asia Studies Newsletter

View our most recent edition (Summer 2013) of the Southeast Asia Studies Newsletter here.
For past editions: Fall 2012, Winter-Spring 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, and Fall 2010

 

Program Activities: Washington, D.C.

Program Activities: Europe

Program Activities: Nanjing

Events

View a list of past events from 2009-2013 here.



2013

  1. Myanmar: The Dynamics of Positive Change 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM Sep23

    This daylong conference featuring academic experts will focus on the dynamics behind, and the likely effects of, the recent broad socio-political and economic reformation in Myanmar, the country’s international relations and governance.

  2. Myanmar in Transition: U.S.-Myanmar Bilateral Relations 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM May20

    U Thein Sein, president of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, will discuss this topic. Note: The event is open to SAIS students, faculty and staff, invited guests and media only. SAIS will also host a live webcast available here at the time of the event. Members of the media must RSVP to fklubes@jhu.edu or 202.663.5626.

  3. Stanley Karnow’s Southeast Asia 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM May1

    John Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines; John Maisto, president of the U.S.-Philippines Society; Frank Wisner, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines; Richard Solomon, former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines; Marvin Kalb, author of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency From Ford to Obama; Rufus Phillips, author of Why Vietnam Matters: An Eyewitness Account of Lessons Not Learned; L. Desaix Anderson, vice-chairman of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and former U.S. charge d’affaires to Vietnam; James Mann, author-in-residence at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute; and William Wise (moderator), associate director of the SAIS Southeast Asia Studies Program, will discuss this topic. 

  4. Thailand’s Southern Insurgency: Breaking the Cycle of Violence 12:15 PM - 2:00 PM Feb28

    Zachary Abuza, professor of political science and international relations at Simmons College; Kira Kay, special correspondent for PBS’s “NewsHour” and executive director of the Bureau for International Reporting; and Duncan McCargo, professor of Southeast Asian politics at the University of Leeds, will discuss this topic. 

2012

  1. SEA Event 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM Nov1

Research

Our Alumni

 

Funding and Alumni Network

A strong network of funding sources coupled with a global alumni network support educational and employment opportunities for students.  Fellowships include the C.V. Starr Fellowship; the Prem Fellowship for Thai Studies; the Freeport McMoRan Fellowship for Indonesians; the Tran Thi Quynh Hoa Fellowship for Vietnamese; the USINDO-SAIS  Edward E. Masters Fellowship Program for Indonesian foreign service officers; the Philip W. Thayer Fellowship (with major funding from the Henry Luce Foundation) for students and visiting scholars from Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam, including junior faculty members from government training academies; and the Southeast Asia Studies Alumni & Friends Fellowship. Additionally, the SAIS Southeast Asia Studies Program initiated a joint program with the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and Chung Ang University to provide full tuition for one Burmese Foreign Service officer for one year at SAIS followed by one year at a Korean graduate school.


Graduate Profiles

Frederic Neumann (Class of 2005) is the senior economist at HSBC in Hong Kong, responsible for the Asia region. Originally from Luxembourg, Fred has taught courses on macroeconomics and Asia and was a consultant for the World Bank and various governments.

Shari Knoerzer (Class of 2002) works for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as director of social responsibility and community development - Asia/Africa. Her first five years at Freeport were spent in Indonesia.

Edison Sian (Class of 2004) is in the Philippines setting up a social enterprise to target the healthcare needs of the poorest communities. His goal is establishing micro-clinics throughout the archipelago to combat the five main causes of death in over 70% of the population.

Bruce Schulman (Class of 1998) funded the Paul D. Wolfowitz Fellowship Prize in Southeast Asia Studies in honor of Ambassador Paul D. Wolfowitz, former dean of SAIS, to recognize the second-year Southeast Asia Studies M.A. student with the highest GPA. Prize recipients: Wallis Yu (2011), Sean Creehan (2012), and Elizabeth Vish (2013).



 

External Resources

Contact Us

Karl D. Jackson, Ph.D.
C.V. Starr Distinguished Professor, Director of Asian Studies and the Southeast Asia Studies Program

kdjackson@jhu.edu
Rome 619

William M. Wise, M.A.
Associate Director of the Southeast Asia Studies Program, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence

wwise2@jhu.edu
Rome 621

Jacqueline Ganem, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator of the Southeast Asia Studies Program

seasia@jhu.edu
Rome 620

Address & Phone

Southeast Asia Studies
Rome Building
1619 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.
20036
  • 202.663.5837