Welcome to the Comparative Asian Studies PhD programme!


Officially launched in 2013, the Comparative Asian Studies (CAS) PhD programme was founded as part of a broader initiative to position the National University of Singapore as a leader in global Asian Studies.  Attuned to Asia’s interconnectedness and its deepening integration at the local level, the CAS PhD programme was established in recognition that future thought leaders would require a thorough understanding of Asian dynamics in breadth and depth. 



One of the programme’s distinctive features is its attention to inter-Asian connections across regional boundaries and cultural zones.  Our specially tailored curriculum provides an innovative, interdisciplinary training for students interested in the critical analysis of the myriad links that span Asia’s regions and sub-regions.

At the same time, we are also committed to developing scholars who are rigorously trained in the local languages and on-the-ground perspectives that only an intensive area-studies programme can provide.  Taken together, the CAS PhD programme attracts students who are interested in a comprehensive, situated, interdisciplinary training in Asian Studies. 



The programme is based within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), which is endowed with over two hundred scholars of Asia, leading international journals, Asian language instruction, research institutes, and a number of special library collections.   Housed within a robust Asian Studies Division and complimenting existing PhD programmes in East, Southeast, Northeast and South Asia, the CAS programme is part of a vibrant intellectual community that is a pillar of graduate studies in FASS. 

Students accepted into the CAS programme benefit from the numerous seminars, workshops, and international conferences convened by FASS research clusters, disciplinary departments, and institutional partners.   Through ongoing collaborative projects with our on-campus research institutes, CAS students are provided with the opportunity to not only explore Asia alongside world-renowned experts, but to actively contribute to the production of knowledge from within the region.



The opportunity to experience Asia from within, rather than viewing it from afar, provides a nuanced understanding about the region’s dynamics and trajectories.  Our position within and proximity to Asia’s many regions constitutes a distinct advantage for students in the CAS PhD programme who are excited by the prospect of working and living in the field.

We look forward to you joining us in Singapore and becoming a member of the Asian Studies community at NUS.


Best Regards,
Assoc Prof Maitrii Aung-Thwin
CAS Programme Convenor


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